It’s hard to remember a time when Pat Corso wasn’t trying to improve life and the local economy here in Moore County.

Indeed, you’d have to go back more than 35 years, to when Bob Dedman Sr., then chairman of ClubCorp., had just made a fateful decision to buy the bankrupt, broken-down Pinehurst Resort and return it to glory. To do that, he hired Corso, then one of his young corporate executives, to lead that restoration. Corso hasn’t stopped building since.

Sandhills Community College President John Dempsey is Corso’s longtime friend, golfing partner and Vito’s Ristorante dining companion. In a “roast” of Corso a few years ago, Dempsey said it best when he said Corso alone isn’t to credit for the good things we all enjoy today.

“But if you like living here, if you like golf, the growing economy, and the fact that this area attracts a lot of people from other areas, then you have Pat Corso to thank,” he said. “No one has brought as much to the Sandhills as he has.”

In a Moore County career that has spanned more than three decades, Corso has had no small role in growing Pinehurst’s relationship with the U.S. Golf Association; with landing The First Bank corporate headquarters to Southern Pines; with the growth and expansion of the hospitality and health care industries; with building the robust health of our leading nonprofit organizations.

Corso has always fought for all of Moore County. With Partners in Progress, and in various posts he’s held on statewide boards, he has fought for rural, depressed communities like northern Moore to be eligible for greater economic assistance. That battle is still ongoing, but a potential solution Corso helped engineer is starting to gain traction.

Corso has never been focused on growth in Moore for the sake of growth. Bigger, he has long said, is not always better. What’s been important here — the overarching factor that has driven Corso — has been building quality: a quality resort, quality economy, quality schools, quality of life.

“We are in a state of flux now where things are definitely changing,” he said a couple of years ago. “Now the key for us is that we have to harness that and manage it. We can’t let events, circumstances drive us. We have to protect our quality of life at all costs. That requires being proactive.”

Pat Corso has never been one to sit back and let life happen — and we have all benefited.

(4) comments

Barbara Misiaszek

Moore County needs economic growth beyond the hospitality /recreation industry that now dominates. Economic development efforts should transition from Partners in Progress to a concerted County Government led economic development effort.First up should be the development of an industrial park that could be used to attract future employers. non retirement aged citizens should wonder just where their offspring will ne working after completing their education.Will it be the Sandhills? As things presently stand,you can pretty much bet that won't be where they will call home. Emails,texts and Zoom will be your points of contact.

John Misiaszek

Conrad Meyer

John, I think you nailed it. Great comment. Most government folks and educators don't really understand how the real word actually works.

Kent Misegades

That is an understatement. Bureaucrats and politicians are very good at destroying I distrust though. Stupid trade agreement with Mexico and China and over-taxation of companies essentially encouraged US companies to offshore, leaving thousands of American communities essentially as ghost towns.

Kent Misegades

I have worked with Pat and he has always been very supportive of industrial growth. Pinehurst though doesn’t allow industry or even chain businesses within its borders, which is ironic since Pinehurst was developed with money from industry owners. Industrial parks do exist along highway 5 in Aberdeen. What is lacking is natural gas, which ends just southeast of Aberdeen. Many industrial processes need it. Having government run economic development or industrial parks is a very bad idea. Bureaucrats have no experience running industrial companies. What they can do is provide the best conditions - low taxes, minimal regulation, school choice. Free markets will do the rest. Apprenticeships are the best means to prepare a world-class workforce, not expensive college degrees. In Switzerland over 70% of all careers start at age 16 with a paid, 3-4 apprenticeship.

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