News | November 13, 2015

Bookseller Chris Loker Named Trustee at the Eric Carle Museum

Amherst, MA (November 12, 2015)—The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art is pleased to announce four new members to its Board of Trustees: Kate Geis, William Gorth, Chris Loker, and John Mendelson. All four members join a diverse board of professionals who oversee The Carle’s strategic and fundraising goals while striving to raise awareness and support of museum programs. Each new member brings diverse talents and new perspectives to the Museum.

The Carle, now almost 13, is a national resource for picture books, offering unparalleled artistic, cultural, and educational resources. “We are delighted to welcome these four new members who will support and guide the museum as we embark on an exciting new phase of growth, including partnerships with major museums around the country,” said Chairman of the Board, Christopher B. Milne. “Their experience and connections will be a great help to us as we continue to build our endowment and raise awareness of this important institution,” said Milne.

Kate Geis of Northampton, MA is an Emmy-award winning filmmaker who has produced and directed programming for WNET - Channel Thirteen, History Channel, A&E, and most recently the critically acclaimed documentary Paul Taylor: Creative Domain.  Over the past 20 years her subject matter has been a diverse exploration of people’s lives: Saturday Night Live’s set design team, public school principals, and Eric Carle. Geis has been associated with The Carle for several years, producing The Museum’s virtual tour and more recently, guided gallery tours of major Carle exhibitions. She also produced the award-winning Eric Carle: Picture Writer, The Art of the Picture Book.

William Gorth, of Amherst, MA, was recently reelected to The Carle’s Board of Trustees. Gorth retired as president of National Evaluation Systems, which he co-founded in 1972 and sold to Pearson in 2006. Headquartered in Hadley, Massachusetts, National Evaluation Systems provides state-specific teacher certification testing around the country. Gorth brings over 30 years of experience to the design and management of large-scale, high-stakes testing programs. Prior to starting the company, Gorth served as a faculty member at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst for five years, teaching graduate and undergraduate courses and seminars. Gorth had served as a trustee of The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art from 2005 to June 2012.   

Chris Loker, of San Francisco, CA, is the proprietor of Children's Book Gallery, an antiquarian children's bookshop in San Francisco. Loker began a career with picture books after working for 25 years in corporate human resources, working for Bank of America, Levi Strauss, and Universal Studios. Loker’s last corporate position was Senior Vice President of Human Resources at Charles Schwab in San Francisco. Loker has authored several books including the award-winning publication One Hundred Books Famous in Children’s Literature, and two picture books, In Awhile, Crocodile (2012) and Sapphire Starfish (2013. Alastair Acorn will be published in 2016. Loker curated The Grolier Club’s milestone public exhibition One Hundred Books Famous in Children's Literature that closed in February.  

John Mendelson, of Lincoln, MA, is Senior Vice President of Sales at Candlewick Press. John oversees all sales activities for North America. He also sits on the board of the Walker Books Group, parent company to Candlewick Press and Walker Books UK and Australia. Prior to joining Candlewick, Mendelson worked as director of trade sales at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt in Boston, where he worked for more than a decade in a variety of sales positions. John is the father of two young boys who are on their way to becoming avid readers.


The mission of The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art, a non-profit organization in Amherst, MA, is to inspire a love of art and reading through picture books. The only full-scale museum of its kind in the United States, The Carle collects, preserves, presents, and celebrates picture books and picture book illustrations from around the world. In addition to underscoring the cultural, historical, and artistic significance of picture books and their art form, The Carle offers educational programs that provide a foundation for arts integration and literacy. 

Eric Carle and the late Barbara Carle founded the Museum in November 2002. Eric Carle is the renowned author and illustrator of more than 70 books, including the 1969 classic The Very Hungry Caterpillar. Since opening, the 40,000-square foot facility has served more than half a million visitors, including 30,000 schoolchildren. Its extensive resources include a collection of more than 10,000 picture book illustrations, three art galleries, an art studio, a theater, picture book and scholarly libraries, and educational programs for families, scholars, educators, and schoolchildren. Educational offerings include professional training for educators around the country. Museum hours are Tuesday through Friday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday 12 noon to 5 p.m. Open Mondays in July and August and during MA school vacation weeks. Admission is $9 for adults, $6 for children under 18, and $22.50 for a family of four. For further information and directions, call 413-658-1100 or visit the Museum’s website at