Mary Anna Hite and Jeanne McCormick are following in the traditions established by their intrepid and community-minded mother, Ivey Beardslee.
The sisters were chosen grand marshals for Pembroke’s Christmas Parade this year in large part due to their dedication to the local community.
Beardslee was also honored as parade grand marshal in 2005.
"It was an honor for her and it was for us too," McCormick said. "I told Mary Anna I didn’t think we were old enough yet to be grand marshals," she said with a laugh.
Beardslee blazed the trail by establishing ties to the city where she not only resided, but also ran a business that pushed local development, what is now Pembroke Advance Communications. Her focus was always on providing service for people and quietly doing works throughout the community.
"It (the business) wasn’t about making money, it was about providing a good service for people," McCormick said. "That’s kind of what she instilled in her employees and her family that we provide a service and it’s supposed to be a good service … We’ve tried to follow through with her direction and her goals."
Beardslee fostered community involvement and a philanthropic spirit within the family and the employees, a tradition that Hite and McCormick continue.
"We’ve got and have had fourth generation employees," Hite said of the company’s relationship with the community.
"We grew up here and went to the schools here and so we’ve always tried to support whatever was going on," McCormick said, "…because we feel like it’s important for the community to be strong and we like to keep our donations here within the community. Because those people are our customers too."
PAC coordinates with United Way for a monthly mobile food pantry in Pembroke, they support projects at the Senior Center, local schools and downtown.
"I don’t think we’ve ever had an event, or any cause, or anything downtown that the two of them didn’t support. And that the phone company didn’t support," Downtown Development Authority Director Alex Floyd said. "They just do all kinds of stuff for us and they’re very community spirited."