Meet Mary

MaryMotivates - Dave Swiderski croppedMary Dreliszak, Principal and Founder

Mary is a fan of the underdog and the achiever in all of us. Maybe it’s because she’s been both, starting in high school when she was the underdog in a speech contest. And won.

She learned something about herself then – that she could do anything she put her mind to do. Just like her mom told her growing up. So Mary went on to college to pursue a career in communications with a degree of confidence she wouldn’t have otherwise had.

Her first job out of college was executive secretary for the Pittsburgh Steelers. While she enjoyed this role, her passion for public relations was calling. She accepted a position with a health care facility with the promise that she’d soon start their PR department. And she did.

As Mary grew in her career, she also grew organizations. She held leadership roles in public relations, business development and education and delivered motivational assemblies to more than 150,000 high school students. She grew so much that she outgrew her box. So she started a blog at to keep growing her storytelling skills and to help move other people out of their box too.

The blogs’ “People Who Inspire” series became a book and is now a television show on Armstrong Cable. As the host and co-producer, Mary interviews ordinary people who are living extraordinary lives. And proves that if we just take a moment to connect and have a conversation with those around us, we can be inspired.

She’s also giving a voice to StrongKids to inspire hope. In partnership with Connellsville Area High School’s iMedia Center, Mary hosts the StrongKids podcast. She interviews students who have risen above and as well as those who are working to make a dream come true; who make life better for others, and who model strength of character. 

Mary is founder and host the Stand Up and Choose! Tour – an anti-drug, anti-bullying, and life-affirming assembly for middle schools. A MaryMotivates, LLC production, her high energy, interactive and multi-media presentation features a cast of nine speakers who inspire students to make positive choices – and to respect themselves and others.

She is also the founder of a kindness club, called (i)impact, recently launched in middle schools. Its purpose is to empower students to make their school a kinder place by doing small things that make a big difference to others – a smile, a note of encouragement and more. 

This ATHENA Award winner is on a mission to bring out the best in you; to propel you out of your comfort zone. And to reach higher than you ever imagined possible.

To book Mary Dreliszak as a speaker or to find out how you can bring the Stand Up and Choose! Tour or the (i)impact Club to your school, connect with her at 724-984-0860,, or use the contact form!