Mary is the Director of Financial Empowerment for the state of Delaware and runs $tand By Me®. She joined Governor Jack Markell’s administration following a 30-year career in the nonprofit sector as an entrepreneur in high-impact financial empowerment programs. Since joining the Delaware state government in 2009, she worked with the Delaware Department of Health and Social Services and United Way of Delaware to develop and launch the unique program $tand By Me®, helping thousands of Delawareans to become more financially secure.
Prior to her tenure with the State of Delaware, she was the co-founder and Executive Director of the Nehemiah Gateway CDC, a faith-based community development corporation in Wilmington Delaware. At Nehemiah, she started a statewide EITC Campaign which, in seven years, provided free tax preparation for over 54,000 low income taxpayers, opened 1400 savings accounts and CDs, and brought back $79 million in refunds. The champion of this effort was State Treasurer Jack Markell, who prior to his election as Governor, embraced the cause of financial inclusion for low-wage workers and financial literacy for all Delawareans. This initiative became the inspiration for the $tand By Me® financial empowerment program. She also spearheaded the organization of the Delaware Family Childcare Alliance, a statewide network of family childcare providers which grew to include 500 home-based providers serving low-income families.
Previously, as the Director of the Women’s Center for Economic Options at the YWCA, she launched the Working Capital Delaware program, a micro-loan program which served almost 1,000 micro-businesses and won a Presidential Award in Microenterprise Development in 1997 from President Bill Clinton. Before coming to Delaware, she ran a microenterprise program and worked as a community organizer for a faith-based network of community organizations in Philadelphia.
She also consulted nationally and internationally with the Corporation for Enterprise Development, the Grameen Foundation, and others on program design, evaluation, and industry development in asset building and microenterprise development. She holds a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Pennsylvania and a Masters in Social Administration from Temple University.