Backed by expertise in communications and management, Mary Devon O’Brien is thriving as the commissioner of the Essex County Tax Board and as the president of Anamex, Inc. She started the former position in 2008 and the latter in 1995, and really loves her work. Ms. O’Brien appreciates that both draw heavily on her past experiences. In tax hearing appeal cases, she has to follow the law, be fair to everyone, and try to ensure that no one suffers. In the service organization, the highlight of her work is with the eyeglass recycling program.
At the beginning of her career, Ms. O’Brien served the Defense Communications Division ITT as a program administrator, a manpower controller, a manager of cost and schedule control, and a member of the Voice Processing Project. She transferred to Avionics Division ITT in 1980 as a project manager, and quickly advanced to the roles of senior manager of projects and consultant of strategic planning. She left the company in 1995.
Ms. O’Brien prepared for her endeavors by earning a Bachelor of Arts and an MBA from Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, in 1975 and 1976, respectively. She then furthered her professional standings by becoming certified in project management in 1989 and by becoming involved with prominent organizations like the Telecommunications Group and Aerospace Industries Association and the ITT Management Association. Ms. O’Brien attributes her success to her parents. They taught her the value of education, and instilled in her their philosophy of keeping an open mind, serving the community, and making the world a better place.
Following her parents’ lessons, Ms. O’Brien spends a lot of the time she isn’t working volunteering in her community. She has been the president of the Maplewood Civic Association since 2000, the chairman of the Maplewood County Republican Committee since 1996, the chairman of the Maple Leaf Service Award Committee since 1994, an appointed fellow of Leadership New Jersey since 1993, and the chairman of the Council Chapter of the President Interaction Committee since 1991, among many others.
As a testament to her achievements, Ms. O’Brien was honored with the Distinguished Service Award from the Maplewood New Jersey Chamber of Commerce in 2005, a fellowship from the International Project Management Institute in 1995, and the New Jersey Leadership Fellowship in 1993. Previously, in 1992, she received a citation from the New Hampshire General Assembly Senate Resolution Community Leadership and Service, a U.S. House Representatives Citation, the Phoebe and Benjamin Shackelford Award from the United Way, and the Maple Leaf Award for Outstanding Community Service. Some of her other notable accolades include the Pursuit of Excellence Cost Savings Achievement Award from ITT Avionics, the Distinguished Contribution Award from United Way, and the Meritorious Service Recognition Award and Outstanding President Award from IPMA.