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“As a young boy, all I knew was Roxbury. But when I walked into the Boys & Girls Club, I got to see the whole world. – BGCB alumnus and 2023 BGCA National Alumni Hall of Fame Inductee

Marvin L. McIntyre is President & Impresario of Marvelous Enterprises, a talent-development agency that has developed, managed, consulted, and trained artists like Usher, Keith Sweat, Keri Hilson, Boyz II Men, and many more industry standouts. He leads an A-list staff of vocal stylists, choreographers, media trainers, fitness instructors, nutritionists, artist & repertoire, graphic and video designers, songwriters, and many other services to supplement an artist’s career. 

McIntyre was recently inducted into Boys & Girls Clubs of America (BGCA)’s National Alumni Hall of Fame, a feat only accomplished by three other Bostonians to date: former Mayor Raymond Flynn, Captain Steve Foley, and Mark Wahlberg. He credits his success to his years spent at Boys & Girls Clubs of Boston (BGCB)’s Yawkey Club of Roxbury. “As a young boy, all I knew was Roxbury. But when I walked into the Boys & Girls Club, I got to see the whole world,” he explained at BGCA’s National Conference in Orlando, Florida.  McIntyre joined the Club in 1968 at the age of 5 years old, making him one of the youngest members at the time and kicking off a trend of pushing himself up into older age brackets that would continue throughout his life. 

He credits the Club staff who served him as the gatekeepers to success in life. “Roscoe Baker, Yvonne Irving, R.C. Pruitt, Howie Bunkley, Eugenia Densen, Edna Jones, and the rest of the Club staff all taught me valuable life skills and opened up my perspective by taking me on trips and teaching me how to think big,” he explained. By the age of 10, McIntyre was already a part of Keystone; a leadership program designated for Club teens. At 15, he was hired as the Club’s locker room attendant, a role he elevated in his mind to “Director of Lockers” by bringing an unrivaled work ethic into the job every day. As a 17-year-old, he was honored as Member of the Year.

McIntyre identifies the connection he formed with Club mentor and Vice President of Coca-Cola New England Ken Hudson, who was the NBA’s first Black referee and later founded the nationally renowned Boston Shootout youth basketball tournament, as a catalyst to his growth as a person and as a professional. “Ken Hudson taught me confidence and how to act like I belonged,” he explained. “He set an example that I would follow down my own career path.”

After his years at the Club, McIntyre was attending college in New Hampshire when he received a phone call from two former Club members whom he used to mentor. “It was Michael Bivins and Bobby Brown, and they were getting ready to go on the road and kick off a tour. They wanted me to come with them and be their road manager.” The act took off, evolving into the award-winning group New Edition, and launching McIntyre into his career in talent development.

Marvin McIntyre with his wife Loretta at the BGCA Alumni Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony

McIntyre sat down with BGCB’s Nicholas President and CEO Robert Lewis, Jr. for a conversation about his life as a Club kid and the role it has played in his success.

Robert Lewis, Jr.: You’re now part of a group of hundreds of Hall of Famers representing not only Boston but Yawkey Club of Roxbury. What would you say to any young person at Yawkey Club of Roxbury about your journey to what you are doing professionally today that has led you to this recognition?

Marvin McIntyre: I would say that a key for me was the staff at my Club. When I was 5 years old, shortly after the time that Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. had been assassinated, my mother dropped me off at the Club for the first time. I didn’t realize this until many years later, but when my mom dropped me off, she asked the staff at the Club to treat me as if I was their own child. This meant that if I was out of line, I received a talking-to and I was disciplined as a result. With this type of dynamic, I learned a tremendous amount from the staff at the Club. To me, Club staff members are the gatekeepers to success.

Young people at the Club can watch their mentors at the Club and learn from their example. You can’t do big thinking small, and the staff at the Club taught me how to think big. That is why they took us on field trips to New Hampshire, Maine, and Martha’s Vineyard. They would take us city kids to the beach for a day and show us the world beyond our neighborhood, and oh by the way, they fed us better than how we were fed at home.

Robert Lewis, Jr.: When you start thinking about the current state of the Boys & Girls Club, what are some of your hopes and dreams?

Marvin McIntyre: If you put kids in the company of excellence, in the company of winners, you will surround kids with the energy and the direction they need to become winners. Boston, as the home of some of the world’s leading academic institutions and most forward-thinking companies, has an abundance of excellence. We need to surround our youth with this talent and inspire them to follow suit.

When I was a boy and John O’Brien was at the Club helping me with my schoolwork, I didn’t know that he was the superintendent of schools. I was a METCO kid and I didn’t know who he was. But he was a winner, and he instilled the mindset and the habits of being a winner into me and the others he would tutor at the Club.

As we speak now, there are brilliant minds at all of the academic institutions across Boston who have volunteer hour requirements. We need to make sure we are funneling people like this into our Clubs and instilling the habits that led to their success onto our youth. Our young people can’t accomplish big things until they are taught to think big.

Marvin with Club members

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Robert Lewis, Jr.: As a national Trustee of Boys & Girls Clubs of America, as a Club kid from Boston who is now part of a national movement, what is expected from you? 

Marvin McIntyre: It is expected of me to market, promote, and bring resources to the brand. My job is to let folks know everywhere that the brand of Boys & Girls Clubs is an incredible brand. I know what the mission statement is, and ultimately I want to enable kids to be larger than life.

Robert Lewis, Jr.: Are there any specific moments from when you were a Club kid when you felt larger than life?

Marvin McIntyre: The biggest moment was when Ken Hudson pulled me out of the Club and brought me somewhere to eat. He took a liking to me because I was inquisitive and would ask a lot of questions. We took a quick trip down to a South End restaurant called Bob the Chef’s. He told me to eat while he went to a meeting at a different table in the restaurant. 

That meeting was with Senator Ed Brooks and Bill Russell. 

This stood out to me and I still haven’t forgotten it. Here’s this short African-American man from Coca-Cola having this meeting at Bob the Chef’s with a U.S. Senator and a Boston Celtics legend, and I said to myself, “I can do that one day.”

Marvin as a young Club member

Robert Lewis, Jr.: When you think back to when you were growing up, what are the things missing from our community today that Boys & Girls Clubs can either activate or reactivate in order to think big and act big for our young folks? 

Marvin McIntyre: Boston is considered the hub of the universe because there are more educational institutions and hospitals per square mile than any place in the world. As we speak, there are many successful college kids sitting on their fingers with nothing to do. We should focus on setting up a relationship with the colleges and universities that connect students with Clubs and provide them with opportunities to mentor Club kids and help them envision a different future for themselves.

I’m just the fourth person from Boston to ever be inducted into BGCA’s National Alumni Hall of Fame. I’ve asked former Yawkey Club of Roxbury Executive Director Roscoe Baker, “What made me different from other kids who came through Boston?” He said, “Marv, you put pressure on yourself as a kid to be a leader and not a follower.” We have to instill the same mindset in our young people today. 

Social media makes it incredibly challenging to do this. Who you follow is who you cherish. There are so many people out there who young people can follow, but they need to be following people who lead by example. I was able to look up to men like John O’Brien and Ken Hudson at the Club, and there are other men like these out there right now who want to come to Clubs and want to connect with young people. We need to seek them out. If you don’t ask for it, you won’t get it.

Robert Lewis, Jr.: Are there any habits that you formed as a Club kid that you are still carrying with you today?

Marvin McIntyre: My first job was at the Club as a locker room attendant. I was 15 years old. I chose to take this job as seriously as I could. I even gave myself a fancy title as the Director of Lockers. I told myself that if I’m going to wash these lockers, wash and fold these towels, and wax and strip these floors on weekends, then my locker room is going to look better than all the other lockers rooms out there. 

I developed an attention to detail through this process. When I was on the road traveling for swim meets and basketball games at South Boston, Charlestown, Woburn, and Arlington, I was examining their locker rooms too. When my teammates told me, “Marv, these locker rooms aren’t as nice as yours,” I took a lot of pride in that. This attention to detail has stuck with me throughout my career.

I also had a speech impediment. I used to stutter. I was quiet and I kept to myself to avoid getting bullied. In the same way that a blind person will develop exceptional hearing to compensate for their impairment, I developed exceptional observational skills. I became very good at recognizing important details that I could act on. As a result of this, I was selected for opportunities at the Club because I became known as someone who said less and did more

Marvin with award-winning rapper and record producer Jermaine Dupri

Robert Lewis, Jr.: What is your message to our staff? What do they need to know about Boys & Girls Clubs of Boston?

Marvin McIntyre: I would tell the staff, “You are the gatekeepers of our future. You are guiding our future leaders and our future winners every day with everything you do.” There’s a kid in Charlestown right now who is just like me. There is another kid Chelsea who is just like me. There is a kid in South Boston who is just like me. There are bright kids everywhere. The Clubs are a machine that churn out success, and the Clubs are a family that guide young people through every step of the process.

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