Communication Consultant and Principal
IABC Member since 2002
Mary Endress personifies the term “change agent,” at both work and home. Mary is Principal and Group Leader for Towers Perrin’s Change Implementation practice in Southern California. Inspired by a “colorful” business guru, she manages a cross-functional team of consultants representing a broad range of skills, including strategic change and communication. With over 15 years of consulting experience, Mary specializes in designing and implementing communication strategies to support benefits, compensation, human resources and other change initiatives. Her clients include Fortune 500 companies in the financial, retail, entertainment, technology and health care industries. As if that’s not impressive enough, Mary applies her communications expertise in celebration of family. Read below to see how she does it.
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
West Hollywood, California
“We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.” —Oscar Wilde
Three words that best describe me:
Passionate about the arts. (Ok, that’s four.)
When I’m not working, you could find me:
Planning weekend activities for my four-year-old daughter.
MY LIFE IN COMMUNICATIONS
The biggest communications challenge I have faced in my current (or previous) role was…
Rolling out a new rewards program to a large employee audience in a large, established insurance agency. Not only were there broad changes to all benefits, but the company was changing the compensation program and moving from a paternalistic culture to a performance-based one. Timing was tight and, of course, they wanted as little “noise” as possible. In the end, it was a very successful launch but one of the most stressful four months I can remember.
My favorite communications memory is…
My parents celebrated their 50th anniversary last year and my siblings and I decided to throw a party. I was responsible for the invitations and developed a concept that focused on the number of details and events you share as a couple over a span of 50 years. I used old family photos to complement the statistics—and found a wonderful designer to pull it together. The invitations were a hit, and then we put together a slideshow with speakers—all based on the original idea. A lot of work, but the event was so much fun!
The most important communications or professional lesson I’ve learned is…
Whether it’s writing, designing or critiquing, always imagine yourself in the shoes of your audience. Also, test, test and test some more! If you can’t do focus groups with your client, do your own “focus” testing around the office. I’m always surprised by the reactions I get, and it often helps me make critical enhancements.
Books that I really find useful and recommend to other communicators are…
Dan Pink. He was the keynote speaker at one of our off-site marketing meetings and his presentation was great. Not only is he a very engaging speaker—his ideas are unique and interesting. I left feeling validated and inspired.
[Daniel H. Pink is author of a trio of provocative, best-selling books on the changing world of work, including, “A Whole New Mind: Why Right-Brainers Will Rule the Future.”]
HOW FAR I’VE COME…
Mary Endress was educated in Canada at Queen’s University in Ontario and has a BA in English Literature. Mary also attended the Ontario College of Art and has achieved her RGD designation. Mary has won a number of awards for her work including Gold and Silver Quill awards from the IABC, and recognition from the Marcom Creative Awards.