Linda Willis has spent a half century serving Mechanicsburg. Next month, the community will return the favor.
Willis, an insurance industry professional and longtime community advocate, will be honored as the Downtown Mechanicsburg Partnership’s Person of the Year at the group’s annual tribute dinner, set for Oct. 25.
“She’s a woman with a lot of interests and loyalties,” partnership officials said in a statement. “Many community organizations have benefited from her dedication, volunteerism and enthusiasm.”
A graduate of Mechanicsburg Area High School’s Class of 1967, Willis started her career right out of school as a secretary at the Paul Sopensky Agency. She later bought the West Main Street business, which became Mechanicsburg Insurance.
Willis stayed on when the company was purchased by insurance brokerage Gunn-Mowery LLC in 2004. She continues to sell many types of insurance products, including commercial, personal, benefits, health care, home, life, auto and agricultural.
Her services to the business community are not limited to insurance, however.
Willis has long served as a member of the borough’s commercial rehabilitation loan program, which assists start-ups, those expanding in place or adding services and owners looking to transform outdated properties. Among the projects it has helped facilitate are the expansion of Taylored for You bridal boutique, renovations to reopen the historic Eckels Ice Cream Fountain and improvements to Myers Buhrig Funeral Home and Crematory.
She has served on the boards of the Little Theatre of Mechancisburg, Joseph T. Simpson Public Library, Cumberland County Library System Foundation and the Wildcat Foundation.
Willis also is a member of and finance chairwoman for Mt. Olivet United Methodist Church, and serves on the insurance committee of the Susquehanna Conference of the UMC.
Proceeds from the tribute dinner will benefit the partnership’s work funding downtown events, storefront improvements, beautification efforts and marketing initiatives. Willis, a member of the Mechanicsburg Museum Association, has chosen the historic Frankenberger Tavern and Gardens as an additional beneficiary of tribute dinner proceeds.
IF YOU GO
The event will be held at the Mechanicsburg Club, 333 Heinz Drive. beginning at 6 p.m. Tickets are $50 per person, and can be reserved by emailing board member Rebecca Yearick at firstname.lastname@example.org, or from any partnership board member.