Supervisor Mary Adams has led a 30-year career of public service solving problems for local families. Elected in 2016 as the Fifth District Supervisor of Monterey County, Mary Adams has been called to serve and lead again.
During Mary’s 14 years as CEO of United Way Monterey County, she helped raise $50 million to provide crucial services for thousands of local people. She worked with the County on many of these issues, helping homeless children, providing meals for seniors, preventing gang violence, and increasing economic opportunity for working families. She solved these problems by bringing people together.Under her leadership, United Way launched the 2-1-1 hotline, providing free information on local health and human services for working families in 174 different languages in the County.
She spearheaded the Earn It! Keep It! Save It! program, offering free tax services to many working families who were unaware of the Earned Income Tax Credit and other tax refunds, helping local families increase their long-term economic security.She also led the implementation of a program which provides new, fully stocked backpacks to many of the thousands of homeless students in Monterey County, allowing them to start school ready to learn. And during the mortgage crisis in 2008, Mary convened federal and local elected officials and local businesses to help residents stay in their homes. These programs made a difference for Monterey County residents who were dealing with serious, real-life challenges.
Mary Adams was recognized for this work with Woman of the Year Awards from the Monterey County Commission on the Status of Women and CSU Monterey Bay School of Business.
Prior to leading United Way Monterey County, Mary held senior leadership positions at the American Cancer Society and the American Heart Foundation, where she took on Big Tobacco, helped save hundreds of millions in funding for public health programs, and reduced tobacco-related illness and death in California. When revenue for these health programs was later threatened, Mary was brought back to save the funding, and received the American Heart Association’s Time, Feeling Focus Award for her work. Mary Adams earned her Bachelor of Science in Business Management from Saint Mary’s College.