Name: Tara Wilson
Company: Power Engineering Corp
Tara Wilson believes Ralph Waldo Emerson’s quote that “the only person you are destined to become is the person you decide to be” in her philosophy in life. “I have found this always applies. When faced with difficult decisions in business and life, I find looking introspectively at my guiding principles and core values allows me to make difficult choices knowing in the end my moral compass must remain intact,” she explains.
President of Power Engineering Corporation (PEC), a family-owned mechanical contracting firm specializing in commercial and industrial heating, ventilating and air conditioning construction and service, she oversees, the design/build as well as plan and spec projects throughout the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic regions. She works with field and project management teams to see the projects through and consults with the service and construction divisions on manpower needs and project scope to oversee the financial piece of the operation as well.
Having a long volunteer career in service and philanthropy, the young woman began with her work with the American Cancer Society and its New Direction board focusing on fundraising for childhood cancer. “I learned what it meant to make a difference and it felt good,” she said.
Since she has served on the boards of the American Cancer Society, Catholic Social services and Penn State Wilkes-Barre. She currently serves as a board member of the United Way, the Greater Wilkes-Barre Chamber of Business and Industry/Growth Partnership, chair of the Wilkes-Barre Development Cor., Circle 200, the Institute for Economic Development and Public Policy, the Luzerne Foundation, Appleseed Foundation, Wyoming Seminary, Wilkes University and Geisinger Wilkes-Barre advisory board.
At the Luzerne Foundation, she is chair of the grants committee which allows her access to new and exciting endeavors in the community and allows her to see how different organizations in the community serve a need. “Each year I find myself awestruck at the challenges our community faces and moved by the forethought and compassion that our community is capable of,” she notes.
In the vein of community service of a different kind, Wilson purchased SHOOZE Boutique, and took a leap of faith in a business she knew little about because of the former owner’s urge for her to take-over the business.
“SHOOZE had dressed me for so many of the major milestones in my life, as they had in the lives of so many others, this was a project that was more than a business decision, it was an emotional one too. SHOOZE needed to survive and thrive,” she admits.
In the wake of COVID she had committed to expanding the store and forged ahead opening a men’s division in June, when retail stores were allowed to reopen.
She is a graduate of Wyoming Seminary and Drexel University receiving a bachelor of science degree in business administration with concentrations in finance and marketing.
She joined the family business as special projects manager and enrolled at Luzerne County Community College at night to pursue plumbing and heating courses. “I learned quickly, and I liked my job. Every day was different and fraught with new problems and unforeseen challenges,” she adds.
She was able to use her newfound skills and apply it to Power Mechanical Corporation (PMC), a business PEC had subcontracted work to exclusively for years, which she purchased in the early 90’s and ran it for over 20 years.
Her parents, Bob and Cathy Mugford, have been her mentors, both professionally and personally. Dan Petrishin, her significant other of many years, and her children, Bobby and Alex Wilson are also her shining stars. Her sisters, Jennifer Necessary, and Susanne Reeves, also have provided great support to her.
Having had many mentors in her life, too numerous to name all, they include business leaders, Frank Joanlanne, Troy Standish, Lou Sebia, Lisa Golden, Carl Witkowski, Scott Lynett, and Liz Graham to name a few.
She is a member of Circle 200 and received the American Cancer Society volunteer of the year award; has co-chaired the United Way’s annual campaign; and received the ATHENA award.