Below is a statement from Mark Fritz:
My resignation: Though I had considered finishing out my tenure on my anniversary date of April 1, 2024 that changed after my meeting with board members after the August Executive session. After an appropriate period of deliberation considering their date and my promise to the Executive Committee to give fair notice, I arrived at the decision agreeing to resign as Executive Director of Ariel- Foundation Conservancy effective November 1, 2023. Please know that I maintain a high level of respect for all the board members and staff that I have had the great fortune to work with over the years. I have been proud to work for Ariel-Foundation Conservancy; it has been a journey providing some extremely interesting mountains to climb while building strong relationships with folks.
As such, I have decided to utilize my finely honed executive skills and become a professional pirate. It has always been a dream of mine to become a swashbuckling corsair, beholden to no one and the master of all I survey. Once my crew of unabashed rogues is assembled, we’ll take to the capacious expanse of the high seas to pursue fortune, fame and hair-raising adventures. This new career path I intend to pursue may not be filled with the porcine comforts and technological support that currently exists at our new office at 208 Pittsburgh Avenue in Mount Vernon, Ohio, but I shall nonetheless move assertively to carve out a name for myself and those who join me in the annals of bold insurgency and death-defying derring-do such as Black Beard or William Kidd. Once I have my blade on my hip and the Jolly Roger flying freely above me on the mainmast the wind will take me wherever I am meant to be. Admittedly, my pursuit of this new vocation hasn’t been vetted by my wife who simply mentioned she wanted to go on a cruise! Our 8 kids and/or any of the 15 grandkids, also, weren’t consulted. But as the captain of my ship many of the positions will be offered through familial patronage and passing a test in speaking ‘pirate.’ Ultimately though and in all seriousness – thank-you for this opportunity! So many goals met. A small sampling such as the Schnormeier Event Center being a much better venue/structure today through unwavering board support which included installing Fans, enclosing the south side, and FINALLY – after multiple false starts, anxious moments and many sleepless nights – completing the fire suppression project which gave us full occupancy privileges by the state; purchased property, demolished and developed – working through tragedy – a viable service garage and park office; designed and built Harmony Playground at Memorial Park; working in concert with the Tree Commission improved multiple areas of this 250 acre jewel of a park, and so much more too numerous to mention. With all of this we balanced providing weddings, reunions and entertainment to thousands of people before, during, and after COVID. In short, I guess I fulfilled what I was asked to do. Time to go.
Respectfully, Mark K Fritz (AKA Mark at the Park)