PLAINS TWP. — The Christmas holiday season is officially in full swing as women from Greater Pittston and the surrounding area gathered Wednesday for the 22nd Annual Women’s Network Holiday Party and Marketplace at the Keystone Grand Ballroom at Mohegan Sun.
Over 460 women and 30 vendors filled the ballroom for an evening during which attendees perused items sold by local businesses, met up with old friends and made new ones, and honored outgoing Executive Vice President/Secretary Rosemary Dessoye.
First-time attendee Cathy Fusco, of Pittston Township, was glad she was able to get to the holiday party. “ I really, really liked it and thoroughly enjoyed myself,” Fusco said. “It was a who’s who of women in Greater Pittston and it was a great way for me to see a lot of people I haven’t seen in a very long time.”
Michelle Mikitish will take over the reins of the chamber in a few weeks, replacing Dessoye. Mikitish has been transitioning into the leadership role over the last four months.
“This is the biggest event I’m involved in at the chamber with over 400, almost 500, women in attendance,” Mikitish said. “This is just a great night for Pittston women and all really trying to support each other and support local businesses and small business in Greater Pittston.”
Lori Nocito, Women’s Network chair, said the night was a success, thanks to the team effort of the Chamber of Commerce and Women’s Network. “Everyone seemed to enjoy the evening and we’re looking forward to future programs with many in the planning stages for next year,” she said.
Dessoye, who has been with the Greater Pittston Chamber of Commerce for over 26 years, officiated at the holiday party. As part of a brief program, Dessoye’s daughter Jodi spoke about her mother and her pride in her mother’s role in Greater Pittston.
“This has all been such a humbling and overwhelming experience for 26 years,” Rosemary Dessoye said. “To think, when we started the Women’s Network, we were lucky to have 50 people attend the first Christmas party and now to have nearly 500 of 560 members in attendance really warms my heart and touch my spirit.”
Dessoye was touched when Jodi spoke at the event. “She blew my socks off and I could die happy right now and all you want is for your children to understand what you’ve been doing all these years and appreciate everything you do,” she said. “It was a wonderful, wonderful way to end my Women’s Network work. You wonder if your kids ever get it and maybe she has figured me out after all these years.”
Nocito has had a long association with Dessoye, knowing her since childhood as a neighbor. “Over the years, she has become my friend and is an inspiration to me through her quiet leadership and compassion for others in the entire community,” she said. Nocito admitted she will miss Dessoye’s leadership but is looking forward to the future.
Mikitish also has an appreciation for Dessoye having worked closely with her for the past several months. “Rosemary is probably the most giving woman that I ever met,” said Mikitish. “She remembers people, remembers stories and remembers names and is so gracious for sharing information and her passion for what she’s done over the last several years. She’s given a huge part of herself over her career at the chamber.”
Mikitish begins her role as executive vice president/secretary on Jan. 1.
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