Mt. Pleasant woman cited for community dedication
By A.J. Panian
Published: Thursday, Jan. 30, 2014, 1:57 p.m.
After Pennsylvania State Police Trooper Steve Limani established the “Shop with a Cop” program in 2009, he said he received valuable guidance from Mt. Pleasant's Marcy Park, district manager of Walmart Stores Inc., on ways to maximize the initiative's intended goals.
“Marcy explained to me aspects of fundraising and grant writing, and she told me ‘You need some sort of fundraiser to get this thing going,'” Limani said.
The program works with Walmart officials to allow children affected by crime to shop with police officers for holiday gifts at the stores.
As a result of Park's pointers, Limani began holding an annual golfing event to raise money for the program in 2010, he said.
“Now it is one of the most popular and successful outings of its kind in Westmoreland County,” Limani said.
Since the first year of the initiative, when Limani raised $2,000, the program raised tens of thousands more dollars each year, a change Limani attributed directly to Park's marketing know-how, tutelage and altruism.
Park — who oversees eight Walmart stores in the Pittsburgh market, including the one at Summit Ridge Plaza in East Huntingdon — not only guided Limani in the strategies of fundraising success, he said, she also personally did her part to help the program make an impact on area children.
“She gives every kid coats, gloves, boots and hats for free ... for my $50 worth of things, she probably gives them $150; it's been like that every year,” Limani said. “When it comes to helping her community and getting things done, she's just an outstanding individual.”
So much so that Limani recently nominated Park for the 2014 Women of Integrity Award given by Pittsburgh Professional Women, a resource organization for business women in Western Pennsylvania.
Out of 100 such nominations, Park was eventually selected as one of four recipients of the award, along with Becca Chapman, executive director of The Pittsburgh Fellows; the Rev. Brenda J. Gregg, executive director of Project Destiny; and Kimberly June, a holistic psychotherapist for the Center for Holistic Therapy.
“Marcy's nomination specifically stood out due to her impressive community service, volunteerism and positive influence in the community,” said Beth Caldwell, the founder and executive director of Pittsburgh Professional Women. “She tirelessly devotes hours to her community and is an inspiration to all women.”
Native of small town makes big impact
Hailing from the coal patch town of Crucible in Greene County, Park is one of five children, and she graduated in 1989 from Carmichaels Area High School.
“Growing up, I was always taught the importance of giving back to the community where you lived,” Park said.
Park attended California University of Pennsylvania while working as an assistant manager at the Giant Eagle in Waynesburg. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in early childhood and elementary education in 1993.
From there, she worked from 1993 to 1996 as a substitute teacher in both the Carmichaels Area and Waynesburg Central school districts, all while maintaining her employment at Giant Eagle.
In late 1995, Park earned a master's degree in special education with a minor in child psychology.
Two days after her commencement ceremony in May 1996, she was hired as a management trainee at Walmart, and she worked at stores in Ohio and Pennsylvania from 1997 to 2001.
In August 2001, Park was promoted to manager of the Walmart Supercenter at Summit Ridge. A year later, at age 30, she was again promoted, this time to the position of district manager.
“I love this company. One of our basic beliefs is to strive for excellence, and they really want you to achieve the excellence you strive for, which is great,” she said. “It will be 18 years in May that I've been with Walmart.”
Woman entrenches herself in community
Shortly after moving to Mt. Pleasant, borough Mayor Jerry Lucia invited Park to a mixer for the Laurel Highlands Chamber of Commerce, now known as the Laurel Highlands chapter of the Westmoreland Chamber of Commerce.
“Jerry really took me under his wing and helped me get to know people here,” Park said.
Lucia said his move to befriend Park and help her network has benefitted the Mt. Pleasant area by leaps and bounds.
“Marcy's a remarkable young lady. She's really great for the community,” he said. “She not only takes care of the Mt. Pleasant store, she's a regional manager, so she has many stores, and she looks after the communities where those stores are because she knows what small communities are all about.”
Over time, Park has found a way to contribute in myriad capacities to the betterment of the area, including:
• Salvation Army, co-vice chairwoman of the executive committee since 2008
• Westmoreland County Community College, board member and chairwoman of the college's Advocacy Committee since 2008
• Big Brothers/Big Sisters of the Laurel Region, board member since 2005
• Communities in Schools of Pa., board member since 2013.
Locally, Park was responsible for helping the Mt. Pleasant Borough Police Department acquire new office equipment, according to borough Manager Jeff Landy.
“Marcy's a leader, and Marcy is the kind of person who, given a project, will organized it, see it through and will accomplish the goals of the project,” Landy said. “I think anybody who has met Marcy is impressed, and I'm proud to call her a friend.”
Professional makes parents proud
Over time, Park's professionalism and her dedication to the communities where she has worked have garnered her several other awards, including the 2009 Athena Award in Fayette County given by the Connellsville Chamber of Commerce; as well as the 2011 Pennsylvania Most Powerful and Influential Women Award from the Pennsylvania National Council of Diversity.
Park has also received citations from state Reps. Deberah Kula, D-Fayette/Westmoreland, and Pam Snyder, D-Fayette/Greene/Washington, for her outstanding public service in the community, and her balance of community service, career and family.
In late 2013, the Pittsburgh Business Times recognized Park as one of its “People on the Move.”
“She's just an amazing person, and she does so much to help her community and the community she grew up in. She never ceases to amaze me.,” said Patty Brozik, Park's mother, who still resides in Crucible.
Her father, Stan Brozik of Dilliner in Greene County, agreed.
“(Stepmother) Karen and I are very proud of her, she's done a lot of good,” Stan Brozik said. “Walmart has donated to the community every time — Brownsville, Waynesburg, Connellsville — whoever has asked her for support has got it. She's just very dedicated.”
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