Why I Serve: An Interview with CA Board Member Tom O’Connor

newTomOConnorCOLBoardTom O’Connor stepped back into the boardroom at Columbia Association (CA) Headquarters this July, returning to a role he’d previously served in for a decade.

O’Connor had represented Dorsey’s Search on the CA Board of Directors, including a stint as the board’s chairman. He left in 2009, only to return this year after the departure of board member Tom Coale.

Why come back? “They asked me to,” O’Connor said, explaining that his familiarity with the workings of Columbia Association and the needs of Dorsey’s Search would allow him to step right in and get to work.

And O’Connor also stressed the importance of community service, a value instilled in him while he was attending the United States Military Academy in West Point, N.Y.

“That’s the whole DNA of the community,” O’Connor said. “It’s very gratifying to see that you’re making a better community for everybody who lives there.”

O’Connor has lived in many places, but decided to bring his family to Dorsey’s Search in 1987.

“We decided to raise our sons in a nice cul-de-sac type of community and give them some stability,” he said.

His sons are now 36 and 33, one a banker and the other a professional baseball player.

Tom O’Connor, meanwhile, is an outside sales manager for a company that works with the electronics industry.

The 62-year-old said he sees himself remaining with the CA board for a year or two. One issue he says is important is increasing cooperation between organizations in Howard County. He also wants to see the proposed Inner Arbor Plan for Symphony Woods come to fruition.

James Rouse had seen Symphony Woods as being the centerpiece of Columbia, O’Connor said.

“Now we have an opportunity to make it that,” he said.

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