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York’s David Cook: From the for-profit business world to nonprofit ministry

David Cook - (Photo / David O'Connor)

David Cook was just hoping to return as a volunteer for the York Rescue Mission when he met for breakfast this past spring with the mission’s top official.

After Cook and the nonprofit mission’s CEO, Matt Carey, had talked and told each other their stories, Carey offered Cook a job.

Cook, a 25-year veteran of the office-solutions industry, was the new director of operations and outreach for the evangelical York agency, which has won praise from York-area leaders for helping with city cleanup and other efforts.

The mission, which recently changed its name to LifePath Christian Ministries, also named Cook to run its well-known Economy Store, a block away from the agency’s headquarters on York’s West Market Street.

Cook had been in the business world for many years when he decided nine years ago, in his early 40s, to return to college to complete his undergraduate degree, from Lancaster Bible College. He graduated in 2010, and his hiring by Carey ended what Cook called a search to find God’s calling for his life.

Cook, now 51, is a Baltimore native who moved to Dallastown, York County, in 1994. He most recently was director of sales for Block Business Solutions of York, and earlier had been York regional manager for Phillips Office Solutions of Middletown.

He spoke with the Journal recently:

How is it going as manager of the Economy Store?

I was somewhat apprehensive about taking on this role, since I had no retail experience. But God knew exactly where I belonged. As I have learned, the job is about so much more than running a store. It is about serving people, treating them with respect and dignity, and helping them see that God … has a wonderful plan and purpose for their lives. I am truly blessed to have this amazing opportunity to impact the lives of so many people each and every day.

How has the transition been from the business world to the nonprofit/ministry world?

In 2006, I was working for the Phillips Group, which is now Phillips Office Solutions, as York branch manager, climbing the corporate ladder, but not really finding any fulfillment.

When you’re in the sales culture for 25, 26 years, it’s all about numbers, about seeing your name in lights, getting all of the awards and every month starting over again, because you’re only as good as your last month. So I decided to step out of my management position … and back down to a regular sales role so I could have more time to pursue my calling.

How do you now see your role at LifePath?

Giving hope to people who have no hope. My goal is that LifePath, and in particular the Economy Store, would be a shining light in downtown York and a beacon of hope for the lost and hurting in our community.

I also plan to build on the foundation that Matt has already established, by leveraging my relationships in the community to help form collaborations and partnerships where other organizations can come alongside LifePath and share in our vision.

What other organizations in the York area have you been involved with?

I have been active in Rotary since 1998, and am currently a member of the Downtown Club. I also serve as an ambassador for the York County Economic Alliance and also serve on the membership committee.

I also serve on the economic development committee for Downtown Inc, and on the board of directors for (York’s) Keystone Christian Academy. I have also been active with York City Special Events and have been attending Living Word Community Church in Red Lion since 2004.

How about family?

My wife, Pam, and I’m the proud father of one son, Wade, who is currently serving in the United States Air Force and is stationed in Aviano, Italy.

David O'Connor
Dave O'Connor covers York County, manufacturing, higher education, nonprofits, and workforce development. Have a tip or question for him? Email him at [email protected].

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