Charles J. Clark Jr. (Jim) Inducted 2009 - Class of 1953
Without complaint while working for Scholz Homes, Charles Clark continued his MBA program at The University of Miami while waiting for a donor to replace his failing kidneys. Seizing the opportunity to work for a firm on the cutting edge of dialysis, Charles participated in several clinical trials before receiving his transplant. Residential Florida development gave way to an opportunity to study at the Averill Harriman Campus of Columbia University and an appointment to the Brookings Institute in Washington, D.C. When asked about the Woodward Hall of Fame Nomination, Charles replied, ". . . I was consumed with wonderment as to why I would be nominated to such a prestigious position, but therein perhaps is the essence of recognition at work."
And now more of the story . . .
From the passion gained from an intriguing American History class at Woodward, Charles alternated his leisure hours immersed between Civil War research and the restoration of his '65
Mustang and a '72 Mercedes 450 SL. When the Clarks moved to Coral Gables, Florida, and the Biscayne Bay, their enthusiasm was focused on their 32-foot Islander Sloop, Crescendo. A later move to Dallas only temporarily interrupted their love of sailing. Crescendo was shipped by truck to Lake Texoma, where Charles became a past Commodore of the Cedar Mills Yacht Club. Somewhere in the Clark's sailing resume, their sloop was replaced with a 48-foot cutter rigged sloop.
The few written lines above are even more energetic when a past bout with renal failure and a kidney transplant were factored into the lives of the Clarks. In Charles' own words: ". . . After having been transplanted .. . I found the opportunity to go back to school full-time at the University of Miami and obtained a Master's Degree in Business and an appointment to the Brookings Institute. . . . I became a member of the Board of Directors of the South Florida Artificial Kidney Center, part of which I considered a personal payback. . . . I have always had two jobs both of which were professional, one paid the bills and the other helped people with renal failure . . . . "
Charles' timing was perfect when he went to work for the Cordis Dow Corporation, a private company that specialized in developing hollow fiber spinning technology that greatly improved kidney dialysis. Taking an early retirement package from Weyerhaeuser in 1991 enabled Charles to become a consultant to a company for over five years that built medical clinics for kidney dialysis.
Charles always looked to the future opportunities while never forgetting the past that shaped his potential. Charles' final quote: "... I was consumed with wonderment as to why I would be nominated to such a prestigious position, but therein perhaps is the essence of recognition at work. "
Charles' widow, Cathy, will be accepting the Hall of Fame Award on his behalf.