CONWAY — Carrie Nichols McLane Burkett, 33, has been hired for the new post of general manager at the North Conway Community Center.
Her first day was Aug. 6.
Burkett will serve with Executive Director Tim Scott, 63, of Jackson, who wants to concentrate more on building the center’s endowment as well as helping with public relations.
The hiring was made July 28 after a search committee interviewed candidates last month.
After an ad was placed in July, 25 people applied for the position. Fourteen were interviewed, with four people invited back before the offer was made to Burkett.
“I am thrilled,” beamed the 2004 Kennett High graduate in a recent interview.
Following the departure last year of former executive director Ryan Sommer to return to his hometown of Saco, Maine, Scott, who chaired the $1.5 million capital campaign to build the center in 2015, was hired as executive director.
Hired as program director was Ian Harmon, 22, who left earlier this year to pursue a degree in sports management, Scott saod.
“Carrie was the unanimous choice of the search committee and board of directors,” said Scott.
Members of that search committee were board members Molly Greenwood, Lynn Lyman and Ben Colbath and vice president Julie Cummings and secretary Monica Belkin, with board president Mark Miller also involved.
Burkett will focus on day-to-day operations and as a coordinator of programs with a team of volunteer coaches overseeing youth programs.
“We are going to be looking for volunteer coaches so I can coordinate everything,” said Burkett, who has a degree from the University of Vermont in food and nutrition and has worked for non-profit organizations.
Most recently she was a reading specialist at Molly Ockett Middle School in Fryeburg, Maine. Prior to that, she taught at the Robert Frost Charter School in Conway.
She is the granddaughter of the late Malcolm McLane, one of five founders of Wildcat Ski Area, as well as the late state Sen. Susan McLane. Her aunt is U.S. Rep. Annie Kuster (D-N.H.).
Raised in Jackson, she is the daughter of Alice and Alan McLane.
At Kennett, she was on the girls cross-country ski team and more recently has been a member of the all-women Tuckerettes team in the Friends of Tuckerman Inferno Pentathlon. Burkett and her husband, Matt Burkett, have long been involved in local community events.
She said she is going to be seeking feedback from the community about what type of programs they would like to see developed at the community center.
In addition to sports and activities like pickleball and basketball for adults, the center offers many programs for children, but she would like to see the center utilized even more for programming and talks.
She and Scott noted that with the Cranmore Fitness Center soon to close, the NCCC may expand its weight room.
Senior exercise programs and yoga are other possibilities.
It’s also a great place for a meeting by other groups, with candidates also using the facility, as presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders did on Wednesday.
“The more programs we can offer here, the better it is for the community,” said Burkett.
The facility features a gym as well as an industrial kitchen; a game room with a ping-pong table and pool table and a multipurpose room seats up to 45 people and a board room which accommodates a dozen, both with audio visual capacity; and the exercise/weight room. It hosts outdoor craft fairs and is one of the three primary presenters of the annual World Championships of Mud Football, set for Sept. 6-8 at Hog Coliseum behind the center.
Scott said that successful fundraising has also enabled the center to pay off its construction loan and mortgage last month.
He said the center annually receives support from Conway voters in the form of a $65,000 warrant article at town meeting, representing slightly more than a quarter of the nonprofit center’s annual $200,000 budget.
The center includes an outdoor facility, the Sprague Playground. It also maintains public restrooms at the center and at the neighboring New England Ski Museum Eastern Slope annex, which is housed in the 1949-built former North Conway Community Center that was built by late North Conway benefactor/Cranmore developer Harvey D. Gibson.
Hours are 9 a.m.-7 p.m., Monday-Friday, and 11 a.m.-5 p.m. on Saturdays. Pickleballers have access to the facility Sundays as they run their own programs, Scott said. For further information, call (603) 356-2096 or northconwaycommunitycenter.com.