Polaris, the North Star, is the brightest star in the entire constellation. That’s where the expression about “our north star” comes in—we use it to refer to something that guides us.

It is only fitting that one of our most dedicated, long-serving Alliance volunteers is named Pete North. He’s a shining star in my book! And it’s also fitting that we talk about stars during this holiday season!

Pete began serving on the ACEDC Board of Directors more than 10 years ago, in 2009. He is a “do-er,” always bringing new ideas to the table, but then pushing up his sleeves to put them into action. He has an incredible knack for organization. Several years ago, he created a master spreadsheet detailing our board succession process—a project he oversaw as chair of our Nominating, Bylaws and Policy Committee.

In his role as Executive Director of Auxiliary Service at Gettysburg College, Pete has enriched the close relationship between the college and the Alliance. Gettysburg College, as a key economic development player in our community, has been involved in the Alliance since the late 1990s when Lex McMillan and Victoria Dowling served on our board. We are grateful for the college’s financial commitment as well—year after year, they are a key investor in our mission (to create and retain jobs and contribute to a stable tax base to support our local economy).

Pete stepped into a leadership role as Vice Chair of our Executive Committee in 2018. While we congratulate Pete on his upcoming retirement from Gettysburg College, we are happy that he will continue serving on the Alliance board a little longer!

When we asked Pete to provide a few anecdotes we could weave into this column, his first response was a humble, “There are plenty of others much more worthy and deserving of being featured.” Those are words that make leaders truly great people!

Volunteers are indeed the lifeblood of our organization, like many others throughout Adams County. We are truly thankful for each and every volunteer who bring incredible skills, knowledge, time and energy to our committees and boards. We simply couldn’t exist without them.

The Alliance also would not exist without investors—individuals and businesses of all sizes who contribute financially to ensure our organization can continue fostering Adams County’s healthy, balanced economic growth for the benefit of all county residents, communities, organizations and businesses alike. The Alliance is currently welcoming returning and new investors, as well as volunteers like Pete, for 2021! (See adamsalliance.org for more information or to reach out to us!)

Pete does a beautiful job of summarizing the rewards, in terms of the impact he sees the Alliance making upon the county:

“Reflecting on the accomplishments of the Alliance, I feel it’s important for people to understand the various roles the organization plays in the life of Adams County. Chief among them is responsible land use development in coordination with each of the county’s municipalities, townships and boroughs. The Alliance has played an integral role in facilitating funding sources for new entrepreneurs and small businesses, loans which assist county farms to expand or purchase new equipment, and most recently becoming involved with assisting the county with distributing COVID-19 relief money.”

When asked to recall one of his biggest highlights from his tenure on the board, I thought Pete might respond by saying, “Working with you and Kaycee, of course!” But alas, he didn’t. I share this because, in addition to Pete’s many favorable qualities, he has a fantastic sense of humor too! Can I get an “Amen” about how important humor is?

His actual highlight: “Job creation and retention especially when the economy was struggling.” Pete’s a great guy.

Stars don’t just produce light—they reflect it too. So it’s appropriate that Pete North wanted to include these final few words:

“I am continually amazed at how much the Alliance continues to do for Adams County with such a small staff. In particular, Robin and Kaycee seem to know everyone in the local community and they go above and beyond to help if they can. The breadth and depth of their knowledge has contributed to their work with county planning as well as several local commissions and task forces, all working to make Adams County a truly wonderful community in which to work and live.”

Thank you, Pete, and thank you to all volunteers and investors. We appreciate you and look forward to a bright 2021 thanks to your gifts.