Longtime employee and Interim Executive Director steps into role
Cuttingsville, VT— 9/30/2022 — The Board of Trustees of Spring Lake Ranch announce that longtime employee, Rachel Stark, is the new Executive Director, starting today, September 30, 2022.
“I knew when I joined the Ranch 15 years ago that it was a special place,” says Stark. “It's given my life meaning and purpose, and I will do my utmost to help the staff and residents find their own purpose here.”
Stark has a MBA in Corporate Finance from Fordham University and a BA in Economics from Fordham College. She worked in finance for 16 years before being hired by the Ranch as a House Advisor in 2007. In 2009, Stark took over the admissions’ process at the Ranch and became Director of Operations in 2019. At the beginning of 2022, Stark accepted the role of Interim Executive Director after the previous director, Brian Hansen, stepped down.
Speaking on behalf of the Board of Trustees, Board Secretary Alissa Johanssen-Rubin says, “In the 90 years since Spring Lake Ranch was founded, it has had only a handful of executive directors. Every one of them, like the Ranch itself, has a unique and remarkable history. Each one has brought something new to the Ranch, ensuring that the organization continues to evolve with the times and adapt to the changing difficulties faced by those who come to live and heal here, as well as their families and loved ones.
Despite those changes, the heart of what Spring Lake Ranch stands for and what its Board of Trustees seeks in an executive director today is very much what past boards have sought as well: a person with both strategic vision and compassion, along with a deep commitment to the Ranch as a community and to the Work Program that forms the core of its therapeutic approach. The board also seeks a person who shares the philosophy that has been integral to Spring Lake Ranch's ethos since day one, that in every person—no matter how great their emotional and mental health challenges—there lies an unlimited capacity to find their path in life, make the choices that feel right to them, and contribute to the community in which they live.
With such a list of required attributes, it has often been extraordinarily hard for the Board of Trustees to find a person who could possibly live up to them. This time, we were lucky to have a great candidate right in our midst, a person who has proved over and over that no matter how hard the challenge, she is ready to take it on and give her all. We were lucky, too, that she is a person with deep experience in all of Spring Lake Ranch's workings—from scheduling weekend shifts and working on budgets, to strategic planning and talking young staffers through difficult situations, not to mention the most essential, spending time—whatever it takes—with residents who are having tough days.
That person is Rachel Stark.”