For 20-year-old Justin Pack, it doesn’t matter his age — he just wants to help people and serve his community.
“I’ve always liked helping people,” said Pack, who is chairman of the newly-established Eclectic Business Relations Committee (EBRC). “Even when I was younger, I was always helping people at church. I’d be the first one to greet people even when I was 10 and 11.”
Pack, an Eclectic resident, has a typical work week that reads more like that of a mid-level professional than a typical college student.
“It’s been a challenge,” he said. “I’m usually juggling a lot of things. This is way more than what I’ve ever experienced, of course. It’s more challenging than most people my age take on, but I’m taking it step by step.”
A week in Pack’s life includes maintaining grades that keep him on the college’s President’s List at Central Alabama Community College in Alexander City; working with his father, Josh, on construction jobs; assisting New Hope Baptist Church in several capacities; and chairing the EBRC.
Pack said it is his dad who really showed him what it means to serve.
“He heads up a ministry at church for people in need of work around their homes,” Pack said. “We do work like changing out a toilet or cleaning gutters. Things like that to help people who need it. His servant heart has transferred to me.”
As Pack moved from an Elmore County High School graduate to college student, he said he had the desire to help the entire town.
That desire resulted in the idea for the BRC.
Pack pitched the idea to Eclectic Mayor Gary Davenport several months ago.
Following several meetings with Davenport, consulting local business people and researching numerous sources, the idea eventually became a reality.
“Mayor Davenport was really receptive and this was weighing on his mind when I brought the idea to him,” Pack said. “I took ideas from various chamber of commerce organizations and resources from the U.S. Chamber and combined that with the bylaws of Eclectic. I didn’t want it to be a standalone chamber and I didn’t want it be completely controlled by the government.”
The committee held its first meeting a few weeks ago and is in the process of collecting membership and committee applications.
“Nearly every business we have here fails,” Pack said. “The past few years, we’ve had more people move up here. We’ve got some good momentum and we can make businesses successful.”
He said the Eclectic business community was receptive to a town business council.
“I have only heard positive things about it,” Pack said. “The businesses around here want to be part of something that they can help get involved in the community. This offers a channel for them to be able to network. Having relationships are very important.”
While few 20-year-old college students are doing business with government officials, Pack is already charting his future which involves Eclectic.
“I’m going to transfer to Auburn University and get a degree in building science,” he said. “I want to get that degree and build homes. I could earn six figures working on commercial buildings, but I want to stay around here and build homes.”
Pack indicated he intends on living Eclectic, owning his own building company and staying involved in government.
“I see myself as a public servant somewhere in the future,” he said.