Mark Brennan, chief of interpretation and visitor services and the official spokesman at Steamtown NHS, will retire after almost 25 years with the National Park Service on December 30th.
Brennan, a Carbondale native, joined the National Park Service after a 20-year career as an engineer with the former Erie-Lackawanna and Delaware and Hudson Railroads. Brennan served as the park’s first chief of rail operations from 1989 to 2006 in a newly created position that was also the first of its kind in the NPS system. He established the park’s railroad training, safety and operating programs, which were recognized nationally in the rail industry.
In addition to his primary duties, Brennan also managed a $3 million environmental remediation project at the historic site and served as the park’s environmental specialist. In 2006, he was promoted to his present position and reorganized the park’s visitor services and interpretive division. He also serves as the parks public affairs and public information officer, working to promote the historic site, it’s interpretive and educational programs and special events, with local and national media outlets and numerous partners.
Brennan notes that he announced his retirement in order "to pursue some private sector business opportunities, volunteer with an organization I am passionate about and travel extensively." He departs, he says, "knowing the park is in good hands. It’s been an exciting career with Steamtown NHS, to see the park transform literally from ashes to the magnificent facility we have today. The park is very sound and positioned for continued success. The superintendent and management team have laid out a vision for the park that will guide Steamtown for many years to come, and this gives me great confidence in the park’s future."
Said Superintendent Kip Hagen: "Mark has the unique ability to tell humorous antidotes that foster creativity and create rapport and even relieve tensions, among internal and external partners. He has been an outstanding member of our management team and has made countless contributions for the betterment of the park and is highly respected across the NPS. His professionalism, experience, and friendship will be missed."