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Monday, April 15, 2024
‘No limits’ for women, says Marcia Penner
Marcia Penner admires strong women and cites 100-year-old Mary Snider as one of her influences. Penner and her husband Kevin operate the Home Hardware store in NOTL. DAVE VAN DE LAAR

The name Penner literally is a landmark in Niagara-on-the-Lake.

The Penner Home Hardware Building Centre is a destination, the go-to place for home “stuff” and a long-standing family-run business. 

Marcia Penner is one-half of the duo who run the operation, working alongside her husband Kevin.

“He has his roles and I have mine and we work super well together,” Marcia says.

When Kevin was beginning to take over ownership of the store, which was in its third generation at the time, Marcia gave up her career in nursing to help out. 

“Leadership skills came into play huge. As a nurse at Pleasant Manor for a number of years (I was) an acting leader so I honed my leadership skills and managerial skills,” she says. 

The compassion and care she learned as a nurse come into play every day when serving the community.

Changing career paths, there “was a learning curve for sure. We’ve been married for almost 30 years now so I had learned a little just from him talking,” Penner says. 

Being able to work together with her family and serve her community made the learning a very fun trade-off.

While her husband takes care of much of the hands-on tasks of a major lumber yard, Marcia’s day consists of lots of administration and customer care. 

“The most rewarding part is our customers. They’re the reason we do it,” she says.

She hopes that her work in the NOTL business community inspires other women to remember that “they can do just about anything.”

“There’s no limits. Strong women doing strong things. I admire them so much. Women rock,” Penner says. 

She has worked to inspire the women around her, including her daughter Kelsey Overbeeke, who has gotten involved in the family business along with her brother Kyle.

Overbeeke and her mom own Keke Boutique together. It opened in 2016 and operates inside the lumber store’s loft area. 

“My daughter is a real strong woman and she continues to impress me,” Penner says. 

She credits her son and husband, who proudly encourage strong women to shine, for creating a perfect family and business environment.

But Penner is thankful for the influence of women she knew growing up — in particular Mary Snider.

Snider, who just celebrated her 100th birthday last month, led the Virgil Stampede for decades. And Penner, who also serves on the Virgil Business Association as secretary, has taken over Snider’s former role.

“She has been a huge influence on me because she has always worked with just men,” Penner says. 

Snider’s ability to keep her strength in the face of adversity has been an inspiration.

“She’s always been influential to me. Her outlook is ‘Don’t limit yourself, don’t take any crap, do what’s right and work hard,’ ” Penner says. 

 

 

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