by Jonathan Weaver
Before the ‘Golden Apple’ Awards March 14, guests and members of the Armstrong County Chamber of Commerce worked on their stress levels with guest speaker Mary Marcdante.
During her hour presentation, Marcdante said stress costs businesses about $300 billion per year and encouraged the population of nearly-69,000 in Armstrong County to spend time each day individually, with family or with coworkers to be more productive and successful.
“You know that when you talk about change, it’s going to bring about some kind of stress. When we begin to think about how to manage that stress, take a look at some of the other things that are going on,” Marcdante said.
Whether those are issues at home or financially, Marcdante said all affected can change their outlook.
“If the only thing you remember about today around stress management are these words, I will consider it to be a success because everything revolves around this belief: you always have a choice,” Marcdante said. “You may not be able to change what’s happened to you or what happened in the past, but you can choose how you look at it.”
After the presentation, Marcdante said speeches to more than 1,000 corporations during her career did not also encourage her.
“When I first started speaking to people, I was scared to death of getting up in front of people. What made a difference was I knew I had something important to say and my message and mission were calling me to speak to people about making healthier choices, and that we do have a choice as long as we choose to think about it differently,” Marcdante said.
10 years ago, Marcdante was contacted by a fifth-grader in Indiana who wanted to use her ‘Smile Diet’ – which gives two dozen ideas per day how to live with more enthusiasm – for the science fair. She reported that the student not only was successful at the fair, but it doubled the happiness within her family.
Marcdante hopes the same impacts Armstrong County.
“I would really like to see the Smile Diet in communities. The little girl who won that science fair project, her community said it should be in every community in America,” Marcdante said. “I love the idea that we can bring smiles and laughter and more success, less stress to people in every community around the country.”
Marcdante and the student have recently reconnected on Facebook.
Marcdante is already the author of three books and has contributed to five “Chicken Soup for the Soul” books, but looks forward to writing a fourth.
Marcdante was contacted by F&M Bank Senior Vice-President and Chief Financial Officer Kristen Robertucci in June and stayed at the Holiday Inn Express the night before her presentation. Marcdante’s last presentation in Pennsylvania was for Monongahela Valley Hospital in Washington County.
The presentation was sponsored by F&M Bank.
Marcdante left Kittanning to speak in northern Los Angeles, but Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Lynda Pozzuto hopes she returns.
“I think she’s fantastic – and I would love to have her back. I think as you saw today, everybody loved her as a speaker (so) we’ll do our best to get her back as a speaker another time,” Pazutto said.
F&M Bank Marketing Specialist Natalie Zambotti also learned from the presentation.
“I thought it was great – it’s nice for me to step out of the office where I’m behind that computer all day,” Zambotti said. “It was really nice to laugh a little and get out of my comfort zone behind that little box. I definitely enjoyed it and I think everyone at my table did too.”
Marcdante also hopes to return.