Germantown lost Andrew Trackman, and incredible community member who was a prominent voice on many issues over the past decade, on Wednesday, Feb. 26.
The former executive director of the Germantown United Community Development Corporation was know for building up the organization, as well as his great love for all-things Germantown. Germantown United announced his passing in a post on Thursday.
Many residents will first remember his consistent optimistic attitude that made people around him happy.
“We could all use more Andy Trackman’s in our lives,” Jim Bear, former president of G-town Radio, said in an email. “His many admirable qualities made Andy someone you looked forward to working with and Andy’s work in the community on behalf of Germantown United CDC up lifted all those around him.”
Bear said Trackman’s work in the neighborhood exemplified how much he cared for this Northwest community. He said Trackman was a person most people looked forward to working with on community issues.
In 2012, Trackman started as a volunteer at Germantown United CDC, an community organization used to promote and facilitate the revitalization of Germantown and its business corridors. And after volunteering, Trackman quickly became the executive director. Through a total of seven years, Trackman created pivotal changes though positivity and consistency.
According to Julie Stapleton-Carroll, Germantown United board president, Trackman never took part in any negativity in Germantown. He didn’t get into the fray, usual disorderly conflict in neighborhoods. She said Trackman reminds her of the Michelle Obama slogan, ‘When they go low, we go high.’ “Andy always goes high,” Carroll said.
Trackman developed Germantown United from a volunteer team to a fully-staffed organization. Under Trackman’s direction, Germantown United moved into an attractive location of the Germantown Avenue Business Corridor and became a useful organization in the neighborhood.
But aside from Germantown, Trackman’s presence was felt way beyond the Northwest community. Beth McConnell, Policy Director for Philadelphia Association of Community Development Corporations, worked with Trackman when Germantown United joined PCC’s CDC group.
McConnell remembers the first time Trackman walked her through Germantown, and had lunch at the Flowers Cafe on Maplewood Mall. He introduced her to the architecture and surrounding neighborhoods. McConnell said it was interesting Trackman only focused on the assets of Germantown and why the neighborhood was not only important to the residents, but to Philadelphia as a whole.
“He really saw something special in that place and felt very connected,” McConnell said. “It’s easy to, when you’re walking around a neighborhood that has challenges, to focus on the challenges, but he was really focusing on the assets and the opportunities.
Trackman’s death is described as a huge loss for many people inside and outside the Germantown community. Although he has passed, people will remember his positivity and example he left in the community.
We really hope and believe that Germantown United will continue on and Andy’s memory of working hard for the people in the community,” McConnell said. “That’s an important part of the legacy that he left behind which can survive.”
Services for Trackman will be held on Sunday, March 1, at the Koller Funeral Home on Ridge Avenue.