Mary Kalocz was born and raised in Toronto, Canada by a single mother who did all she could to provide an atmosphere of love and growth to her children. Mary has always been driven to give back and has held many positions in a volunteer role, including with the Special Olympics.

Mary attributes her strengths to playing team-based sports from a young age. She participated in hockey, volleyball, tennis, and several more. There she gained an understanding that working together makes you stronger. She also learned that you never know what someone has experienced, so you should always be kind.

Now a devoted mother of two, Mary is raising her children with the same values her mother taught her. Her greatest pride is watching them grow and learn new things. They enjoy family walks and traveling to learn about new cultures.

Tell us something about yourself that people don’t know about you.

I used to do marathons and volunteer work frequently. I worked with the Special Olympics several times. This is something that doesn’t really come up very often and I don’t think many people know about me. I helped build funding for two nursing homes in my community. I love being able to give back. It really does help grow oneself as an individual. You learn so much about yourself when you learn to be selfless and giving.

What are your strengths?

I think one of my greatest strengths is that I care. I believe that is the underlying foundation to all the things people consider strengths, overall. I am a good team player and a great listener. I work well under pressure and am really good at problem solving. I feel like all of those attributes come from the simple fact that I care about the work I do and the people that I am helping.

What is your proudest achievement?

My proudest achievement is my children. I watch them grow and learn new things every day. It has been the most extraordinary adventure. Through them, I have learned things about myself and a strength I didn’t know I had. One thing I have learned is how important it is to not allow “mom guilt” to overpower your sense of self. We are all doing the best we can for our families and sometimes tend to put too much pressure on ourselves. Enjoy the moments, build experiences that they can look back on. That is more important than the things you buy them.

When you first started out, was there ever a time you doubted this career would work for you?

I am especially thankful that I never did have any doubts about where I was going in life. It has always been within me to help others. I think being a young athlete helped bring out this part of my personality. You develop your own strengths while learning to work with others. You learn character and leadership skills. All of these traits I have brought with me throughout my career.

What is the toughest decision you’ve had to make in the past few months?

We had to rehome our family dog recently. It was an emotional experience for all of us and finding a great home for him was really tough. We had to do what was best for the dog, but it wasn’t an easy thing to do. I am happy we found a family that was perfect for him and I know it was the best decision.

What do you think it is that makes you successful?

I try to practice mindfulness with every decision I make. I like to evaluate and be certain of a strategy before moving forward. I tend to sleep on things to ensure I am approaching an issue with a clear mind. I never want to just jump in headfirst without knowing the possible outcome.

What has been your most satisfying moment in business?

I love when a child is able to return home, either to their family or to a new adoptive family that is a good fit.

What does the future hold for your career and what are you most excited about?

I am most looking forward to watching my children grow and develop their own personalities. They are where I find my joy. I believe every child should have access to a loving and stable environment where they are free to express themselves safely. I truly look forward to watching them become their own individual selves. I am embracing whatever the future holds for us.

What business books have inspired you?

I haven’t read many business books. They don’t really pertain to my field as much as others. I do enjoy reading books that help you look at yourself and how you can improve. I believe that people should give back where they can, whether it’s reading to children or fundraising for a cause. Anything you can contribute to others is a way to give back.

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