Mary Dwyer

Mary Dwyer

Director of Finance & Operations (she/her)

As the Finance and Operations Director for Seattle Arts and Lectures, I manage the finances for SAL and also support the employees in the HR part of my position.  I hope to bring the many years of experience I have in these areas to enhance an already amazing organization and team.

Before coming to SAL, I was the Director of Finance and Administration for EarthLab, an environmental institution at the University of Washington and before that the Director of Finance and Operations for the Wisconsin chapter of the Nature Conservancy.  I have had a variety of positions in other nonprofits from fiscal analyst to development director and also spent nine years as Director of Finance and Administration for a software start up.  I love to continually learn and grow in my areas and bring that experience to this position to help move SAL’s mission forward.

My favorite books as a kid were Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator.  These were the first novels I read on my own and I remember losing myself in all the characters and the magic.  As a mom, I loved sharing beautiful picture books with my kids when they were little and instilling a passion for reading.  The one that both my kids loved the most was Tatterhood and the Hobgoblins, a Norwegian folktale about two very different sisters.

I grew up in New York, on Long Island in an active household with five siblings very close in age.  In my twenties, I ventured to Santa Cruz, CA and then my journey around the country began thanks to my husband’s academic career.  We lived for eight years in Santa Cruz, CA, then nine years in the tiny town of Socorro, NM, then 12 years in Madison, WI and now five years in Seattle.  We were also lucky to spend one of my husband’s sabbaticals living in Zurich, Switzerland. I am so appreciative of living in different places and learning from all of them.

When I am not working you can find me biking, playing tennis, walking our sweet pup Lulu, singing and playing guitar, seeing live music, traveling, getting any time I can with our two kids in their 20’s who live in other states (OR and WI), spending time with family and friends across the US and hosting gatherings at our house.

Of the most recent books I’ve read, I really enjoyed Minor Feelings.  It was great to learn from the life and experiences of the author and I also enjoyed the poetic structure of her writing. My ideal Sunday involves reading in bed in the morning, listening to the NPR weekly puzzler and working on the NYT crossword with my husband.  After that, I would spend some time doing one of the activities that I love.  I also love going out for brunch or grabbing some fresh baked goods from our local favorite bakery, Tall Grass.