Mary D. Birks

Mary has been a child and public education advocate since her children started elementary school at her alma mater, Julia Ward Howe Elementary.

She has nearly 30 years of experience in the management of teams and volunteers, reflecting a demonstrated ability to utilize strategic coordination in the implementation of multiple large-scale, educational, non-profit and community service projects. She has extensive Board experience, having served 8 years as a Director on the Mt. Lebanon School Board, in leadership roles, serving as both the Vice President and President.

In the years since she graduated from the University of Pittsburgh with a B.A. in Communication, and was hired as Special Events Coordinator for Burson-Marsteller, her subsequent paid and volunteer positions have afforded not only management experience, but also finely honed strategic planning and leadership skills. She is able to work collaboratively with diverse staff and committee members, and has ample experience in communications, both internal and external to the organization, as well as an appreciation of the importance of sound financial management. As part of the team at Girl Scouts Western PA, Mary served as Manager, Educational Programs, working with a talented staff to bring the Leaders in Training for Tomorrow program to girls from under served communities. While in this position, Mary grew the number of schools served from three to seven in just 18 months.

Serving as Outreach’s Executive Director since October of 2014, Mary is accountable for the operations of the Agency, developing fiscally responsible policies, and implementing programs in support of the Agency’s Mission as established by the Board of Directors. She is responsible to both internal and external stakeholders and establishes policies, procedures, and directives as necessitated by legislative and governmental guidelines under which the Agency operates. Mary has utilized her extensive Board experience to work with the Board of Directors in the development and implementation of the Agency’s vision and values, as well as encouraging Board Development through workshops and training.

Mary is responsible for all Marketing/Fundraising for the Agency, including Annual Appeals and Endowment growth; grant writing and building rapport with Foundation partners. She works closely with the Board Event Chair, Committee members, and internal staff on all Agency fundraisers, including Night at the Speakeasy and various other annual ‘friendraisers.’

The agency has seen a 33% increase in individual giving since Mary was hired 5 years ago. The newly launched Endowment Initiative, Outreach 5.0, with a goal of $300K in the next five years, has pledges of $170,500, with $77,500 in funds already donated.