Spotlight: Mary Byler

Over the last several months, the Midpen staff has worked hard to maximize our space to accommodate more creators and media makers. While it’s easy to see the aesthetic changes, we want to recognize and share the behind-the-scenes facility improvements that we’ve made, many of which were accomplished through the ingenuity and resourcefulness of Business and Operations Manager Mary Byler. 

We invite you to get to know more about Mary and her role with Midpen Media.

Mary found out about us through Encore, a post-retirement job finder. After graduating with a degree in business administration at San Jose State, she was perfectly cut out for the role of Business and Operations Manager, which she’s fulfilled for the past two-and-a-half years. Initially, her role was to improve operational workflows through systems analysis. She was also an integral part of building relationships and creating better communication channels for all staff. 

With COVID’s uprising, Mary explained that she began to take on more of what she calls “mini-projects,” including

  • Implementing new COVID protocols
  • Revamping the HVAC system
  • Ensuring that the building has sufficient fire extinguishers and hand sanitizer stations
  • Proper signage

With her previous experience working on substantial projects with fifty people worldwide, she feels confident that she can do anything that anyone wants her to do. She often proves that by taking on even the most mundane but essential tasks, like overseeing the replacement of our solar panels and working with our neighbor to coordinate paving our parking area. These are projects that take time and diligence. Mary’s strategy is simple: “What do we want to be done? Who’s the best to do it? I get quotes, get bids, choose someone with a good reputation, manage the time, the cost, compile all of the information, problem-solve, and get the work done. I even make sure to put it in the vendor file for next time.” Mary explained her enthusiasm about seeing the instant gratification of her work — the new parking lot, the new lights, the new janitor, all making our spaces much more workable immediately. 

Unlike the long-term projects Mary’s taken on before, it’s nice to see her work come to fruition. “These may seem like little things, and they may be, in the grand scheme of things,” Mary began, “but it’s all wrapped up in trying to get the place revitalized, especially from a COVID perspective.” Having held a few in-person events since our open house, Mary backed that up with, “I haven’t heard any issues or complaints. Everyone was masked up and conscious about what to do, following the rules.”

With the facility ready for our community to return, Mary will be able to dive into learning more about the production side of Midpen’s mission. “I’ve taken an introduction class, and I want more…I have great respect for media people, making free speech available for everybody, and not silencing people’s voices.” Mary has made an undeniable impact on Midpen Media, and we are eternally grateful for her contributions. Thanks, Mary!