Why do you think family businesses are important to West Michigan?
Family businesses are the backbone of a vibrant community. Business families are deeply rooted in their communities. This connection facilitates close and long-term relationships all while making a positive impact within their community. Additionally, the family values tend to translate throughout their employees and into the greater community.
Tell us a little about your career/background before FBA.
I am a graduate of Hope College. I started my career working in advertising and marketing and worked in both Chicago and Denver. I took time away from the work force when my 3 sons were born. As they started school, I began to explore my yoga practice and pursued my 200-hour teacher training and then my 500- hour teacher training. I taught at a yoga studio in Redmond, Washington. When I went back to work full-time, it was a yoga student who invited me to interview, and eventually hired me to be the events and communications manager for the not-for-profit where she has served as Executive Director. I moved back to Michigan in 2016 and have worked in events and corporate relations for the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation and Samaritas.
What do you enjoy most about living in West Michigan?
Some of my favorite memories are my summers spent in Northern Michigan.
What is your favorite (non-work related!) hobby?
I love to practice yoga, ski, both X-country and downhill, play tennis, sail, bike, water ski and float on a tube in a lake.
Tell us a little about your family.
I have 3 sons. Two are attending Purdue University. One is a senior and will move to Cary, NC upon graduation this spring for a job. The second is a freshman in First Year Engineering, he will enter into the Electrical Engineering major next year. My youngest son is a junior at East Grand Rapids HS. He plays Water Polo and swims. I have 2 cats that were feral and starving when I encountered them. I just felt the need to feed them and make them comfortable with human touch. They now rule the home.
Fun Facts about Mary:
- Favorite GR Restaurant: San Chez
- Favorite TV Show or Movie: Succession
- Favorite Book: Pillars of the Earth