Johnstown's, Anne Bodnar Markey, planning reception for Democratic convention
Anne Bodnar Markey (July 2, 2012)
When the Benshoff Hill native graduated from Point Park University in Pittsburgh with a journalism degree, she headed to New York City. Despite driving ambition – she even stood outside the Today Show window with a sign that read, "I will make your coffee" – the dream never materialized.
So she eventually took a job inputting data for a New York City non-profit – only to begin an unusual career path that has taken her to a prestigious opportunity with the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte.
Markey, now owner of Favor Me Events in the North Carolina City, is in partnership with a Washington, D.C. business to host one of 12 welcome receptions at the convention Sept. 2.
She's responsible for setting the menu, creating the decor, coming up with a theme, arranging entertainment – all that goes into planning the event.
"I describe myself as a 90 percent realist and a 10 percent dreamer," said Markey, the daughter of Richard and Francine Bodnar of Johnstown and a 1999 Bishop McCort High School graduate.
"The day when I found out, I wanted to thank that 10 percent of me. That 90 percent of me was saying, 'Why do you want to put a bid in on this?' My family and close friends said, 'Go ahead. Do it.'
"I was really excited. It was almost a shock that we had been awarded this."
Favor Me Events specializes in wedding planning and social events, though Markey has a background with non-profits and corporate events.
She is in partnership with Lighthouse Creative Works in Washington to host the welcome reception for delegates from Pennsylvania, Ohio, Delaware, Illinois and Hawaii at the ritzy Mint Museum uptown.
Looking for a local contact, Lighthouse Creative Works contacted Markey about joining forces to bid on the event.
She described their responsibilities in planning the event as "nuts to bolts."
Interestingly, the owner of Lighthouse Creative Works also is from Pittsburgh.
"It was meant to be," Markey said.
Sort of like how Markey ended up in North Carolina.
As her would-be journalism career foundered in New York, Markey took a three-month temp job with the ALS Association Greater New York Chapter. A short time later, the event manager for a major walk quit and Markey was hired as the replacement.
She moved on to organize financial events in the corporate world.
After her husband was laid off from his financial job, he landed a position in Charlotte in 2009.
Markey soon went into business for herself with Favor Me Events.
"I have always been extremely organized. Even as a child, I was very independent and I knew how I wanted things to be done," she said.
"My mom would bring home manilla folders, and I would organize stickers in them."