Paula Mackarey creates exciting and successful Happenings. Literally. Every month. With color and style. Paula is the exceptional journalist/entrepreneur publisher and owner of Happenings Magazine, the popular full-color, smartly designed publication dedicated to showcasing the fascinating people, places, and events of Northeast Pennsylvania. The chance to put her writing talents to work in a medium that would spotlight the beauty and opportunities of her own area, in fact, had seemed like a fine idea to Paula, way back when she was an advertising/public relations major at Marywood.
She got a leg up in the business, right from the start, she says. The late Bob Haller, a teacher in the department, had been a valuable mentor for her. “He got us involved in national student advertising competitions,” she recalls. “One of my best experiences was the opportunity to go up against the finest schools in the country and be judged by people nationally respected in the business...and we learned how to network. Thanks to networking,” she continues, “I already had a job with Happenings lined up before I graduated.” A few years later, incidentally, she was able to return the favor by becoming a mentor herself. She taught for a year at the University of Scranton, and took a team of students to a competition in the World Trade Center in New York—as it happened, just a few months before the tragedy of 9/11. More serendipitously, through her team competition experiences, she met fellow Marywoodian Barb Toolan, who is now her Managing Editor at Happenings Magazine.
Paula had plunged right in with the magazine—then a small advertising publication owned by an older couple and run by an interim editor. She did “a little of everything”—selling ads, writing stories, learning her business hands-on, from the ground up. When, a couple of years later, the opportunity arose for her to buy out the operation, her brother—an entrepreneur himself—encouraged her to take the risk. She did...and as the classic line goes: the rest is history.
Today, Paula balances a career as a hard-working publisher with the role of wife and mother (she and husband, John, have a five-year-old daughter, Madeline)—plus she still finds time for involvement with community and professional organizations, such as the PA Association for the Blind, United Cerebral Palsy of NEPA, Scranton Counseling Center, Lackawanna Historical Society, and the National Association of Women in Business. She has served as Chairperson of the Board of the Greater Scranton Chamber of Commerce and is Past President of NEPA Advertising Club. She has been honored as one of Pennsylvania’s Best 50 Women in Business, and one of the Top 25 Women in Northeast PA. She has received prestigious awards, including the ATHENA Leadership Award, and the Martha Wollerston/PNC Bank Award for Community Involvement.
Paula, with her staff of ten, is continually working to show off Northeast Pennsylvania’s many exciting, fascinating, whimsical, and historical happenings in an ever growing, bigger and better Happenings. “My industry changes by the minute,” she says. “The kind of education I received at Marywood helps me succeed in it.”
Her fellow graduates certainly concur and are proud to recognize her achievements by honoring her with the Award of Excellence in Liberal Arts and Sciences for 2013.
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