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Mary Lilja headshot


Founder, Retired

Mary has more than 40 years of experience developing and directing internal and external communications programs. She founded Lilja Communications in 1988 and has relished bringing her strong strategic and writing skills to Lilja clients. 


An avid reader and writer, her articles and observations about life have been published in MinnPost, Minnesota Business, Star Tribune, Minnesota Women's Press and St. Paul Pioneer Press.


Mary has served on several boards over the years, including Episcopal House of Prayer, Airport Foundation MSP and AAA Minneapolis, where she served two terms as board chair. She currently serves as vice chair of the board at Episcopal Homes, a senior housing organization founded by her ancestor, Sister Annette Relf, Minnesota’s first Episcopal Deaconess. Mary writes a newsletter for the Whitefish Lake Property Owners Association and serves on the board. She enjoys walking, canoeing, skiing, and singing with her grandchildren and with the Edina Chorale. She and her husband, Mike, are the parents of three wonderful children, grandparents to eight terrific grandkids, and owners of one (very) spoiled cat. A recent breast cancer survivor, she makes a daily practice of gratitude and contemplation, enjoys her nearly three decades of study in Iyengar yoga and relishes her time in nature (the wilder the better). 


Mary was named an Industry Leader at Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal's 2011 Women in Business Awards


Favorite book: "Animal Dreams" by Barbara Kingsolver

Reading & recommending now: "Tom Lake" by Ann Patchett and "The Comfort of Crows" by Margaret Renkl

Favorite movie: "It's a Wonderful Life"

Binge-watching now: "Lupin" and "Firefly Lane," both on Netflix

Six-word memoir: Words were always easy for her.



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8953 Aztec Drive

Eden Prairie, MN 55347

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