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C|Z Design Strategies was established in 2014 to provide architectural consulting services focused on capital program development and implementation. 

Our commitment to the built environment is rooted in large firm K-12 experience. We work with our clients to create optimal solutions to today’s challenges in the design, construction, and operation of educational facilities. Our successful collaborations have improved building quality and reduced operating costs on over $1 billion in renovation and new construction capital projects while creating educational environments that inspire and enhance learning.

C|Z Design Strategies is also supported by its licensed design firm entity C|Z Architecture to provide the full spectrum of architectural design services.

Growing up the daughter of a carpenter, Mary had a natural curiosity for the built environment at an early age, designing and building a city apartment for her Barbie before the age of ten. This curiosity and her love of art and math led her to the School of Architecture at the University of Illinois Urbana- Champaign, where she met her future (architect) husband.


With over 30 years of crafting successful solutions for a wide range of K-12 educational projects, Mary’s passion lies in aligning the design and technical aspects of all projects, promoting full collaboration across disciplines.  She is a ‘go-to’ for construction knowledge, with focus on technical detailing, team coordination, and client interactions. Mary has also devoted much of her career to mentoring younger colleagues, but she is convinced she has learned more than she has taught from these highly rewarding relationships.

When not in the office, Mary spends her spare time renovating houses, either her own or investment property.  In between ventures, you can find her planning her next project (preferably on a beach somewhere), visiting her two daughters, or dreaming of her next European vacation   |   312 690 3193

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