Mary Helen attended Washington, DC’s Sidwell Friends School and George Washington University, and nearly graduated with a BA in English. In 1968 she set out to try to find her way – completely unprepared for life but, eventually, well educated by it. Over the years she has served as a speech writer at the Federal Energy Administration, created and managed a graphic design company on DC’s Capitol Hill, and helped create and manage an arts nonprofit organization. She is currently business director at Merge Education, helping to advance the understanding that the arts are an integral part of a soulful life. She is happily married to a jazz pianist and educator, and is totally convinced that Duke Ellington had it right: it don’t mean a thing if it ain’t got that swing.