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 AAA Minneapolis, where she served two terms as board chair; Episcopal House of Prayer; Airport Foundation MSP; and 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 children, six amazing grandkids and one spoiled cat (that still lives at home). As a recent breast cancer survivor, she makes a daily practice of gratitude, loves her twice-weekly Iyengar yoga Zoom classes, 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: "Braiding Sweetgrass" by Robin Wall Kimmerer and "Sharks in the Time of Saviors" by Kawai Strong Washburn
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.