'Hurricane Renee' honored
When Renee Plummer hears an idea she likes, she doesn’t just nod or make a note for later — she picks up a phone.
The person on the other end of the line usually is someone with pull.
“Oh, no, what? Don’t tell me he’s on a conference call!” Plummer, vice president of marketing at Two International Group at Pease International Tradeport in Portsmouth, joked with a secretary during one such call on a recent morning in her office. “What could possibly be more important than this?”
Plummer is one of several winners of this year’s Granite State Legacy Awards.
The awards are presented by the New Hampshire Union Leader, sponsored by Centrix Bank and given to New Hampshire residents who have made significant contributions over an extended period to their profession, community and state.
Plummer said she’s humbled by the honor. It’s one of several community awards she’s received in recent years.
Plummer’s energy and passion have become renowned in Portsmouth and at Pease, where Two International has played a leading role in revitalizing the former Air Force base. Plummer said the commercial real estate developer has built 20 buildings at the tradeport and two in downtown Portsmouth, and has about 250 tenants in all.
Plummer has been an active fundraiser for GOP political candidates since the 1990s and has founded or facilitated various community events, such as the Fashions by the Sea fundraiser for Exeter Hospital, the Boston-Portsmouth Air Show and the commissioning of the USS New Hampshire, a painting of which hangs in her office.
She also sits on the board of charitable groups including Veterans Count, an Easter Seals program that provides funds and resources to veterans, service members and their families.
On her office desk, not far from an autographed photo of former President George W. Bush that’s signed “To Renee,” sit two large, well-used Rolodexes. Like Plummer herself, the contact lists are often in motion.
“A lot of us have nicknamed her ‘Hurricane Renee,’ because when she gets going, she’s like a whirlwind,” said Dave Mullen, executive director of the Pease Development Authority.
Plummer said one of her latest projects is working with NASCAR to get outreach tents for Veterans Count set up during upcoming events at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon. If all goes well, she said, a tent will be up during a race in July and one in September. “My summer will be filled with NASCAR and Veterans Count,” she said.
Doug Bates, president of the Portsmouth Chamber of Commerce, said that in addition to her more public efforts, Plummer “has done so many things behind the scenes that many people don’t know about.”
“She just loves the city, period,” Bates said. “With everything she does to support Portsmouth and non-profits and growth ... she walks the walk and she talks the talk. It’s as simple as that.”