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Ken Hoover new president of Friends of Ocean City Pops - Ocean City Sentinel: Arts & Entertainment

Ken Hoover new president of Friends of Ocean City Pops

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Posted: Thursday, January 27, 2011 12:00 am

During a career spanning nearly 50 years, Ken Hoover has taught police how to dismantle bombs, worked as a mechanical engineer, and owned his own business. Now the 72-year-old resident of East Hempfield Township near Lancaster, Pa., and summer resident of Ocean City, hopes to put some of those skills to good use as the new board chairman of the Friends of the Ocean City Pops (FOCP), Inc.

This month, Hoover took the reins of the FOCP, an all-volunteer organization whose mission is to provide support for the famed Ocean City Pops Orchestra. He and his board of trustees have already established ambitious goals for the coming year.

“The Ocean City Pops is a cultural beacon for the city and the entire region,” Hoover said. “This wonderful orchestra – made up of nationally and internationally respected musicians – deserves our strong support.”

With Hoover at the helm, the FOCP’s 2011 priorities include:

– Launching a major fundraising campaign as part of a celebration of Music Director William Scheible’s 25th anniversary as maestro of the Ocean City Pops Orchestra;

– Recruiting greater numbers of volunteers for the Friends, which has no paid staff and which relies solely on volunteers for its non-profit mission;

– Providing additional funds for Pops mentoring programs in area schools and for additional chairs in music for the Orchestra; and

– Developing a student scholarship program and competition for local music students.

Hoover succeeds Seaville resident Barbara Fasy, whose two-year term ended in December.

After growing up in the Hummelstown/Hershey area and becoming an Eagle Scout, Hoover earned a bachelor of science degree in mechanical engineering from Bucknell University in 1961. From 1961 to 1964, he was in the U.S. Army as commanding officer of the 41st Ordnance (EOD) in Fort Carson, Colo.

“EOD stands for Explosives Ordnance Disposal, including chemical, biological, and nuclear disposal,” Hoover said. “We also trained police and firemen from all over Colorado and Wyoming in how to disarm bombs.”

The experience instilled in the FOCP’s board chair the importance of teamwork in tackling a project. “When you’re out there disarming a bomb, you want every team member’s input on how you’re going to do it,” he said.

After his discharge from the Army, Hoover worked from 1964 to 1977 at Armstrong Cork in Lancaster, where he was involved in plant engineering, project engineering, central purchasing and management systems engineering.

Then he ventured into business for himself, forming Lancaster Threaded Products, which manufactured threaded steel products, with 24 employees. He retired in 2005.

“You really learn management skills when you own your own business,” he said.

Hoover and his wife Phyllis have been vacationing in Ocean City since the late 1970s. It was his wife who first became involved in the Friends of the Ocean City Pops, and gradually got him to join her as a volunteer. A former board member of the Lancaster Chamber of Commerce and Industry, he is a board member of the Ocean City Yacht Club and an avid woodcarver, trout fisherman, hunter, and surf kayaker.

But with a copious agenda ahead for the Friends of the Ocean City Pops, Inc., Ken Hoover will probably be putting his many hobbies aside for the time being.

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