Alter is part of drive to find emerging leaders

November 20, 2006|by MARLO BARNHART

HAGERSTOWN - As one of only a few United Way board members younger than 30 years old, Trey Alter is leading a drive to change things.

Armed with a $5,000 grant from the Sovereign Bank Foundation, Alter and a group of young business leaders are making a first step toward establishing an Emerging Leaders Society in Washington County.

According to Alter, vice president of the United Way of Washington County, there will be an inaugural reception Monday at L.J.'s Restaurant on Conrad Court. The reception begins at 5:30 p.m.

In a letter to likely participants, Alter, 28, describes the effort as a way for individuals in their 40s and younger to become part of the philanthropic and volunteer leadership in the community.


"It is our responsibility to continue the great efforts of those who laid the foundation for success in Washington County," Alter said in the letter.

He said that emerging leaders are not only leaders of tomorrow but of today, and as a group must begin to move forward and assume an active role in Washington County.

"If my generation doesn't step up, who will?" Alter asked.

Born and raised in Washington County, Alter graduated from Saint James School and Drew University in Madison, N.J. He earned his master's degree in finance at Mount St. Mary's in Emmitsburg, Md.

"I was recruited by James Taylor, former United Way executive director," Alter said. "It was an opportunity for me to contribute to my community."

Alter and his wife, Alaina, will be at the reception to meet with other emerging leaders and learn together how to get involved in improving lives through the United Way of Washington County.

"I understand John Barr's son, Johnny, and his wife are interested, and they're about my age," Alter said. "Spouses are welcome."

The letter generated a good response, but Alter said he hopes to have a core group of around 50.

He said that the age of 40 is no clear cutoff and those who are older and willing to actively contribute are very welcome.

Alter, who is associated with Dynacorp Inc., said he has found his affiliation with United Way to be very rewarding.

In addition to his United Way duties, Alter is on the board of the Hagerstown YMCA and Big Brothers/Big Sisters. For more information on the Emerging Leaders Society, call Alter at 301-797-1217 or send e-mail to

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