This post originally appeared in At Large in Ballard with Peggy Sturdivant Seattle PI on Jan 29, 2011.
I’m still recovering from meeting Mary on a Friday, interviewing her on Tuesday and seeing her in action at her annual pie party the following Sunday night. Latest news – she has been invited by the American Pie Council to judge their pie championships in Florida in April. How will she pack her dress?
A Week of Mary
The press release from the Seattle King County Realtors association was incidental to the pie brochure in my eyes – a belated footnote after Mary Schile first caught my attention last week. Of course it turns out they are linked in the same way that some pies are meant to be eaten with ice cream. The University of Washington philosophy major’s path to 2010 community service award winner was paved by a lot of flaky (real butter) crusts.
As her mother used to write on the chalkboard as a substitute teacher, Shile’s last name is pronounced “Shee-Lee.” Raised in Vancouver, Washington Mary just keeps adding more volunteer commitments on her journey through the film, music and photography industry, on her way to real estate.
On any given week Mary records an hour-long program through the Washington Center for the Talking Book, meeting in her capacity as provisional advisor for the Junior League, planning a fundraising event such as the Pie Buffet at Salmon Bay Eagles or working on a Ballard Historical Society project (she’s Vice-President).
Her philosophy major was meant to lead to pre-law. Instead Mary combined her love for music and theater arts less directly; she specialized in writing intellectual property contracts in the film, music and photography industry.
Along the way she bought a house in Whittier Heights. Over the ensuing years her agent would frequently encourage her to become a realtor, citing the fact that Mary was always involved in sales and referrals anyway. In 2004 Mary got her real estate license, quickly realizing her contract experience was invaluable, and, “it’s all about negotiation.” Schile was at the Ballard RE/MAX until its office was streamlined to Eastlake; she was her company’s “Agent of the Year” in 2009 and a 2010 RE/MAX Hall of Fame inductee.
Whether in her work or her volunteer effort Mary merges her extroverted and creative sides. Her web site features a photo gallery of satisfied customers. All the photos include props.
Mary is also a member of the original Eagles Club (Aerie #1) and #2141 (Salmon Bay). She loves the fact that the Eagles were founded by musicians in Seattle. As a member she was able to expand her natural tendency for fundraising efforts through events like the Pie Buffet on January 23rd to benefit the Marsha Rivkin Center for Ovarian Research. When a friend’s mother was diagnosed with ovarian cancer they learned about the center and ran their fundraising race as a team called Pat’s Pals.
Mary’s boyfriend is a musician and with her background in the industry she tends to know lots of performers and venues. Along with the Pie Buffet (for which she has a team of 25) she’s also working with friends to produce a Mardi Gras event (Les Fairies Vertes on March 5th) on an event that will once again benefit the Marsha Rivkin Center.
The Junior League (provisional advisor), the Ballard Historical Society, the weekly time in the recording studio reading aloud Rolling Stone Magazine (it used to be Time) – where does Mary Shile find the time? And how does she manage to make everything so festive? Clearly she’s not afraid to mix her over the top ideas (pie headdress) with a bit of the overachiever.
The a la mode girls
Mary claims the Pie Buffet just started as a way to plan her own birthday by inviting friends to a potluck, of pie. Then if there’s going to be a party, why not have it benefit a cause?
As for pie itself, Mary admits, “I can never turn down a good dark marionberry.”
She mused over the fact that Washington’s proximity to the Oregon marionberry gives us access to such good local fruit. Although Mary may have earned the REALTOR® Community Service Award because of the depth and range of her not-for profit causes; it’s the fact that she’s put Seattle on the map for National Pie Day is more than a dollop of cream on top.
Real estate agents use food treats to lure home buyers