MOULTONBOROUGH — The Board of Directors of Castle Preservation Society, owner and operator of Castle in the Clouds in Moultonborough, has elevated Charles Clark, its former Operations Director, to the position of Executive Director as of October 1, filling the position left vacant by the abrupt departure of Michael Desplaines last spring.
Charles "Chuck" Clark was hired by Mr. Desplaines in September of 2013 as Operations Director. He is a 2001 graduate of The Ohio State University, graduating with honors in Psychology and a minor in French. For ten years, prior to coming to the Castle, he was responsible for leading various aspects of the Guest Relations team at COSI, the nationally recognized science center in Columbus, Ohio, most recently acting as director of that department. He lives in Tuftonboro with his wife Kristen and their two young children.
After the departure of Mr. Desplaines last spring there was some concern the Castle might have a difficult season. However, Clark was named Interim Executive Director; the transition was smooth; and the Castle enjoyed a very successful summer. "I don't know of any other time when the Board has worked so well together and with its talented staff" said CPS President John Merkle, "there was no sense of panic, and all felt we were in fact offered a great opportunity."
Over the winter season Clark had learned the basics of the Castle business--which is seasonal, highly weather sensitive, and with many separate elements including weddings, award winning cafe, fundraising events, and the Lucknow Museum and grounds. He had not, however, experienced the operation during its intense summer season. This was a long and tiring summer, with many special events to celebrate Lucknow's centennial. Despite being down one crucial member of the team, Clark and all the staff worked smoothly together and devoted many extra hours in order to achieve another successful year.
With Clark ably running the operation, the Board duly established a search committee and began the arduous work of looking for a new Executive Director. Acknowledging that Clark was a strong candidate, the Board asked him to submit proposals for restructuring, and ideas for improvements to the existing operation. By the end of the season it was clear to the Board that they had their new Director in Chuck Clark. "I was extremely impressed" Merkle said, "by the way Chuck put together the organizational chart and salary structures."
On being informed of the Board's decision Clark said, "I am very excited at the opportunity to lead the Castle operation forward. The staff has a lot of positive momentum and I think we and the Board are poised to make great progress. It is unique for a town as small as Moultonborough to have such a major attraction. I am really looking forward to working with the town, with the LRCT, and other organizations in the Lakes Region to make this the crown jewel of the region."
The Castle Preservation Society is a not for profit corporation dedicated to the restoration, preservation and interpretation of the Lucknow estate and to the operation of Castle in the Clouds. The full Castle operation will be open every day until closing for the season on October 26. It will be open for several post season events such as Murder Mystery dinners, October 31 and November 1, and Christmas at the Castle,November 21, 22, 23, and November 28, 29 and 30. For information on Castle in the Clouds, call 476-5900 or visit the web site: www.castleintheclouds.org.