Thomas Ford has been elected to serve on the board of a national group that advocates for communities with military installations.

Members of the Association of Defense Communities on April 13 elected Ford to the association's board of directors. Ford is Grand Forks County’s director of administrative services, and represents the county on various local, regional and statewide issues, including the county’s legislative priorities at the North Dakota Legislature. Grand Forks County has a long association with the ADC.

“It's both exciting and humbling,” Ford said. “I have a real passion in advocating for Grand Forks Air Force Base, our National Guard, our service members and their families. I've been able to do that on a local level for the county for a long time, and I enjoy it. This opportunity is going to allow me to do that on a national level.”

ADC’s 15 board members serve up to two, three-year terms. There are nearly 300 communities across the nation that are involved with the organization.

Grand Forks County works to support and enhance the missions at Grand Forks Air Force Base, its commanders and airmen. It also advises state and local leaders on the needs of service members and their families. Ford is responsible for overseeing the region’s response to the impact of the 2005 Base Realignment and Closure Commission. He chairs the Grand Forks Region Base Retention and Investment Committee, and serves on the Grand Forks Region’s Section 311 Community Partnerships Initiative.

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“We're very thrilled about it because it just really helps keep us noticed,” said County Commissioner David Engen, of Ford’s election to the board. Ford, Engen and Commissioner Tom Falck attend ADC meetings, and are active in promoting the community as one uniquely suited to hosting an Air Force base.

The ADC works collaboratively to build resilient communities that support the nation’s military. The group functions as a connecting point for leaders from communities, states, the military and industry, on community-military issues and installation management. The ADC represents every major defense community and state in the nation.