Getting to Know CCEDC’s MaryFrances McGarrity

If you have any interaction with the Chester County Economic Development Council (CCEDC) during the past few years, you probably are familiar with MaryFrances McGarrity.  This weekend – October 1 – marks her 4-year anniversary with the organization so we decided to get to know her a little better.

A native of Delaware County, MaryFrances grew up as one of eight children of Irish immigrant parents and spent her summers at Sea Isle City, New Jersey.  She went on to earn a business degree from St. Joseph’s University and a degree in elementary education from Immaculata University.

MaryFrances and her husband of two years, Jim, have a blended family with seven children between them.

Prior to joining CCEDC, MaryFrances worked as an elementary school teacher at St. Patrick’s in Malvern, a commercial real estate agent with Jackson Cross Partners in King of Prussia, and a sales agent for pediatric specialty physicians with Bayada Home Care.  At one point, she even ran her own catering business with her sister, Trish, aptly called T&M Catering.

MaryFrances was familiar with CCEDC when she heard about the opening for the Director of Business Development position.  She readily applied and was fortunate to join the organization in October 2012 where she quickly made a positive impression.

According to CCEDC’s Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, Mike Grigalonis, “Most people quickly realize that MaryFrances is a passionate and persistent person.  Anyone who has worked with her knows that she is so much more.  MaryFrances is tremendously talented and cares deeply about the people and companies she is helping. She really embodies what CCEDC is all about.”

Weekend Edition: How did you hear about CCEDC?

MaryFrances McGarrity: “When I was working in real estate at Jackson Cross Partners, one of the principals had a connection to CCEDC during her years in CRE.  I eventually used CCEDC’s services when I had two real estate clients who utilized them for SBA loans.  I eventually helped ‘dial for dollars’ during the 200-01 capital campaign to construct CCEDC’s current building.”

WE: What did you know about CCEDC before you started working there?

MM: “CCECC had a reputation for being an organization that is the ‘Center for Excellence in Chester County.’  The company and its people are willing to help and enlist help from others to solve problems.”

WE: What makes you most proud to be a member of the CCEDC team?

MM: “I’m so proud that as an organization, we are here to assist anyone who asks for help.  We are a smaller company with a ‘can do’ mindset.  We also have fewer levels of bureaucracy which translates into us being more efficient and hugely impactful.”

WE: What do you enjoy most about working at CCEDC?

From left to right – MaryFrances McGarrity, Wiaan DeBeers of West Chester Henderson High School, Henderson video production student Em, and Dan Scott of Flowers Foods.

MaryFrances looks on as Dan Scott of Flowers Foods is interviewed for a “Discover Chester County’ segment. From left to right – MaryFrances McGarrity, Wiaan DeBeers of West Chester Henderson High School, Henderson video production student Em, and Dan Scott of Flowers Foods.

MM: “I have to admit that my job is pretty easy because of our wonderful staff.  We may be small in numbers but we are very effective because we committed to doing a good job.”

WE: Where would someone be surprised to see you?

MM: “At a basketball game.  I work as an official for PIAA high school girls’ games in Southern Chester County and the PAC Capital 10 Region.  I’ve been doing this for the past ten years and I’m absolutely passionate about the game.”

What’s next for MaryFrances McGarrity?

MaryFrances is happiest when she and husband, Jim have a houseful of friends and family. Luckily, her family is about to get even bigger as her daughter, Kerry is getting married this November and son Mark’s wedding is scheduled for next May.

MaryFrances is also busy conducting interviews for the next round of videos in CCEDC’sDiscover Chester County series.  Watch for their season debut in mid-November.

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