If you’ve ever wondered how a staff of 37 manages to “effortlessly” transition to a virtual work environment amidst a global pandemic, chances are they’ve got a pretty great team working behind the scenes. Here at the Chester County Planning Commission, our Office and Communications Manager, Beth Cunliffe, knows how to keep things running smoothly!
Beth began her career with Chester County back in 2006, when she was first hired as the Office Administrator at the Chester County Water Resources Authority. The following year, an opportunity to advance her skills became available, and Beth became the Office Manager at the Chester County Planning Commission. In 2017, she was promoted to the Planning Commission’s Office and Communications Manager, adding the communications staff to her team.
As the Office and Communications Manager, Beth oversees the Administrative Support and Communications team of 6, however she provides support to the Planning Commission’s 5 other divisions as well. Some of Beth’s (and her team’s) daily duties include public and municipal outreach, event planning and support, coordinating with Legislators and the Commissioners’ Office, educational training, research and data collection, website development, social media and public relations, invoicing and payroll, 247 plan submissions, and contract preparation and management – among other things. “We take pride being a well-oiled machine that is ready to adapt to the ever changing work environment,” Beth noted.
Some of Beth’s favorite projects include celebrating 30 years of open space preservation during the county’s 2019 Open Space Summit, as well as reaching out to residents as part of the update of the county’s comprehensive plans, Landscapes2 and Landscapes3. “It is so amazing to be part of such an important team that helps guide the county’s growth and preservation,” Beth commented. “Working for the Planning Commission has been so rewarding, and the staff is incredible.”
Prior to working for the county and taking time off to raise her family, Beth worked as the Regional Reimbursement Manager for a national home care company. She is originally from Media, PA, and currently resides in Penn Township with her husband of 32 years, 3 children, and 5 dogs and 5 cats.
Besides her home, Beth’s favorite place in Chester County is Longwood Gardens. In her spare time, she can often be found strolling around Longwood, relaxing outside, or camping (preferably somewhere on or near the water). Beth also enjoys learning new things, and recently learned how to tow her family’s 37-foot camper!
When asked what her favorite life philosophy is, Beth replied with the simple act of living by compassion and forgiveness. “You never really know what someone else is going through at any moment,” she said. And further supporting this philosophy, Beth’s favorite quotes by Mother Teresa include:
Peace begins with a smile.
If you judge people, you have no time to love them.
There are no great things, only small things with great love. Happy are those.
Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly endless.
Spread love everywhere you go. Let no one ever come to you without leaving happier.
If you can’t feed a hundred people, then feed just one.
Be faithful in small things because it is in them that your strength lies.
If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other.
Every time you smile at someone, it is an action of love, a gift to that person, a beautiful thing.
Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow has not yet come. We have only today. Let us begin.