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Marie Vilello is new Downtown LH manager

LAURA JAMESON/THE EXPRESS Downtown Lock Haven Inc. Manager Samantha Eisenhart is pictured with Marie Vilello who will be taking over the position on June 3.

LOCK HAVEN — Downtown Lock Haven Inc. has a new manager as Samantha Eisenhart hands the reigns to Marie Vilello.

Vilello, after shadowing Eisenhart for a week part-time, will take over the position beginning Wednesday.

“I’m excited to start this new journey. It’s going to be very challenging,” Vilello said.

The Lock Haven native spoke about the difficulties the community, especially downtown small businesses, have faced due to the current pandemic.

“Every town in the United States is experiencing the same problems that we are. There is no better time to come in and figure out how to go forward,” she said.

Vilello believes her experience within the community and the relationships she’s built over the years will be tools she can use to help downtown flourish.

“I have a lot of relationships built up with the city. I plan on really working with them,” she said.

Vilello has worked for various local businesses over the years including four years at the Clinton County Economic Partnership, 12 years operating her own deed search business and most recently serving two four-year terms as Clinton County prothonotary. She is the wife of Rick Vilello, who was Lock Haven mayor for nearly 16 years.

She plans to come into the position with a positive outlook to help bring downtown Lock Haven back from the pandemic.

“I’m ever the optimist and never a pessimist,” she said.

Eisenhart believes Vilello will do well in the position.

“I am extremely happy that it is Marie Vilello who will be taking over for me because I know how much she loves the city of Lock Haven and she has the same bright personality as me,” she said.

Eisenhart, a Lock Haven University graduate, will be leaving the position after being appointed in May of 2019.

“I am sad to be leaving Downtown Lock Haven Inc., but I am excited for my new journey,” she said.

“The board voted unanimously to hire Marie and is delighted she is coming on board, bringing her experience as a small business owner, a former Clinton County Economic Partnership staff member and most recently a public servant serving as county prothonotary,” DLH Board President Bob Rolley said.

“Marie is well known to the community and her timing is good as DLH looks for ways to assist businesses reopening from the COVID-19 pandemic. DLH expected to soon roll out a program to provide direct assistance to businesses while continuing to aggressively promote those businesses and the downtown,” he continued.

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