MERCER – The new executive director of the Mercer Area Chamber of Commerce is happy to be serving the community that she has called “home” her entire life.
“There’s just so much excitement in town,” Mindy Trepasso said on Thursday in the chamber office on Mercer’s Courthouse Square.
She took over in early April, succeeding Dotty Pintar, who held the position for eight years. Pintar is now the executive director of Reaching Up and Reaching Out in Grove City.
Trepasso has been getting settled in and learning the ropes thanks to the chamber’s board of directors, especially President Rebecca Dean and Vice President Becky Bruno.
Local business owners and community members have also been great, and she looks forward to helping visitors find hidden gems and reminding residents about everything the Mercer area has to offer.
“It’s just a unique area,” she said.
Trepasso is having fun reconnecting with people and places she recalls from the time she spent growing up in Mercer, and she takes pride in seeing new and longtime businesses and organizations enjoy their success.
“That hometown spirit is coming back,” she said.
After working as a pharmacy technician for 18 years at Grove City Medical Center, Trepasso is glad that she decided to take a chance on a new career.
She is also a co-owner of the Who’s Hangry? food truck, which sets up at local events and businesses, offering a variety of “extreme mountain pies” and other treats.
A graduate of Mercer High School and Clarion University – she has a degree in communications and marketing – Trepasso owned the former Old Timber Farm country store on U.S. Route 62 just outside Mercer, and worked as a sales manager in several different industries.
Her first major project with the chamber is the Mercer Summer Celebration, which will run from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, July 13, on Courthouse Square. The co-sponsor is the Munnell Run Farm Foundation.
There will be food, a car show, vendors, children’s activities, and booths featuring area organizations and businesses.
The Mercer County Conservation District will have its interactive H2O To Go truck, and there will also be a dunking booth, rain or shine.
Trepasso will also be working on helping small businesses make a comeback – something that is already happening in Mercer – and putting the spotlight on the shops, restaurants, service groups, nonprofits and individuals who are doing great things for the chamber and county.
The list is long and includes J. Hicks on the Square, Talbot’s Taproom and Terrace, Stacey’s Reiki and Essentials, a number of churches, Anthony’s Farm Market, the Mercer County Career Center, Mercer Area Library, those who work for the county, Mercer Raceway Park, Brandy Springs Park, Bell’s Sanitation, Mercer Memorial Day 500, Pine Knoll Clock Shop, veterans’ groups, Mercer Junction, the Mercer County Historical Society, the chamber’s Boomtown group, and more.
There are a few new things in the works, and she notes that part of moving forward requires change. That can be a difficult concept for some folks to grasp, so it’s a balancing act.
What isn’t going to change is Mercer’s beautiful, rural setting, which includes the courthouse, farms and historic homes. It’s a safe community and not far from bigger cities, and Trepasso hopes to get more people involved with reinvigorating the community.
“Once you start that, it snowballs,” she said.
Those efforts typically involve volunteer work, something that she enjoys in her free time. Trepasso is a member of the Jefferson Township Volunteer Fire Department, serving as treasurer.
She’s also certified in basic vehicle rescue, and has become interested in learning more about her family history through Ancestry.
“It’s important to know where you come from,” she said.
She knew about her Italian heritage and was surprised to learn that her family has some Turkish roots.
Trepasso loves spending time with her family and recalled the former Traveler’s Hotel in Grove City, which was owned at one time by her aunt and uncle, Helen and John Trepasso.
Her relatives lived there while they operated the business, and she’s heard stories over the years about how the building is said to be haunted. She also enjoys the paranormal.
The building now houses the Grove City Area Historical Society and Museum.
For more information about the Mercer Area Chamber of Commerce, 143 N. Diamond St., Mercer, check out “Mercer Area Chamber of Commerce, Mercer, PA” on Facebook, visit www.mercerareachamber.com or call 724-662-4185.