Marek Tomanek ‘18 does crucial work for the greater Northampton County community, as he is their deputy director of community and economic development. His job entails administering resources to the people and businesses of the county. Additionally, he works with nonprofits and municipalities to help aid individual communities in economic development, all to improve quality of life for the citizens under his domain. At Muhlenberg, he studied political science and economics, with a focus in local government and nonprofits, where he learned many of the skills he uses daily in his career.
Throughout his time at Muhlenberg, he was a pivotal member of the football team. Tomanek initially chose Muhlenberg “as the best fit for me as a student athlete. ‘Berg allowed me to play high quality DIII football while utilizing small class sizes with great professors to pursue my professional career.”
This blend of athletics and academics has allowed Tomanek to view his work from many different angles. He expressed this saying, “The critical thinking skills honed in the classroom complimented by the discipline and teamwork that came with playing college football have helped shape the way I approach complicated municipal issues. Addressing many of the social and economic shortcomings in our area, it requires a level of teamwork with diligence and humility in order to have compassion for others while coming together to come up with ideas that turn into actions that impact people’s lives for the better.”
After graduation, he attended graduate school at Lehigh University as part of their Community Fellows program. While pursuing his masters, he worked with local governments and nonprofits, which allowed him to do meaningful work for the Easton community. After Lehigh, Tomanek was offered a position as the economic development coordinator. Tomanek describes how he “managed resources, technical and otherwise and leveraged local, state and federal partnerships to promote investment that builds upon the Easton community and economic assets while improving quality of life and place.” In July of 2022, Tomanek was appointed to his current position.
When asked about what he finds most rewarding about his field, Tomanek reflected on his career path, stating, “For me, the most rewarding aspect of my career is being able to see the tangible benefit to the communities I work with. The cliché phrase of ‘be the change you want to see in the world’ always hit home for me, so being able to bring positive changes to people and communities in need has been more rewarding than I could have imagined.”