Gala 2019: Mistress of Ceremonies
The eldest daughter of immigrant grocery store owners, Maria (Mary) Koumantaros was born and raised in Tacoma, Washington. The first in her family to earn a college degree, Mary pursued her passion for education by teaching mathematics to junior high school students for 10 years. Her profession provided much needed financial stability to her family as Mary's husband started a financial services firm. Mary joined the firm in 1981 and helped grow it to a multi million dollar business with hundreds of clients. She remains a shareholder and corporate officer of the firm to this day.
After her husband's tragic passing from bladder cancer in 2005, Mary devoted herself to philanthropic endeavors, focusing on cancer patients and cancer survivors. Named in memory of her husband, Mary and her Sons founded the Pano Koumantaros Cancer Research Fund in 2006, which has raised over $1.5 million in support of cancer research, cancer treatment, and cancer care initiatives.
Mary has also served on the boards of other cancer focused nonprofit organizations in South Puget Sound. A breast cancer survivor herself, Mary looks forward to the day when cancer is eradicated.
Active in her community, Mary is a member of St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church, Philoptochos, Daughters of Penelope, and the Tacoma Narrows Rotary Club where in 2011-2012 she was honored as being the Rotarian of the Year.
When she is not working and volunteering her time, Mary loves babysitting her grandchildren.