2017 Person of the Year Linda Willis
The Downtown Mechanicsburg Partnership honored Linda Willis—an insurance professional with Gunn-Mowery and a dedicated community and business champion—as their 2017 Person of the Year at the annual tribute dinner.
She started her successful business right here—graduating from Mechanicsburg Area High School in ’67, then working as a secretary. She’s been a part of the community, business and otherwise—a leader…everything from the Boy Scouts to president of the Chamber of Commerce and then some. Here’s a little more about the 2017 Person of the Year honoree Linda Willis
Many know Linda Willis from the insurance industry. Right out of high school, she worked at the Paul Sopensky Agency in a building she now owns at 73 W. Main Street. When the then-owner looked to retire, Willis was faced with a startling reality—would she still have a job? Yes—a new job, as owner of what became Mechanicsburg Insurance Services Limited; sold in 2004 to Gunn-Mowery, LLC, she is still hard at work handling all-things-insurance—commercial, personal, benefits, healthcare, home, life, auto and ag. Along the way, she has been keenly involved in many industry-related organizations—the boards of the Independent Insurance Agents and Brokers of PA, MD and DE, as well as on the board and president of both the Capital Area Independent Agents and Insurance Women of Harrisburg (known as Insurance Professionals of Greater Harrisburg). She holds distinguished insurance designations—CIC (Certified Insurance Counselor), AAI (Accredited Advisor in Insurance), AIS (Associate in Insurance Services) and AFIS (Agribusiness and Farm Insurance Specialist).
She’s a woman with a lot of interests and loyalties; many community organizations have benefitted from her dedication, volunteerism and enthusiasm. She has served on the boards of the Little Theatre of Mechancisburg, Joseph T. Simpson Public Library (president), Cumberland County Library System Foundation and the Wildcat Foundation. When her children were young, she was involved in scouting with their troops, and continues working with Boy Scouts earning their “Personal Management” and “Citizenship in the Community” merit badges. Willis was president of the Jaycettes and is a Lion, and notes that she is “a lifelong Jubilee Day” and Wrench Drop volunteer—you can’t get more Mechanicsburg than that!
A woman of faith and a certified lay speaker, she is a member of and finance chairman for Mt. Olivet United Methodist Church and serves on the insurance committee of the Susquehanna Conference of the UMC.
She has made promoting small business her business as a member of the Mechanicsburg Borough Commercial Rehabilitation Loan Program committee. An advocate for these businesses, the program has financed key projects like the Taylored for You bridal shop expansion, the reopening of and improvements to Eckels Ice Cream Fountain and renovations inside and out, like that at Myers-Buhrig Funeral Home.
A proprietor of Union Church and member of the Mechanicsburg Museum Association, she has fittingly chosen Frankenberger Tavern and Gardens as an additional beneficiary of tribute dinner proceeds.
She is actively involved in family life whether that’s time with mom Virginia Scritchfield, 91, or son Cephas and his two children—who continue the scouting tradition. Daughter Marian Willis passed away at age 27.
Willis joins a distinguished group of Mechanicsburg-proud previous honorees including Mary Eberly, a realtor with Coldwell Banker and a charter member of the Partnership; Earnie Zimmerman, owner of Zimmerman’s Plumbing, Heating & Air Conditioning; Jack Ritter, mayor and business owner; Sue Erdman, executive director of the Simpson Library; and the late Bob Marquette, president and CEO of Member’s 1st Federal Credit Union.
2016 Person of the Year Mary C. Eberly
The Downtown Mechanicsburg Partnership honored Mary C. Eberly—Real Estate Agent for Coldwell Banker Real Estate & Homes and Community Advocate in Mechanicsburg – as their Person of the Year for 2016.
Part of the Mechanicsburg community for 44 years, Eberly has been the constant in an ever changing and growing community. Eberly started her Real Estate career in 1971, after being a full time mother of three, wife, and community volunteer. Eberly now is an Associate Broker, Certified Residential Specialist, and Graduate of the Real Estate Institution.
2015 Person of the Year Earnie Zimmerman
Our 2015 Person of the Year was Earnie Zimmerman, owner of Zimmerman Plumbing, Heating & Air Conditioning. Zimmerman established his business in 1980 which has since grown and expanded and now employs 40 people.