Mary Cook

Founder and President

Mary Cook is nationally recognized for creating innovative, high-quality model home interiors, amenities, and environments that meet market demand and increase property value. Her leadership at MCA spans over three decades of inspiring work that conveys functionality, showcases possibilities, and accelerates sales. Mary’s pioneering design approach originated with her tenure at The Childs Dreyfus Group where she rapidly rose from assistant designer to VP of sales and marketing. She was greatly influenced by her mentor and design front-runner Gene C. Dreyfus, a member of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) Best in American Living Hall of Fame. Mary elevated concepts she learned from Dreyfus in “The Art of Space,” her seminal textbook that distills interior design into seven enduring principles that continue to create interior spaces that yield measurable returns. She also developed the ground-breaking R.O.E.®  (Return on Environment) concept which identifies the net benefits communities, organizations and individuals gain from environments that enable them to do, feel and be their best. Mary earned her Associate degree of Technology in Interior Design from Chicago’s Harrington Institute of Interior Design. She is active in several industries and community organizations including:

  • Urban Land Institute
  • NAHB including NAHB’s 50+ Senior Housing Council
  • American Institute of Architects (AIA)
  • Home Builders Association of Illinois (HBAI) & Greater Chicago (HBAGC)
  • NGCOA, Club Managers Association of America (CMAA)
  • National Recreation & Park Association (NRPA)
  • Illinois Park & Recreation Association (IPRA)

In addition to leading MCA’s team, Mary can be found entertaining her wide circle of family and friends, attending her children’s high-school and collegiate games, playing singles tennis or boxing to stay in shape—and sane.