Strong Woman of Southern Utah
She was born Pamela Joy Howard, in Chicago, Illinois. The oldest girl with six siblings, she lived her younger years nurturing and playing mom. At 14, she began work and continued going to school. She went into the Air Force at the age of 18 and began her new journey.
Pam married while in the military, where she completed over 23 years of military life. She has lived in 13 different states and now resides in St. George, Utah, which she says “is the most majestic and beautiful place I have ever lived.”
During the military years she had three children. Her boys, whom she adores, followed in their parents’ military footsteps. They both joined the Army, and her oldest completed West Point and is now doing government contract work overseas. Her youngest is in the infantry. He is a decorated war hero who served in Iraq and Afghanistan, has a double Purple Heart and is a wounded warrior. Her daughter, who opposes war, is vice president of a million-dollar corporation. In her spare time, she rescues, pays for all medical needs, rehabilitates, and adopts out animals who would otherwise not been given a chance to live. “She has a heart of gold and I am so honored to have her as my daughter,” Pam says. Her daughter has blessed Pam with a granddaughter, “the other love of my life,” who is now in her third year of college at Quinnipiac in Connecticut. She is proud of all of them and feels extremely blessed.
Pam is married to her best friend. “John is the wind beneath my wings. He is always supportive in everything I do. He is the one who always does the work and never gets the glory.” John is retired, but don’t let that fool you. Pam says he is the one who gets up at 4 am and doesn’t stop until 10 pm. “He is a woman’s dream! He is a fabulous cook who prepares all the meals, does the grocery shopping, cleans the house, washes the clothes, works in the yard, and with his great ‘handyman skills’ works on my to-do list, which is endless. I could never accomplish all that I do without him. He is the love of my life!”
Pam considers herself a “workaholic” who can’t stop serving. Throughout her professional career and personal life, her motto has been “people first.” She is passionate about the communities where she lives and is quick to get involved.
She has lived in St. George for only two short years. Since arriving she has begun two professional careers. She works for the St. George Chamber of Commerce where she says “working for the Chamber has been the best position I have ever held. I work with the greatest team and Board of Directors. I get to go out and socialize with the entire business and political community. What can be better than that?” Pam says she has a passion to help businesses succeed and excel. She remarks, “the people in this community are so open, honest, and welcoming. I’ve never lived in a community where I can honestly say I like everyone I have ever met.” She says it’s her desire to meet with every business in Washington & Iron County, where she looks forward to making new friends.
lly, she works as a Realtor with ERA Brokers. “I get to team with the best Broker and Realtors. Being a Realtor is another way that I can meet and support new people – with what can sometimes be an arduous journey.” And who better qualified to understand this process, than someone who has moved as many times as she has?
We said Pam has two professions since moving to St. George. Actually, there’s a third – Pam is a professional volunteer. She has always volunteered; as early as Junior High she assisted with the physically and mentally handicapped. She also spent four years with the White Tornado Drum & Bugle Corps, although she confides, “when competition time came I was commanded to fake blowing the bugle. I was that bad.”
Upon arriving in St. George she pursued her passion for the military and its veterans. She currently volunteers at the American Red Cross with Services to Armed Forces Division. The Red Cross aids veterans and active duty military in an array of services and they are honored to assist with the Veteran History Project for the Library of Congress.
She has served with the American Legion Post 90 as President of the Auxiliary, and is currently outgoing President. When able, she serves on the Ritual Team and says “It’s an honor and a blessing to be able to serve. Whenever I assist at a funeral or military posting of colors, tears of honor and respect for those who have served and their families cascade down my cheeks. I wish every American could understand the sacrifice – not just during military time served but until the end of a veteran’s life, the price paid for our freedom.” She also holds the position of Finance Officer and Director of Events. Her military volunteerism doesn’t stop there. Pam serves on the St. George City Mayor’s Veteran Advisory Council and also the Military Veterans Coalition.
Pam was instrumental in adding two major events last year, in which all the proceeds went to American Legion Post 90 for helping veterans: Rodeo Days Barn Dance in September, and the Sanctioned Chili Cook-Off and Fair in May. Three competitors earned the right to go to Nationals from the Cook-Off.
Pam was recently a student of Leadership Dixie. She said this was the most amazing experience she has ever had. “Oh my goodness! The cost of Leadership Dixie was $500. It was like being entertained on a beer budget with a Krug Clos d’Ambonnay Champagne experience. For someone like me, new to southern Utah, I learned everything there is to know about our community. The experience and the relationships I formed are priceless.”
When asked what the future holds for her; she said this: “I’m not sure who started ‘pay it forward’ but I know ‘to whom much has been given, much is required.’ Since moving to St. George, I have been given more, much more – more love, more respect, more opportunity, more blessings than I could have ever imagined. As long as I reside in this community I want to pay it forward wherever and however I can.”
It’s only fitting that the first ever Strong Women of Southern Utah features
Pam Palermo; she is a true dynamo. Pam combines endless energy, an amazing work ethic, and her “people first” mantra with a megawatt smile and fun spirit that simply draws people in. She is so engaging, that with one quick, effervescent giggle, you’re hooked, you want to spend more time giving back with her, you want to be more, do more, and make a greater impact than you ever thought possible. She is the very essence of a strong woman, and thankfully she chose southern Utah to call home. Thank you for all you do, Pam.