Leadership Delaware County '20
Name: Alex Christy
Hometown: West Chester, PA
Position: Constituent Relations
Company: Pennsylvania State Senate, Office of Senator Tim Kearney
Length of time you have been with your company: 10 months
Briefly describe your journey, noting both personal milestones and obstacles you may have faced along the way.
My journey is typical—went to college, graduated, worked, didn’t know what I wanted to do, went back to college, graduated, worked, still don’t know what I want to do. Maybe I should go back to college? I have taught, worked for big companies, non-profits, and government. I am proud of a lot of things at all of those stops. The thing I am most proud of is the friendships and all the couches I can sleep on if I am ever passing through. Those are the people that have supported me and I them. I know their kids, which, by the way, is helpful of you ever need someone to feed your cat when you’re away. I have been in their weddings, slept in the woods with them, and we have shared endless meals. They are part of my journey as much as I am theirs. And I think that is what I am most proud of.
How did you hear about LDC and why did you sign up to take part in it?
In a previous job, I worked with Jacqueline Gardner. She made me aware of the opportunity. It seemed like a great way for me to grow and connect with others across Delaware County.
What inspires you? How does that inspiration play into your professional life?
There is this insight I once read that has long stayed with me— “I went on the trip, but missed the adventure.” The author would go on trips with his family. They would go on hikes and explore and do adventury things. He would often stay back and page through the stack of coffee table books for sale in the visitor center. He was there but missed the purpose, the heartbeat. So, I don’t want to miss the adventure. I guess what I am saying is, I don’t want to go through life, get to the end, and just have a pile of refrigerator magnets and novelty t-shirts.
Briefly, describe a transformative moment that helped to shift your approach to your career.
Last summer, I needed something to shake the daily rhythms of life. I left my job and started what was supposed to be a six-month bicycle trip across the United States and Central America. My unpreparedness led to an injury that forced me stop after only two months. However, in those weeks I was on the road, I learned a lot about my own resolve and weaknesses. Each day brand new and unexpected. I had this goal that felt like an ocean away. I wanted this trip to answer the questions about me, but only after it told me what those questions were. Not only where to swim but how to. My body ended up failing just a few feet from shore. It was a disappointing relief.
I didn’t learn all the questions, all the answers. I think it is safe to say no one ever does. But, I never could have drowned if I didn’t get wet. I don’t really know what that says about my approach to my career other than I want it to be just one part of the journey of shaping me. Do things that shake me. It may provide answers. It may leave me with more questions than before. Self-discovery is endless, one pedal stroke followed by a million more.
What leaders, thinkers or doers do you admire most? Why?
Here are a few:
Gary Haugen- Founder and CEO of International Justice Mission
He went from prosecuting the atrocities in Rwanda to believing that good people could end slavery. And he might be right.
Wendell Berry- Poet, Author, Activist
-The Peace of the Wild Things-
When despair for the world grows in me
and I wake in the night at the least sound
in fear of what my life and my children’s lives may be,
I go and lie down where the wood drake
rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.
I come into the peace of wild things
who do not tax their lives with forethought
of grief. I come into the presence of still water.
And I feel above me the day-blind stars
waiting with their light. For a time
I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.
Eunice Kennedy Shriver- Founder of Special Olympics
When someone or something fixes on your heart so deeply that you change the lives of millions, that is a remarkable thing.
John Muir- Naturalist
Have you visited the Yosemite Valley?
Photo by: Active Image Media