TorchLight July Contractor of the Month: Mary Hiyama

by Gaby Gramont

Congratulations to our July Contractor of the Month Mary Hiyama! Learn more about Mary—how she got into marketing and communications, her bucket list destination and what she likes about being a TorchLight contractor.

headshot of Mary Hiyama smiling
July Contractor of the Month: Mary Hiyama

Where did you grow up and where did you go to college? What did you study? 

I was born in upstate NY, grew up in Pittsburgh and came to Virginia as I was entering high school. I went to George Washington University and never left the DC/VA area. 

What did (or do!) you want to be when you grow up? How did you get into marketing and communications? 

I was interested in teaching and business and after a few classes in business and communications at GWU, I knew I would go into business. My first job out of college was as a marketing assistant. 

What do you like to do for fun?

I love to spend a lot of time with my large extended family at the beach along with reading and walking.  I’m also looking forward to more travel now that we are coming out of the pandemic. 

Favorite food? Drink?

Love Japanese and Vietnamese food!  Just love a good, oaky Chardonnay! 

One bucket list destination…

One bucket list destination… I’ve been to Asia and Europe many times, now I’d like to see the US National Parks out West. 

What’s the best advice a manager has ever given you? 

I had a wonderful boss who once said “Don’t wait until someone gives it to you, step up and take it on.”   

What advice would you give to someone just starting out in their career? 

Get into that entry-level position, learn some skills, and start networking. Networking can make all the difference throughout your career. Also, try to think of your work from your manager’s perspective. Think about what your manager needs from you to succeed. 

What work accomplishment are you most proud of? 

I’m very proud of my work throughout my career, especially when I built new organizations or programs. I left work at the height of my career as a Vice President of Marketing for a large organization to raise my three daughters.  After 10+ years, I got back into the workplace, one step at a time. It was not easy but I’m so glad I did it!  It took courage, humility, and fortitude! 

What has been the biggest plus about working from home during the pandemic? 

There is so much less stress without a commute, rushed mornings and always being on the go. I also think you can get more done without as many interruptions. Challenge? I miss being with my colleagues and the work is more interesting when you interact with people all day in person.  

Finally, what do you like about working for TorchLight?

TorchLight has consistently been working with great organizations over the years and the people are great to work with – they are always on top of it, organized and have great follow up for me to do my best as a contractor. 

Congratulations again to our July Contractor of the Month, Mary Hiyama. Keep up the good work! Check out our last Contractor of the Month, Crystal Coulson.


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