Maps are all the rage. Despite all of our GPS devices, Apple Maps, Google Maps and digital directions, good old-fashioned paper maps are surging in sales. And they’re much more than design and decorating trends.

People are actually using paper maps to get from point A to point B while driving, hiking and exploring. It’s proof that everything old is new again!

Perhaps you’ve heard of Purple Lizard Maps, a Pennsylvania-based company focused on outdoor recreational maps. And remember AAA maps? AAA reports paper map usage has surged over the past two years. Travel experts say it’s because maps provide greater context—i.e., the big picture. And because they’re tactile, users can study them for more than the few fleeting seconds that our digital devices provide.

It turns out, the Alliance is “in” on this trend!

We’re creating a map of sorts, in the form of a strategic plan for the Alliance. Just like a map, it’s a big picture view of Adams County. And we’ll use it to navigate the organization’s next 10 years into the future, for the county’s continued community, business and economic success, as well as an enhanced quality of life.

And we have a skilled trail guide by our side. We’ve partnered with Patrick Ball of CBY Professional Services, based in East Berlin, to chart our course. He’s been meeting with community and business leaders, asking questions, listening and leaning into their insights.

“The Alliance has a very strong reputation in the Adams County market as an organization that is here to attract and retain business and promote economic growth.  The team is well respected, accessible and involved in the community,” says Ball.

Several weeks ago, he led an Alliance board retreat. Through group discussions, we shared conversations and brainstorms about the Alliance’s mission, vision and more, from which he’s beginning to craft our master plan.

But the creation of a strategic plan isn’t just for us, our staff and board members. It’s for you too. It’s for the greater good of the Adams County community.

“The purpose of the strategic plan is to unify the organization around the foundational statements of the organization—mission, vision and values—and tie those to the future priorities in the form of strategic imperatives, goals and objectives,” says Ball. “All of these things together create a powerful tool for the board and staff, to ensure focus on priorities and appropriate use of resources, plus the best return on investment to the community.”

A strategic plan, like a map, is a way of studying the environment, connecting the dots, and moving forward. It’s a guide to aid our decision making. A plan focused on Adams County’s future. We are thankful to share in a strong partnership with the County of Adams Office of Planning and Development. With their assistance, we will learn where to focus on development and where to conserve and preserve.

Stay tuned! We look forward to sharing details of the strategic plan in the near future, to guide our community forward.

Robin Fitzpatrick is President of Adams Economic Alliance, which comprises three organizations: The Adams County Economic Development Corporation (ACEDC), the Adams County Industrial Development Authority (ACIDA) and the Adams County General Authority (ACGA). For more information, see, follow us on Facebook (, X, formerly Twitter (@AdamsAlliance), Instagram (@adamscountypa) and LinkedIn (@AdamsCountyPA), or contact us at 717-334-0042.

This article originally published in the Gettysburg Times, March 14, 2024