ST. MARYS — Hannah Brock, City of St. Marys’ public relations officer/human resource specialist, grew up in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania, but calls the Pennsylvania Wilds “home.”
Brock, 25, took two years off after college, working at a general store in Slate Run. She moved to St. Marys, where her father’s family is from, in January 2018. She recalls visiting Elk County for holidays throughout the years.
“It was always home here, I just didn’t realize it,” she said.
Brock says she wanted to build a life in St. Marys and showcase the area to everyone else.
City Manager Tim Pearson was responsible for the creation of Brock’s job, which was filled short-term by Leanne Kovack.
“There was a need for a human resources/PR position in order to take care of employees and provide the best service to the citizens of St. Marys,” she said.
She was helping out at a catering business when she met Pearson, Brock said.
“He sold me on his goals and dreams for St. Marys,” she said.
Brock calls herself the City’s “cheerleader,” adding that the purpose of her position is to celebrate what the town has to offer.
“Because I’ve lived in other places, I realize how special this place is,” she said. “A lot of what is here is a gift — the people, the mentality, the teamwork.”
One of the City’s goals is staying updated on modern technology, making information more accessible to residents through platforms like social media, Brock says. She can often be seen taking video at area events, with the video later posted on Facebook. There is also a “city camera” and “our town” video on the website.
Another goal includes making the Diamond in downtown St. Marys more “walkable,” Brock says.
Brock’s position also includes being a part of a team, she says, working with entities like the St. Marys City Council and Chamber of Commerce, Public Works, the mayor, police department and nonprofit organizations.
“For me, it’s about building something we love,” she said. “People have been building St. Marys for more than 125 years. The goal is to make a better foundation for anyone who comes after me.”
Another common goal includes making St. Marys better in order to better the region and the Pennsylvania Wilds as a whole, Brock adds.
“We want to grow as a region, one that’s already growing,” she said. “People 20 years before me created a foundation I can take and grow with.”
Part of Brock’s job also includes being a part of the good times, like volunteering at St. Marys events and meeting new people, she said.
“This job has taught me so much,” Brock said. “I’m so grateful to Pearson and the whole city team.”
With two million acres of public land and many businesses and sights to offer, it needs to be easy and accessible for people to gather information or visit the area, Brock said.
“What I love about St. Marys is they don’t give up,” she said. “They exist to help others. It’s in the foundation of our community.”
For more information, visit the City of St. Marys on Facebook or www.stmaryspa.gov.