Being born and raised a good midwestern girl, Mary began her career in merchandising for two national department stores in the Chicago and Milwaukee area. She enjoyed learning how to bring a product from the conceptual stage to the shelf. Being a lover of shoe shopping, when a call came from a former colleague to join a business consulting gig at a national footwear retailer, she jumped at the chance. With her new shoes and her consulting role w/ Big Blue, she eventually landed in Charlotte, NC. This is where she learned about southern winters and shrimp and grits. (who knew how amazing they are?!?)

As Mary became a permanent “southern belle,” she joined Family Dollar as Business Improvement Manager where she led a process improvement project to support the newly created Global Sourcing department. After the implementation and opening of multiple overseas offices, Mary made her way back in to the business side and held Sourcing and Product compliance roles for Family Dollar.

Little did Mary realize the promotional products industry was going to come calling… When Shutterfly began to grow their Product Compliance team to support their expanding gift category, Mary joined and quickly jumped in to streamline many activities that supported the many new initiatives.

Recently Mary and her family made a move slightly north to Norfolk, VA and has the honor of holding the role of Assistant General Manager. She enjoys being able to apply her love of process improvement and project management skills to support the Brand Fuel team to ensure our clients receive the best service. Mary now realizes her 20+ year career was really just preparation for her ride on the Brand Fuel rocket ship.

On a personal side note, after moving to the South, Mary got herself a husband, Wes, became a bonus mom to two boys, and was adopted by two adorable pups. On most weekend days, you can find Mary and her “Hubs” riding their bikes on the Elizabeth River trail and hitting a local brewery for a quenching beverage after.

Childhood photo of Mary Batterson-Stewart.

Causes You Support: Cancer research, Matthews Help Center

Favorite Sports Team: Chicago Cubs

Pet Peeves: Clutter, Debt

Favorite Quote: “You can’t go back and change the beginning, but you can start where you are and change the ending.” – C.S. Lewis

Favorite Promotional Product and Why: Phone chargers. I have LBA disorder (low battery anxiety) so I always need a charger that’s easily accessible.

Childhood Hero: My Mom and Dad

Favorite Band(s): Melissa Ferrick, Willie Nelson, Taylor Swift, Brandi Carlisle

Fun Award: In 7th grade I received a trophy for most points for volleyball.

Volunteer Roles: Colonial Place River Review Civic League Member (Social Committee)

What I want to be when I grow up: Be rich, retired and travel the world.

What I do when no one is looking: Read as much celebrity gossip as possible.

Favorite Book: A Gentleman in Moscow

Favorite Song: Romeo and Juliet (The Indigo Girls version)

Favorite Place to Travel: Anywhere with warm weather, sunset and glass of wine.

My Superpower: To find the best dessert in town.

Favorite Condiment: Lawry’s Seasoning

Your dinner guest choice: My Grandpa

Celebrity Crush: Cillian Murphy (in the role of Thomas Shelby in Peaky Blinders)

Favorite B Corps: Athleta, Lakefront Brewery, Inc., R & A Bailey & Co Unlimited Company, Bombas