We are happy to welcome Mary Hester as ELDI’s new assistant director of land recycling. Mary Hester comes to ELDI with 15 years of real estate and mortgage lending experience.

Mary’s background

Over the years, Mary has been instrumental in providing resources and advocating for low income housing tenants transitioning to homeownership.

Obtaining a real estate license in 2009, she was eager to set herself apart from the traditional real estate agent. Using the skills she developed in her previous role as a mortgage lender, she was able to provide clients with the education and tools necessary to become an informed homebuyer.

Mary was essential in facilitating NeighborWorks Western Pennsylvania’s lending program in 2008-2010 and transitioned into providing credit counseling and financial literacy through the Hill District Federal Credit Union from 2010 – 2015. This led her to work more closely with the community and become engaged in redevelopment conversations.

Hoping to make a substantial impact, Mary then joined Wells Fargo Home Mortgage and worked closely with the Diverse Segments Division to bring funding to underserved communities and nonprofits.

This work brought her to East Liberty and ELDI.

On her relationship with East Liberty

“I was so impressed with the leadership and direction of the ELDI team,” Mary said.

“Being from the East End, East Liberty has always been a hub for me. I worked retail on Broad Street while attending college, shopped David’s Shoe Store and ate Vento’s Pizza. These are classic establishments and now being a part of the growth here is surreal. I know I am a part of something GREAT!”

Mary has been with the ELDI team since September 2017. She will be imperative in assisting Kendall Pelling with land and property acquisition, real estate transactions, facilitating community forums and support of each function of the Land Recycling department.

Mary graduated from Penn Hills Senior High School and attended Point Park University and LaDolce Real Estate Academy. She has four children and two grandchildren and enjoys traveling, painting and outdoor recreation.


If you see Mary around the neighborhood, be sure to say hi!