Thought Leadership

Direct Impact Spotlight: Mary Flury

November 30, 2023
Mary Flury

Earlier this fall, Direct Impact gave a warm welcome to Mary Flury, the newest member of our team! She joins DI as a Senior Vice President and Finance Director, bringing nearly two decades of experience in finance and accounting.

We recently sat down with Mary to learn a little more about her and her unique role on the financial side of the business.

Early Days 

What was your very first job?  

Besides many years of babysitting and tutoring, I’d consider my first real job working at Bethesda Bagels (the original in Bethesda, of course!). It has the best perk of all the free bagels you could want. The downside is that you constantly smell like an everything bagel which never comes out of your clothes no matter how many times you wash them.

Where did you attend college, what did you study, and what career did you initially think you would pursue?  

I went to the University of Maryland, College Park. I double majored in Accounting and Economics, and I basically always thought I’d do something in accounting. All the early personality/career tests seemed to say I was suited to a life as an accountant, so apparently, I followed suit.

Career Highlights

What drew you to working in accounting and finance, particularly within the public relations industry?  

I did what every new accounting graduate does by accepting a job with a Big Four accounting firm. I stayed with PwC for about 3 years and then was passed a job opening with Edelman PR that looked interesting. At that point, I knew little to nothing about public relations but after 15+ years, I think I’m sticking with it! I’m always encountering something new which helps keep things interesting.

What has been your biggest career milestone or accomplishment thus far?

If I’m qualifying based on level of effort/amount of pressure, I’d say passing the CPA exams. Almost 20 years later, I’m not sure I’ve ever been that stressed or overwhelmed in my life! Thankfully I put enough into them the first time and didn’t have to go through it more than once.

Leadership 

What qualities do you believe make a great leader?

I appreciate a leader who is collaborative and shows that they are listening to their team. All team members have something to contribute and can add to best practices. I also value transparency, helping everyone understand the organization’s goals and challenges so we can work together towards overall success.

For young professionals currently working their way up in accounting and financial services, what advice would you offer them?

I’d tell them not to be afraid to speak up with a new idea or process. Sometimes a fresh perspective can improve upon a report/template or help develop a more efficient process. As I noted, a good leader will be happy to let them run with it and maybe come out on the other side with a better product.

Personal 

Outside of work, what do you enjoy doing in your free time? What are your hobbies or personal interests?

I love baking, particularly cookies. Plus, I’m always expected to show up with an apple pie for Thanksgiving. Now with kids, I enjoy using baking as something for us to do together, especially on rainy or cold days when we can’t get them outside.

Are there any TV shows, books, and/or podcasts you’re currently enjoying and would recommend to others?

I’ve always enjoyed reading and I’ve been part of a book club for many years. Some of our recent reads include Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow, West with Giraffes, Demon Copperhead and Tom Lake. 

Thank you so much, Mary, and we’re very excited to have you on our team!

About Mary

Prior to joining Direct Impact, Mary was a Vice President of Finance at Edelman for nearly 15 years where she managed budgeting and forecasting, revenue projections and billing processes for a variety of corporate clients. She also counseled senior management on financial trends and the overall financial health of the business.

Mary began her career at PricewaterhouseCoopers where she supported audit remediation projects within the Washington Federal Practice.

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