Mary Young (née Maria Dolores Gutiérrez) will bring unique skills, experience and perspective to the Boulder City Council that she has earned and cultivated through the course of an extraordinary life story.
The eldest of five, first-generation children of Mexican immigrants, Mary spoke only Spanish when she started grade school in Texas. Forced immersion proved to be the quickest way to learn so she managed to pass first grade, and then some. Resilient, resourceful and intuitive, she understood that there would be more opportunities for her if her English sounded more “standard” so she worked hard to rid herself of any lingering Spanish accent.
In 1978, while studying Mechanical Engineering at the University of Texas, El Paso, Mary was recruited by IBM to come work in Boulder for the summer. She fell in love with the place, so upon graduation, with job offers ranging from designing calculators for Texas Instruments to a management program with General Electric, she chose Bell Laboratories in Denver. She left Boulder temporarily to pursue a Master’s degree in mechanical engineering from the University of California but returned in 1982 after completion of her degree and has lived here ever since.
Mary’s engineering career has covered a range of assignments from developing mining instrumentation to designing juvenile products to operations management for a small start-up in Boulder County. She worked in engineering related businesses until 2008.
Her love of place and community inspired her to leave engineering, pursue a path in the non-profit sector, and give back to the place she loves. She has held positions with various non-profits including Growing Gardens of Boulder County as Assistant Director of Community Gardens and is currently a Travel Trainer for Via Mobility Services. She has served on the board of eGo CarShare and for three years participated in committees that award grants for the Community Foundation of Boulder County. She is a member of the Boulder County Latino Coalition and was recently chosen for a Rose Community Foundation fellowship to develop a transportation project that focuses on the well-being of Latino elders.
Mary is currently Chair of the City of Boulder Planning Board and has been a member of that volunteer citizen board for nearly five years. Appointed by the City Council, the planning board reviews development proposals, changes to the Boulder Valley Comprehensive Plan, land use and zoning designations, and building codes and standards.
She is married to Kent Young, an artist and musician. In their backyard coop designed and constructed by CU environmental design students, Mary and her husband host nine laying hens that they share with six neighborhood households. The two love dogs, are currently between dogs, but are waiting for the perfect match. They enjoy exploring Colorado, hiking in Boulder’s open space and mountain parks, gardening for food and pleasure, and nurturing their relationships with friends and neighbors.