Mike Marsico, the former deputy director for the Office of Public Liaison under Gov. Ed Rendell, assumed the role of deputy director at FIGHT Jan. 24.
In the newly created position, Marsico will spearhead local and state government relations.
Marsico previously worked for City Councilman-at-Large Angel Ortiz and served as co-chair of the Liberty City Democratic Club, on the advisory council to the Delaware Valley Legacy Fund and on the executive board of the National Stonewall Democrats.
He said that, through discussions with FIGHT executive director Jane Shull, he realized his background was compatible with FIGHT’s needs.
“As the light was going out on the Rendell administration, I met with her to get her opinion as a mentor and friend to figure out what my plan for the future should be,” he said. “About a year ago we talked about some possibilities at FIGHT, so we talked more about it and it was really interesting and intriguing the more I thought about it. I thought it’d be a great move for me and also a good cause where I could use my experience and everything else I’ve learned and brought with me to help out.”
In addition to the position being a good fit for him, Marsico said he was especially drawn to FIGHT because of the breadth of its services.
“It’s so comprehensive,” he said. “Everything from Y-HEP [Youth Health Empowerment Program] to the Community Justice Institute, as well as what’s going on in the main office with the health clinic, which serves 1,300 people a year,” he said. “They make it as easy as possible for folks going through this time in their life to be able to help themselves, to be able to figure out what the next step is in their medical care, and then they have Plan B, C and D to give them all these other resources. FIGHT is prepared to help people throughout whatever they do with their lives, as far as work or education, in order to make the world a great possibility for people with HIV and AIDS.”
Marsico noted that while he has been acquainted with FIGHT in some capacity for the past two decades, he’s been “astounded” by the level of commitment its workers have to the agency’s mission after seeing it firsthand in the past month.
He said he’s going to invest the same dedication in his own responsibilities and will be capitalizing on his years working in government to make new connections for FIGHT.
“We want to let folks know about this great resource. I’m going to be going to meetings and events and meeting with elected officials who, by the nature of their positions, tend not to have the ability to devote that much time to figuring out the differences between different organizations. So we’re going to be bringing in as many as possible — we already have a good number scheduled — to see the site and to understand what we do so that if they ever talk to anyone who needs help or if anyone calls them, they know that we’re here.”
Jen Colletta can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.