Langley Shook Named President of CBMM

Langley Shook (366 x 400)The Board of Governors of the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum announced the election of Langley R. Shook as President of the Museum. Mr. Shook and his wife Karen are residents of St. Michaels, Md., and have been life members and long-time supporters of CBMM.

Stuart Parnes, who has been the Museum’s President for the past three-and-a-half years, has resigned to pursue other interests.

Mr. Shook, until his retirement in 2007, was a partner at the international law firm of Sidley Austin LLP in Washington, DC. He practiced law for 35 years, concentrating on complex civil litigation in addition to firm management responsibilities. Much of his legal work involved environmental issues. He has had a long interest in the history of the Eastern Shore and its maritime traditions.

“We are delighted that Langley has accepted our offer to become President of the Museum,” said Bob Perkins, Chairman of CBMM’s Board of Governors. “He has been associated with the Museum for many years and knows the institution very well. He brings excellent management skills and an understanding and appreciation for the resources of the Museum and the importance of its mission.”

Shook became a full time resident of St. Michaels two years ago after his retirement and having maintained his family home there for 21 years. He serves on the St. Michaels Nature Trail Committee, which is responsible for the construction of a pedestrian and bicycle path between the St. Michaels firehouse and Clinton Bradley Park on Railroad Avenue. He is a member of the Audubon Naturalist Society, the Maryland Native Plant Society, Choptank River Eastern Bay Conservancy, the Maryland League of Conservation Voters, and the Eastern Shore Land Conservancy, where he serves on the Land Conservancy’s conservation, land use planning, and long range planning committees. Shook starts his tenure as CBMM President effective immediately.

“I am honored and thrilled to be President of the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum, a place with which I’ve been associated for more than 20 years,” said Shook. “This unique institution is one of the treasures of the Eastern Shore, bringing visitors from all over the Mid-Atlantic region and beyond. I am excited to be offered a central role in fulfilling our potential to achieve great things. I look forward to going to work with our staff, dedicated volunteers, members, and supporters.”

Shook becomes the fourth President of CBMM since its founding in 1965. Jim Holt, became the first full-time director of the Museum in 1969. A 25-year veteran with the Honeywell Corporation, Holt was executive director of the Museum for 17 years. Holt retired in 1987 and was succeeded by John R. Valliant, who led the Museum as director, then President for 19 years. In 2006, Stuart Parnes became CBMM’s third institutional leader.

Accepting Stuart Parnes’s resignation, Chairman Perkins noted the accomplishments Parnes made during his time as Museum President.

“Stuart has guided the Museum with enthusiasm and broadened its programs,” said Perkins. “He has made an important contribution to the Museum and we wish him the best in his future endeavors.”

Shook takes the helm at the Museum with many strong programs, activities, and events underway. CBMM has an 18-acre waterfront campus with ten interactive exhibit buildings and a working boat yard. It has become known for its educational programs for adults and children, partnerships with area schools and summer camps for children, and public programs. CBMM’s OysterFest festival on November 7 saw an attendance of almost 2,000 people, and the Museum will be opening two new exhibitions in the first part of 2010, as well as a host of events on campus throughout the coming year.

For more information about the Museum, please visit their website at or call 410-745-2916.