Finance director retires from Boys & Girls Club

Bali Thorn spent 33 years at the club. She says she plans to travel to the East Coast and Colorado, as well as spend time with her family.

August 16, 2012|By Brittany Woolsey
  • Bali Thorn retires from the Boys and Girls Club of Laguna Beach after 33 years of service there.
Bali Thorn retires from the Boys and Girls Club of Laguna… (Coastline Pilot )

After 33 years of service, Bali Thorn has retired from the Boys & Girls Club of Laguna Beach.

Thorn, a Laguna Beach resident, began working with the Boys & Girls Club in 1979 as a secretary. Over time, she had other positions and finished her tenure as director of finance.

"I'm known for my good budgeting," Thorn said.

Pamela Estes, executive director of the club, said an email, "Since I've been involved with the club, Bali has been responsible in a large part for putting together a projected budget each year. Each time, at the end of the year when actual numbers are compared to projected, the bottom line has ended up being extremely close to right on."

Thorn was also involved in the club's fundraisers and casino nights.

One of her fondest memories with the company was bringing her yellow lab to work years ago, Thorn said.

"The kids used to lie on the floor and hug her and pet her," she said.


Although she is excited to retire, she is going to miss her co-workers.

"I really enjoy the staff and board here," she said. "The people are hard to leave."

Likewise, Estes said the staff will miss Thorn.

"[Bali] is part of the DNA of our club," Estes said. "Although I wasn't around for most of her tenure, I understand that the growth of the organization, in terms of number of kids served, total budget, level of professionalism, quality of care, and standing in the community has been exponential over the past 33 years. I am sure her grounding force and focus on the bottom-line have played a significant role in all of the club's achievements."

Estes said that since she started with the company in 2001, the club has undergone a $3.3 million expansion and revitalization, as well as acquired a second site. The budget has also more than doubled and there are more children who attend on a daily basis.

"Bali has been integral throughout all of this," Estes said. "She is an extremely dedicated, reliable, intelligent, and understated person with a big picture understanding and discerning eye for detail. Her integrity in everything she does is unsurpassed."

A retirement barbecue was held in Thorn's honor Aug. 10. Guests included Pat Barry, former executive director for the club, and former city manager Ken Frank.

Thorn said that after retirement she plans to travel to the East Coast and Colorado, as well as spend time with her family.

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