The Pike County Chamber of Commerce President, Philly Viscardo, announced that after a review of more than fifty resumes, Marnie O’Dea Palmer has recently accepted the Board of Directors offer to become the new Executive Director. President Viscardo noted that there are many challenges for businesses, and that the myriad of experience Ms. Palmer brings to the Chamber, along with a combination of creative thinking, innovation and enthusiasm, made her the best choice, to carry out the Pike County Chamber of Commerce’ mission to market, promote and enhance the business climate in the region.
Ms. Palmer said that she is looking forward to working closely with the Board of Directors to expand the membership base and enhance current programs and services. Her immediate task is to focus on membership development. She is exploring ideas for finding additional incentives that make being a member of the Pike County Chamber of Commerce “a no brainer!” She believes that the Chamber of Commerce has a lot to offer, but the organization is only as good as its members make it! We need to change the mind set of those members who join, but don’t bother to get involved! She hopes to provide more encouragement for participation in mixers, group advertising and fundraising events. Marnie sees Chamber Membership as a vehicle for business owners to meet and share ideas that build a more inviting overall business environment. The Chamber offers opportunities for businesses to spotlight their bailiwick. It is up to the Chamber Member to grab that opportunity and advance it! The Chamber provides the means for individual businesses to spread the word about what they have to offer and how they can complement each other, especially in an area such as Milford, where there are many small specialty stores and services.
Marnie prefers to “focus on the positive” rather than dwell on the negative. She considers herself to have “passion driven enthusiasm” in whatever she does, and credits her parents, Dick and Mary (Colombo) O’Dea for her accomplishments. She grew up in the Real Estate and Insurance Business. Her dad was a member of the Greater Scranton Chamber of Commerce and a former President of the Greater Scranton Board of Realtors. She understands the value of membership organizations and has the energy, experience and creativity that the Pike County Chamber of Commerce will benefit from.
Marnie is anxious to meet both current and potential Chamber Members. She is hopeful that they will feel free to share their ideas, suggestions or any complaints that the might have, so that she can take the appropriate steps toward membership satisfaction!
As one of five children, Marnie reminisces about being her father’s shadow as a child and especially enjoyed accompanying him as he did business and made purchases in many Downtown Scranton Stores. It was no surprise to her family when she opened her first florist and gift store in her early twenties. Ms. Palmer and her husband owned and operated upscale Florist and Gifts Stores in the Clarks Summit Area, Downtown Scranton, Dickson City and Main Street Tunkhannock for more than 20 years. In 1992, with two stores in the Downtown and the Mall at Steamtown being built, she was chosen from among 46 applicants to be the Executive Director of the Downtown Business Association. In 1996 she was again chosen from a significant pool of applicants for the position of Executive Director of Habitat for Humanity of Lackawanna County. In 2000 she was hired at the PA House of Representatives in Harrisburg. In 2006 she returned to the Scranton Area and subsequently, was hired in 2008 to manage the Lackawanna County Office of Environmental Sustainability until her position was eliminated in 2012. She is approaching her 16th year as a Clarks Green Borough Councilwoman, is an officer of the Abington Council of Governments and Vice President of the PA Association of Councils of Governments
For more information about the Pike County Chamber or to make an appointment to meet with our new Executive Director Marnie, please visit www.pikechamber.com or call 570-296-8700.