LOUDONVILLE — Feb. 12 was the first day of work for newly hired Loudonville-Mohican Area Visitor's Bureau director Donn Larck (pronounced Lark).
Larck is a self-described specialist in the use of social media and digital technologies to promote products.
"I see the Mohican Visitor's Bureau position as a way to share the joy received as a child exploring all of Mohican, and as an adult enjoying kayaking, mountain biking, snowboarding, hiking and photography in this area," Larck said after two weeks on the job.
Growing up, Larck remembers rappelling and climbing the cliffs at Hemlock Falls. He also has a family connection to the Great Mohican Pow Wow, where his grandfather, a full-blooded Cherokee, was a regular performer for many years.
He also, as a fifth-grader in the Lexington Schools, enjoyed a session at the Mohican School in the Out-of-Doors in 1987.
After completing high school, Larck moved to Columbus where he started studies at Ohio State, but left them for a job with an exciting new company, Retagit.com, which built "Your Community Exchange," one of the greater Columbus area's first consignment stores with an online presence.
"We were selected as one of the best new businesses by Columbus Alive magazine in 2010, and then pivoted to the online auction field, eventually becoming Fast Track Auctions, which was the only online auction business to handle Amazon.com logistics east of the Mississippi," he said. "I built and led the team that developed the retail website platform Localloot.com, handling sales, logistics, marketing, web design, advanced analytics, customer service and technical development. Our website was built into Google's Big Commerce platform, and used ad-words, and Facebook business to reach $1 million in sales the year we launched.
"Five years ago my wife, Melanie, and our children, Bryson, 14, and Marley, 13, and I moved from Grandview to Ontario, mainly because it was a better place to raise our kids and to be near family. For five years I commuted to Columbus each day to work at Fast Track. When I saw the ad for the Mohican-Loudonville CVB position, I was immediately drawn to it because of my childhood love of the Mohican area, as well as my continued interest in outdoor pursuits, especially kayaking and mountain biking. Melanie, meanwhile, is the administrative secretary of Mansfield Memorial Park."
Larck said "my goal in this position is to utilize the tools I learned in the digital sales realm to implement a strategic campaign using social media to increase awareness of the recreational opportunities in the Mohican area.
We will still promote with products such as our visitor's guide, but want to increase our activity on multiple digital platforms, including Facebook and Instagram."
Among the things Larck said he can see himself doing "is taking a kayak trip and adding first person video using goPro, and interviewing area visitors at local events with the canon xa-35 commercial grade camcorder, about the same thing as TV stations use for news to capture Mohican in stellar HD. And I can't wait to video myself riding down steep hills along the 25 miles of the Mohican mountain bike trail. I can also envision using drone technology to develop aerial videos of area attractions. Foremost, I want to bring the joy I had playing in this area when I was growing up to everyone."
He said "I am a team person and I see myself as part of a team with all of the recreation enterprises in the area. I plan to participate in all of the special events this summer, and I will make a concerted effort to meet with each of our recreational entrepreneurs in the coming months."
Larck reports to the CVB board, including president Ann Bitner and past president Mark Smith.
"I had my initial interviews with Mark, and then was hired thru an interview with the board," he said.