Mary is Partner at C+R Research, where she leads the Youth + Family division. C+R publishes YouthBeat®, the leading syndicated publication around kids, tweens, teens, and parents—now globally. She is a veteran of the youth + family space, having consulted for the past 20 years with Fortune 500 companies on developing youth strategies.
Mary collaborates with clients to leverage holistic, custom and syndicated youth insights into the product, service, and communication practices that meet young people’s needs and benefit both provider and consumer. Mary is a published author, sought-after speaker, adjunct professor, and an academic advisory board member of the Children’s Advertising Review Unit (CARU). She holds a Ph.D. in Communication and Human Development from the University of California-Santa Barbara.
What's the best part about working at C+R?
I used to be a client of C+R, and I always describe the team here as “a group of smart people who like solving problems together.” Everyone enjoys thinking creatively about the best way to approach a client’s business need, and we collaborate like a well-oiled machine to use or often invent, the right method for the job. It's a combination of great intellect, experience, and community spirit.
What's the most rewarding thing about your job?
I lead the Youth + Family division, so my clients are at the forefront of creating new and engaging products and services that help enrich the rapidly-changing lives of each generation. It’s a privilege to work with clients who want to help and uplift young families.
What obstacles have you faced over your career and how were you able to overcome them?
When I started at C+R in 2003, I had finished all of my doctoral work except my dissertation. Working full-time, it took me four and a half years to interview 200+ kids, run all of the data, and write the dissertation. I wanted to quit many times, but it was a labor of love—plus I'm too driven and stubborn to leave something so important unfinished.
What's your dream vacation?
I had a goal of seeing all 50 United States and all 7 continents by the time I was 40. And I achieved it! My final one was West Virginia on a road trip with my brother's family.