CAMDEN Clark Perks, a former development consultant who worked for a New York firm serving nonprofits across the world, has been named director of development for the Battleship New Jersey.
Perks, 47, of Medford, has more than 28 years of experience in fundraising, client relations, technology, and journalism.
"I'm going to try to help raise money, identifying new potential donors and securing new gifts," Perks said. "We have a lot of fund-raising needs."
From 2008 to 2015, he worked for Comprehensive Prospect Research, which has served more than 300 nonprofits since 1993.
"It's exciting to have a professional of Clark's caliber cultivating donors, developing grant opportunities, and raising revenue for our nation's most decorated battleship," said Phil Rowan, chief executive officer of the Battleship New Jersey Museum and Memorial. "He will be a great resource for the future growth of the battleship."
Perks said the ship wants to open "a new engineering tour, part of the below-decks experience."
"We want to open the engine rooms and boiler rooms," he said. "We're also replacing our deck, and that will cost $8 million."
Perks previously worked for news organizations such as The Inquirer and the Wilmington News Journal.
He also held a variety of editorial and technology positions at the Camden Courier-Post. He was the online advertising manager, responsible for client relations and prospect development, and assistant managing editor, with supervisory responsibilities over journalists.
Now Perks will be working to keep "Big J" financially afloat.
"The battleship relies on the generosity of its donors," he said. "There are lot of things we can do with more support. We want to find more donors to help support us."
The Battleship New Jersey Museum and Memorial offers guided and audio tours from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays in March.
The new Turret II Experience guided tour leads guests five decks down to the bottom of the 16-inch gun turret.
Along the way, guests hoist projectiles, load powder bags, plot a firing solution on the analog computer, and pull the actual trigger to simulate the firing of the gun.
Guests complete their tour with a walk down "Broadway," the longest and most interesting passageway aboard the battleship.
The Turret II Experience tours begin at 11 a.m. every Saturday and Sunday. The price is $29.95 per person and reservations are recommended. To reserve a tour, call 866-877-6262, Ext. 108, or visit the battleship online at www.battleshipnewjersey.org. - Edward Colimore