Mary Lilja is the founder of Lilja Communications, the public relations firm she established that has marked its 30th anniversary of helping companies, nonprofit organizations and foundations communicate more effectively. She is the founder of Lilja LifeStories, a service to help individuals, families and businesses share their stories, and Lilja Press, a publishing imprint.
She has 40 years of experience developing and directing internal and external communications programs. Under her direction, Lilja Communications has received numerous honors for its work, from speeches to media relations campaigns. Her business articles and observations about life have been published in MinnPost, Minnesota Business, Star Tribune, Minnesota Women's Press and St. Paul Pioneer Press.
Mary is immediate past Board Chair of AAA Minneapolis; she most recently was a trustee of Episcopal Homes, an organization founded by her ancestor, Sister Annette Relf. She enjoys yoga, hiking, canoeing, skiing, and singing with her grandchildren and with the Edina Chorale. She and her husband Mike have three terrific adult children, six adorable grandkids, and one spoiled cat (that still lives at home). As a breast cancer survivor, she is adjusting to her gray and curly hair after years of it being brown and straight!
Mary was named an Industry Leader at Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal's 2011 Women in Business Awards.
Favorite book: "Gone with the Wind" by Margaret Mitchell
Reading & recommending now: Anything by Kristin Hannah and "The Overstory" by Richard Powers
Favorite movie: "It's a Wonderful Life"
Binge-watching now: "Country Music" by Ken Burns and "This is Us"
Six-word memoir: Words were always easy for her.