Interview with Mary DeBaets March 21, 2012
Marcia: Where did you grow up?
Mary: I was born here and grew up on North Turkey Creek Rd, in Marshdale. We lived there until I was seven or eight years old. When Dad married my stepmom, we moved to Lakewood. But we still spent most of the summers in Marshdale….with our horses. Even as a little girl, I remember riding my horse to Evergreen and back. My favorite horse was a gentle palomino named Buddy. We also had Jack and Jill. We also had two Shetland ponies. It was overall a fantastic childhood. I have a younger sister. Dad passed away in 1993. Mom still lives in Lakewood.
Marcia: Where did you go to high school?
Mary: I graduated from Lakewood High School in 1975. I married young. I met my first husband when I was working as a bartender in Parker. He was from New Orleans. Tragically, he died at age 37 of a heart attack. I grieved for a good three years. It was a difficult time.
Marcia: So, how did you get through that?
Mary: While I was working at Coors as a secretary to one of the vice presidents. I had become good friends with three other girls working there. We heard of and applied for a management training program. We were accepted into the program which was at Regis University. I loved learning and decided to continue on at Regis to finish my degree. I finally finished with a major in Business Administration and minor in Human Resources. I worked in marketing with the Coors ZIMA brand. Also, I helped coordinate the Ride the Rockies Bike Ride and in 1995, I trained with a friend and participated in Ride the Rockies. I remember how emotional it was to cross the finish line! I still love biking. I went on to ride seven more Ride the Rockies. It is the best way to see and experience the country.
Marcia: So, how did you meet your current husband?
Mary: Steve also worked for Coors. It was a friendship that eventually blossomed into a romance. He took a buyout package from them and became self-employed. He is still quite involved with the Miller-Coors distributors across that country which keeps him very busy. Everyone teases me about being married because he is gone so much, but we have a great marriage and will celebrate our 20th anniversary next year.
Marcia: So how did you get into financial services?
Mary: Well, after my husband died, I had many financial issues to deal with. Thankfully my father had encouraged my involvement in our family finances early on so I was familiar with stocks and how the market worked. When a friend of mine left Coors to pursue a career with Edward Jones, I trusted him with some of my accounts. Within a few years he suggested I look at a career in the industry. He said they wanted an office in Evergreen. That peaked my interest. In June of 2000, I accepted a position with Edward Jones and began the process. I choose the new location at Castle Court for my new office I waited for the building to be completed to move in. I opened my office….the day before 9-11! Needless to say, business was slow for awhile. I moved to LPL Financial in May of 2007. I was looking for the true independence and non conflict of interest that this type of Brokerage Firm offered.
Marcia: How did you connect with Evergreen Rotary?
Mary: I was invited to Evergreen Rotary by Jamie Herman. The club had about 20 members then. This was 2001. The program was about helping children. I was so touched that I cried. Then I wondered if I was going to cry at every Rotary meeting! And I felt I wanted to help “save the world”. And I still feel that way. I’ve been studying for my CFP®, a very difficult certification, and with the growth of my practice and other volunteer commitments, I’ve had to pull back for a bit. But after attending Robert Weinberger’s service, it brought back the feeling and out pouring of family that Rotary is all about. It reminds me of what a great community we have in our own back yard.
Mary: Dad used say “The older you get, the faster it goes, and the smarter your parents get”….He was right on!