About Me

Elizabeth Clark

"I see a little girl tonight. She reads a book about faraway places and she dreams of America where she’d like to go. She reads about these white cold powdery tiny things falling from the sky called snow, so she says she’d like to see and touch some snow! It is a  crazy and simple dream she throws to the air. And from then on she dreams of things and places far from her reach.  She strives and is helped along the way. Tonight she stands before you, this girl who grew up in a far away tropical country called the Philippines. Now she’s here in the US, living in a charming city called Mansfield, Ohio owning and managing a lodging facility by a ski resort, nominated for and won the Small Business of the Year Award! Isn’t that something?! So she got her wish –but more than what she wished for. She never thought that she would be shoveling piles of snow on decks and porches, salting hills and driveways, and driving her jeep to shuttle her guests to and from their cottages on stormy winter days…”

Elizabeth Camacam Clark, made a surprising impromptu acceptance speech one evening in November 2010 infront of over two hundred business people when called as the winner of the Small Business Of the Year Award in Female & Minority Category.  She made the audience smile, laugh, and almost cry with her candid and heartfelt words.

 Elizabeth, once a resident of Santiago, Isabela, is a true testimony that hard work, dedication and determination pay off.  Her journey to success began at South Central School, La Salette High School and College as a consistent honor student of her class. Her early years was one of hardship and struggle, growing up with seven siblings with a father who worked  as a public school teacher and government employee, and a stay home mother. She recalls during her elementary and high school days walking with her friends some eight kilometers to school on hot days with her umbrella and often not taking recess or lunch for not having money and would instead spend her breaks at the library reading books.  At a very young age in elementary she already had the entrepreneurial spirit selling snacks to her classmates that her mother made, all the way to college selling Avon products.  Elizabeth demonstrated not only academic excellence but also leadership qualities heading her school papers and yearbooks.  She graduated in 1985 with a Business degree in Accounting, and passed the CPA board two years later.

In her desire to land into a much-coveted entry position in a top accounting firm in the country, she headed to Manila, and she met some passionate and wonderful Christians in the Lord’s Recovery.  She experienced a spiritual awakening and rebirth, so instead of pursuing to work in a big company in glamorous Makati City, she instead attended  two years of  humbling and joyful Life & Truth Training in the smokey Malabon City.  After her spiritual training she decided to go back to her home province and helped pioneer the raising up of churches and taking care of the new brothers and sisters.  While serving the churches, to help with the financial needs, she worked as head of a government agency, taught Accounting classes in a nearby college, and held Christian morning programs in two local radio stations.

After a few years of both serving and working, she was introduced over the phone to a brother in faith in the United States, named Jim Clark, and had a 6-month courtship period through letters.  Jim wrote and sent her a poem a day for 30 days in the mail so when he asked her to marry him, she answered “Yes” even without seeing him yet.  When Jim came to the Philippines in August 1998 to see her for the first time, the wedding was already set which she arranged and prepared for her bridegroom. She in her daring spirit and faith moved to the United States in 1999 to be with her husband. With the support of a loving church environment she did not have a hard time adjusting to a new culture, a new weather, a new life. For a few years she worked as office assistant in her husband’s  tax and accounting firm. She gave birth to their son in 2003, and faithfully fulfilled her roles as mother, wife, and business partner.

In 2006, when their house in Anaheim, California appraised high in value with the real estate boom, Elizabeth saw the opportunity and initiated the using of the equity to invest in income-producing properties.  She found Spruce Hill on the internet that was up for sale and told her husband to fly to Ohio to check it out.  A few weeks later they bought this 23 acre piece of beautiful rolling land that has 3 big houses and 14 duplex chalets. At first, her husband did not have any interest at all, not wanting to leave California where he lived for many years, but she in her convincing adventurous spirit was able to talk him into purchasing it and even made him move to a far away state. . 

Elizabeth, without any formal hotel management education, jumped right into the daily operations of Spruce Hill. She worked by herself for the first two years, as her husband still had his tax business to take care of in California. She made a lot of upgrades and improvements to the property.  She had aggressively promoted the facility to churches, companies, ski groups, families, and schools.  She came up with several attractive room packages which cross-promoted the services and products of other local businesses, such as restaurants and recreation centers.  She actively had involved herself with housekeeping and hosting duties to ensure that Spruce Hill would deliver an excellent service to their guests. 

Elizabeth believes that she and her family are brought to Mansfield, Ohio for a purpose, and Spruce Hill fell into their hands for good reasons.  She feels in her heart that she has a mission to accomplish, and a vision to carry out.  Her vision of Spruce Hill is to not only serve as a traditional lodging facility, but also as Ohio’s Retreat & Training Center, where people’s lives are touched and changed through both spiritual and business education.  She has her eyes staring at a “Wealth, Health & Happiness Academy” rising in the premises, patterned and inspired by the principles and activities of the Life & Truth Training she experienced in the Philippines. She wants to train young Christian men and women with the support of the business community, local families, and the church. Her personal mission in life is to help the youth become significant by equipping them for every good work that they in turn help others become as well significant.  Significance for her is when she helps someone else Be, Do, or Have more than they thought possible. She dreams of a legacy that will ripple through time and impact generations to come.  

America is a nation founded by the newly arrived, like Elizabeth. She, too as an immigrant appreciates the promise of opportunity.  She has given her energy and entrepreneurial acumen, now becoming part of the fabric of the American economy.