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Local face: Andrew Samuel
By Erin Kriner `10Damian Savarino in Carnegie Hall dressng room

Though it is tempting to avoid challenges for fear of failure or regret, those challenges are what often result in beautiful new beginnings. For Messiah alumnus and Dillsburg resident Andrew Samuel, an exciting challenge came in the midst of a successful business career. In 2005, after serving as president and CEO of the Pennsylvania and Maryland regions for a large East Coast financial company, Samuel felt a calling to start his own company based on sound biblical principles and servanthood. Samuel, who is a husband and the father of
five girls, jumped at the idea and began the challenging yet rewarding task of starting his own business. His hard work, faith, and dedication led to the development of Graystone Financial Corporation, better known as Graystone Bank.


Much of his preparation for this venture came from his time as a student at Messiah College. Samuel learned about
the College through a friend who had previously attended. Samuel came to Messiah as an international student from Zambia.

During his four years, Samuel played soccer; was a member of MuKappa, an international student organization; and was involved with World Christian Fellowship. Many of the leadership traits Samuel holds today came from his involvement in these organizations. One particular instance that stood out to Samuel was participating in the annual Canoe-A-Thon fundraiser for World Christian fellowship. “Raising money for missionaries through the Canoe-AThon showed me how many people have a heart for missions and created a sense
of community between supporters and missionaries in the field,” says Samuel.


Seeking that interconnectedness is what Samuel strives for everyday in his work. “The most important thing I have learned about business and leadership is that you have to have a value for others and what they do — integrity, honesty, caring, and authenticity are all traits that help you value the people you are working with,” says Samuel. “The most important thing in business and in life is always thinking of others.”


Not only did Samuel learn valuable leadership traits in extracurricular activities at Messiah, but he also learned a lot from dorm life and his time in the classroom. “Living in a dorm with 30 other students, you learn to respect one another and trust each other, some of the same characteristics
that I instill in my work today,” says Samuel.

As Samuel developed his new business, God pushed him to put much of his time into the business and also to serve on the Board of Trustees at the College, a volunteer appointment close to his heart. “It’s a passion for me because, without Messiah, I would not have received a college degree,” he says.


As a successful businessman serving in the financial industry, Samuel felt God’s calling for change. With only an idea, steadfast faithfulness in God, and a sincere desire to build an organization based on biblical principles, Samuel started a now multi-billion dollar company. Though Samuel had doubts of his own, his faith assured him that he had made the right decision and that God would provide for his new business venture. “What I learned is to trust in the Lord — trust in his preparation, the opportunities, and the people he puts in your life,” Samuel says. “The Lord does great things.”

 

 

 

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