Mary is originally from Williamsburg, Virginia, and moved to Florida in 1971 from Louisiana. Her first eight years in Lakeland were as office manager for Dan Bagley Specialty Advertising. In 1979, she joined Lakeland’s 94.1 WVFM (which later became WEZY) as public relations and promotions director. Shortly afterwards, station bosses Bud Kurtz, Duane McConnell, and Herb Todd told her they thought she would be do great in the sales end of the business. After all, that’s where the money was.
She took their advice and joined the sales force for WVFM and sister station WLKF, which became part of the company a few years later. Not only did she get encouragement from Kurtz, McConnell, and Todd, but other staffers, too, like nighttime deejay Bob McCarthy, who helped her develop creative writing skills and to understand the production side of the business.
It was a tough time in Mary’s life when she started with WVFM with two teenage children to support, but her radio career helped her through it. However, after losing her daughter in 1994, she knew she needed a new challenge and made the decision to join the “other” company across town, Hall Communications (WONN-WPCV). Within a few years, Hall would also add WLKF and WWRZ, making four stations she could sell for. She says it was the best decision she ever made. Starting over is never fun, but she knew she had the support of another great staff of people, headed by GM Art Rowbotham and station manager Nancy Cattarius.
Without hesitation, she’ll tell you that there are numerous people who contributed to her success – from Palm Beach marketing guru Steven Sonntag to her first sales manager, Murray Goldsborough. She also credits the copywriters she’s worked with over the years whose job it is to write her clients’ commercials, copywriters like Joan Mullaney, the late Marji Bedgood, and Tom Shaw.
There’s no doubt about Mary’s love for her job, her clients, and the people she works with. And she has no intentions of quitting or retiring, not until “they haul me off in a pine box. Radio is a huge part of my life. I truly need it to exist.”
1979 - 1980 WVFM/WEZY-FM 94.1 - Lakeland (Promotions)
1980 - 1994 WVFM/WEZY-FM 94.1 - Lakeland (Sales)