AOAA appointees have business backgrounds, interest in outdoors
SUNBURY - Appointees to the newly-formed Northumberland County Anthracite Outdoor Adventure Area (AOAA) Authority are committed to making the off-highway vehicle park a revenue-generating facility, while providing enjoyment to outdoor enthusiasts.
David L. Crowl
"I believe the AOAA will create a positive change for the county and I am willing to work together with other members of the authority for the betterment of the area," said David L. Crowl, of Elysburg, who was appointed Monday morning to a one-year term on the authority.
The 57-year-old Crowl has served as president of Kenneth Crowl Inc., a contractor in Elysburg, since 1976. He is an accredited professional in leadership energy and environmental design and a graduate of the International Masonry Institute and Bloomsburg University, where he earned a master's degree in business administration.
Crowl serves as secretary of the Pennsylvania Association of Conservation Districts, chairman of Northumberland County Conservation District and contractor director for Northumberland County Agland Preservation.
He is a volunteer and youth ATV safety instructor for the state Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) and served as a Ralpho Township supervisor from 1984 to 1994 and public safety director for the township from 1984 to 1988.
Crowl is a four-term president of the Masonry Contractor Association of Central Pennsylvania.
He enjoys riding ATVs, hunting and kayaking and is a member of the American Chestnut Foundation.
Patrick Mack, county planning and industrial development director, who was appointed to the authority for a five-year term, said, "I think there is an adequate amount (five) of members on the board. We all know each other and have worked together in developing the AOAA. It's an honor and a humbling experience to be selected to the authority. It's good to know the commissioners have confidence in all of us to do a good job."
Mack, 31, of Sunnyside, was appointed planning director in 2010 after serving as vice president of operations for Shamokin Carbons in Coal Township since 2003.
He has assisted planning department grants manager Kathy Jeremiah in spearheading the AOAA project.
Jim Backes, 50, of Coal Township, was appointed to the authority for a three-year term. He is director of operations for GDK Development Inc., a franchisee of Burger King Restaurant.
Backes, who has worked for GDK Development for 30 years, stated, "It's an honor to be on the authority. I think the AOAA is a great opportunity to preserve one of our local natural resources. Through proper development of the AOAA, I believe we can make this attraction an economic boost for the entire area, while providing a safe place for local and out-of-the-area people to participate in outdoor activities.
Backes has hunted on the AOAA property for approximately 30 years and also enjoys riding ATVs.
He believes a five-member authority is sufficient.
"I look forward to working with other members of the authority in a positive and productive manner," Backes said.
Michael Schwartz, 65, of Trevorton, was appointed to the authority for a four-year term.
Schwartz is the manager and vice president of FNB Bank, Shamokin. He has worked in the banking and consumer discount professions for 41 years.
"I am honored by the appointment," he said. "I am confident the AOAA will be successful and help the economy in the area," he said.
Schwartz also is an outdoor enthusiast and has participated in events previously held at the AOAA.
Barry Yorwarth, 55, of Paxinos, was appointed to the authority for a two-year term.
He has been involved for the past five years in the county's formal development of the AOAA, but has been a supporter of an off-highway vehicle park in the region for 15 years.
"I'm very happy to see the authority formed," Yorwarth said. "It's a long time coming. I will do everything I can to make the AOAA a success for the entire anthracite region."
He's confident a five-member authority will work.
"If the county runs with three commissioners, why can't we operate with five members?" he asked.
The appointments become effective Jan. 1, 2013.