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Employee Focus – Mary Malta

By Sarah Cormier, Macomb County Executive Office

You might notice her in the movie Stone, giving a nod to Robert De Niro, a move she jokingly calls her “claim to fame.” But it’s far more likely you’ll recognize her from the halls of the Macomb County Health Department.

Mary Malta is a plan review specialist for the Environmental Division of the Macomb County Health Department, helping to ensure that businesses looking to either expand or open in Macomb County do so while following important health codes. Malta has worked for the Health Department for 25 years; for the past 18 she has been in her current position. She is the only full-time worker in her position. She and a part-time employee divide up the approximate 100 cases that come across their desks in a calendar year.

“She is a thorough and professional inspector who's been an asset due to her length at the county,” said Malta’s Supervisor Rene Hewitt-Lichota. “With the time and effort she puts in ... it makes things run smoothly in our plan review department.”

The job has two main components. Those looking to expand or open their business in Macomb County must submit plans, which Malta reviews for code violations. She works with the company to make sure they understand any rules they must follow. After the plan review, Malta then goes to the place of business to make sure everything has been properly set up according to the agreed upon plans. In a fairly routine transaction, the whole process takes about a month.

“I like reviewing everything and making sure it’s the way it’s supposed to be,” she said, adding that she also enjoys seeing brand new businesses open. “Seeing the business so nice and clean is cool.”

As it was earlier implied, Malta is a theater buff. She recently played a role in Mame, a musical at the Riverbank Theatre in Marine City in December. She has also been an extra in a few films. In addition to Stone (2010), Malta was in Real Steel (2011) with Hugh Jackman. Her scene was cut, but she said she witnessed the actor engaging with everyone on set. She said he is very nice and seemed even taller and more in shape than in the movies. She recently played the role of a psychiatric patient in the movie Gifted Hands: The Ben Carson Story (2009) starring Cuba Gooding Jr., although she didn’t get to meet the celebrity.

“It’s what I hope to do when I retire,” said Malta of her theater work.                                             

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(Malta as Nurse Flynn in One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest at the Richmond Community Theatre)

Paul Glantz, founder and chairman of Emagine Entertainment, recently sent an e-mail to the Macomb County Executive Office praising Mary’s work ethic after she helped the theater open in Macomb Township.

“Mary was more than accommodating in processing our Health Department permit. She went over and above the call of duty to assist us in opening our new Macomb Township theatre. I believe that Mary’s positive demeanor and genuine dedication to serving our needs is truly an exemplary demonstration of public service,” wrote Glantz. “I believe Mary personifies the outstanding business climate that has been created under the leadership of County Executive Mark Hackel. We are thrilled to be opening our new business in Macomb County.”