Mary Lilja, President


Mary Lilja is president of Lilja Communications, the public relations firm she founded in 1988 to help 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 39 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 Minnesota Business, Star Tribune, Minnesota Women's Press and St. Paul Pioneer Press.

Mary is immediate past Board Chair of AAA Minneapolis; she also serves as a trustee of Episcopal Homes, an organization founded by her ancestor, Sister Annette Relf. She enjoys yoga, hiking, canoeing, and singing with the Edina Chorale. She and her husband Mike have three terrific adult children, four adorable grandchildren, and one spoiled cat (that still lives at home).

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: "Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis" by J. D. Vance

Favorite movie: "It's a Wonderful Life"

Binge watching now: Looking forward to the next season of "Grace & Frankie"

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


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