Margaret Lois "Mardie" Oakes, Architect

 

Mardie Oakes and her namesake, Mardie Winter, Perth, Scotland

Margaret Lois "Mardie" Oakes was named for her mother's second cousin once removed, Mardie Winter, who was born and lived her life in Perth, Scotland. She referred to her name sake as "Wee Mardie". She was referred to as "Big Mardie." The picture above was taken in Perth, Scotland during a visit in 1984. The Lois was for her maternal grandmother, Lois Brown Winter,

Mardie was born in Austin, Texas, to Melvin and Pat Winter Oakes, both teachers. Her father was a professor of physics at the University of Texas and her mother was a language arts and social studies teacher in the Austin School System and at St. Andrew's Episcopal School. Mardie has two sister, Elizabeth Alden, a violist and faculty member at the University of Iowa, and Sarah Hartley Oakes, a chemistry teacher at the St. Stephen's-St. Agnes in Alexandria, VA.

Mardie attend Austin schools, graduating in 1990. She entered the five year architecture program at Rice University. Following graduation in 1996, she worked in the Fifth Ward in Houston, TX. After five years there, she was accepted to the MBS program at Harvard. Following graduation she worked in Boston for Boston Community Capital, a national CDFI for one year doing community development. In 2003, Mardie moved to the Bay Area to be the Director of Real Estate Lending for Opportunity Fund, making investments in affordable housing and community facilities throughout Silicon Valley.  There she founded Hallmark Community Solutions. She was selected as an Echoing Green Fellow in 2004. She formed her nonprofit company, Hello Housing in 2005.

In 2011, the book, "Work on Purpose" , by Lara Galinsky was published. Mardie was one of five Echoing Green Fellows featured in the book.

 

 

 

 

Below are articles which have been written about Mardie's work.

 

Mardie Oakes Documents

Houston Post, November 9-15, 2000, cover
Houston Post, November 9-15, 2000, p 43
Houston Post, November 9-15, 2000, p 45
Houston Post, November 9-15, 2000, p 46
Houston Post, November 9-15, 2000, p 48
Houston Post, November 9-15, 2000, p 51
Houston Post, November 9-15, 2000,p 53
Houston Post, November 9-15, 2000, cover
Houston Post, November 9-15, 2000, p 57

Harvard Business School Graduate's Portrait Project, 2002, (photo by Tony Deifell)

Each year Harvard MBS graduates are asked to respond to the question, ""Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?" Mardie wrote, "In the sixth grade I wrote, 'If I had a million dollars I would buy a new wardrobe. I would get some Kalvin Klines and new sandles. I would wear all these things in Hawaii. I would stay at the most expensive hotel there is. I would get there in my jet plane. And I would go back on a cruise.' Taped onto the bottom, as if my parents insisted I give some of the money away, was "And I would give $100 each to a nursing home and an orphanage." Friends read these statements with disbelief and laughter; I intend to continue to invoke laughter that I once wrote those words. My work in affordable housing and community development is driven by my desire to foster dignity in all people, regardless of whether their talents are rewarded in the marketplace. I plan to create fabulous places and spaces where strong, healthy families, diverse neighbors, and innovative ideas can coexist to form vibrant, safe communities. I'll practice what I preach by treating my family with respect while encouraging that we remain open to new ideas. Discussions with those who view the world differently is where real growth occurs and surprising solutions come to light. I look forward to helping that light shine on everyone, brown or white, rich or poor, healthy or sick, lucky or not. And I promise to never tell my kids not to splash me in the pool so they won't mess up my hair." 

Harvard Business School Bulletin, March 2003, cover
Harvard Business School Bulletin, March 2003, Content page,
Top: Mardie Oakes and unidentified. Bottom: Paul Sternhell, 2003,
Harvard Business School Bulletin, March 2003, p. 29
Harvard Business School Bulletin, March 2003, p. 30
Harvard Business School Bulletin, March 2003, p. 31
Harvard Business School Bulletin, March 2003, p. 332
Harvard Business School Bulletin, March 2003, p. 33