A former U.S. Army combat engineer now enrolled at Unity College and a higher education professional with a master’s degree in student personnel and 20 years’ experience in recreation and tourism make up the new leadership team at Lake George Regional Park.

Darryll White, 59, of Skowhegan, takes over this week as the new chief administrator at the park, which straddles the town line separating Canaan and Skowhegan on U.S. Route 2.

Justin Spencer, 28, of Fairfield, who did two combat tours in Afghanistan, is the new park resource manager, a seasonal position for now.

White fills a position left vacant with the departure of Bob McGorty, who was appointed park director in 2016, taking over for Jeff McCabe.

“I feel we’re a good match,” White, who serves on the board of directors of Main Street Skowhegan and the Kennebec Valley Tourism Council, said Wednesday at park headquarters on the Canaan side of the lake. “His focus (is) on organizational skills and the leadership experience he’s picked up on the ground, and I’m a bit of an initiator and a visionary, so it’s a good combination.”

The park, which receives about 25,000 visitors each year, operates on an annual budget of about $110,000, which they hope to expand this year and next.

Revenue sources include park passes, daily park fees and building rental, along with various fundraising events and grant funding whenever possible, including a recent Maine Community Foundation grant for $10,000 to craft a strategic and capital plan, according to a park news release.

Heather Kerner, newly named president of the Lake George Regional Park board of directors, called the park, now in its 26th year of operation, “a gem unique to our central Maine region.”

She said the park serves as a “third space for community members to gather away from the home and workplace, for health, recreation, and enjoyment of each other in nature.”

Plans for the upcoming season include capital improvements to park infrastructure, expanding Camp Podooc day camp enrollment for area youth, renewing a park concession on the East Side of the lake, inviting food trucks during the summer months, printing a revised trail map, procuring a fleet of boats for an hourly boat rental program and increasing weekly nature-based programming, according to a park news release.

White said his experience includes founding a company called Bike and Roll in 1998 in San Francisco, initially involving bicycle and rollerblade recreation, that evolved into bikes and Segways and ultimately a national cooperative in Washington, D.C.; Chicago; New York; and Miami.

He was born and went to high school in Connecticut and graduated from Plymouth State University in New Hampshire. He earned his master’s degree at Slippery Rock University in Pennsylvania.

“I’ve enjoyed my experiences in the city and I’ve lived in a large number of the major U.S. cities, but I’ve also lived in a number of very rural areas … and very much enjoyed those experiences,” White said. “It was a conscious choice to come back to New England and to live in Maine.”

He lives in Skowhegan with his wife, Genie, a medical assistant at Redington-Fairview General Hospital in Skowhegan.

“We invested in the town in part by moving to the town,” White said. “There’s some great people here. That was also in part why we moved here.”

Spencer said his duties as park resource officer will be dealing with the community, park visitors and summer interns while reporting to White and the board of directors.

He said he is prepared for the challenge because of his experience in the Army and his current studies in conservation law enforcement at Unity College.

“I was in the military for just under five years, from 2009 until 2014,” Spencer said. “Those responsibilities and having a good head on my shoulders and being mentally tough, I imagine, help.”

He said having leadership and supervisory roles as a specialist while in the military also will help with his job at the park. A specialist is equivalent in rank to a corporal.

Spencer lives with his wife, Emily, in Fairfield, with two children and one on the way.

Most recently, he served as a dispatcher and security officer at Colby College and an outdoor wilderness leader for the Unity College Nova program, where he guided 10 to 12 first-year students on five-day expeditions throughout Maine, according to a release by the park board.

The public will have an opportunity to meet the new staff at the first annual Community Volunteer Weekend from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, with a community potluck supper to conclude each workday at 5 p.m. in the West Side Social Hall.

Gates open for the season on May 25.

Doug Harlow — 612-2367

[email protected]

Twitter:@Doug_Harlow