Dealing with numbers is no problem for Marissa McKenna, and that's a good thing, because as Chatham Assistant Treasurer-Collector, numbers are a regular aspect of her work. But while dealing with finances and tallies might be part of her job, there is more to life on Cape Cod for McKenna, who is truly treasuring her time here.
Originally from Connecticut, McKenna came to Cape Cod when her mother took a job with Barnstable County, moving here with her in 2012. Immediately, McKenna fell in love with the scenery of the region, delighting in myriad outdoor activities, a passion for her and fiancé Ian Roberts, with whom she resides in Yarmouth.
Initially, McKenna had hopes of becoming a high school guidance counselor after majoring in English in college, but life had other plans and she found herself employed soon after relocating to the Cape in the Barnstable County billing and collections department, encouraged to apply by her mother.
“It was a really good starting position,” McKenna said. “Being young on Cape Cod, it's hard to find a good job.”
McKenna saw the posting for the Chatham position online, applied, and within a week was offered the job, much to her delight.
“Every day we learn something new,” she said. “And working with wonderful people definitely helps.”
What McKenna cautions, particularly with regard to her age (27) and seeming youthful innocence, is that she's far more knowledgeable than her years.
“I'm a lot smarter than people think,” McKenna said. “I'm very observant and have an excellent gut instinct.”
She is quick to remind people that she and her fellow professionals are shaping the landscape of tomorrow in Chatham, and on and off Cape Cod.
“It's really important to remember that we are the future,” McKenna said. “You have to earn respect and give respect.”
Making the world a better place is also of importance to McKenna. Recently, she and Roberts bettered their lives and the lives of another by adopting a rescue dog, their beloved Zoe, a victim of animal cruelty. Of the fact that Zoe is a pitbull, McKenna said that people have to look past the labels and understand that, just like other breeds, they need and deserve love, and can be wonderful pets.
“Look through her eyes,” McKenna said.
Together, often with Zoe in tow, McKenna and Roberts enjoy exploring the region, visiting area beaches, forests, and anywhere that gets them outside, especially in autumn.
“We're very outdoorsy people,” McKenna said. “Fall is our place to be, especially here.”
The duo is also very passionate about fitness, appreciating the benefits of exercise, something the climate and geography of Chatham and its surrounding areas are excellent for.
Meanwhile, McKenna continues to look forward each day to her job in Chatham, relishing her connections not only with her colleagues, but also the many opportunities to meet residents and visitors. Though she chuckles at her past aspirations in education, she is quite pleased to be part of the Chatham community.
“Everything happens for a reason,” McKenna said. “You don't necessarily have to do what you thought you would, or what you graduated in.”