Mary Despe  
is a recruiting professional based on the North Shore of Oahu, in Hawaii. While she has worked in the field of human resources for close to 20 years, Mary has focused on the recruitment function since 2004 as a recruiter in multiple environments including RPO, corporate, search, and as an independent owner of a staffing sole proprietorship. Mary’s recruitment specialties include IT, software development, data analytics, healthcare IT, sales and business operations, and has recruited for clients based in North America, Western Europe and Australia.  

A native of the Chicagoland area, Mary has lived in Hawaii for over a decade. She holds a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Illinois, MBA from Hult International Business School, and a Graduate Certificate in Administration & Management from Harvard University, the Extension School.  She’s also certified in the administration and result interpretation of the DISC behavioral personality assessment (PeopleKeys and The Institute For Motivational Living).  


Though she didn't start her professional career as a recruiter, Mary credits her years working in roles not focused on interviewing, hiring, and recruiting candidates to be the foundation to her success in the field.  Prior to her work as a recruiter, Mary developed a comprehensive background in service operations as a call center customer service associate, human resources information systems analyst and business systems implementation consultant and reports developer.  Working in roles that heavily intertwined with operations, customer service, and technology prior to working in recruitment enabled Mary to develop subject matter expertise in business -- a background uncommon to the professional history of many traditional recruiters.  Beyond working for corporate, non-profit and health-focused organizations, Mary put her business experience to the test when she incorporated MK Despe Consulting in 2013 and focused on running her staffing proprietorship full-time. 


These days, Mary's role through MK Despe Consulting has pivoted to one of educator.  She is passionate about sharing her knowledge developed over the years by presenting workshops and delivering speaking engagements to those interested to attract optimal talent and career opportunities.  A certified DISC behavioral assessment professional,  Mary conducts workshops and talks about the importance of cultural and personality fit within professional work arrangements nationwide.  Mary has written articles focusing on job seeker interests, having been featured on sites like Refinery29, Honolulu Civilbeat, LinkedIn, Career Addict,and the Examiner.  She has a YouTube channel where she showcases videos on timely job seeker questions and interests.

Her talk "Creating Professional Relevance" was accepted and presented at the 2020 Women's Leadership & Empowerment Conference (sponsored by Tomorrow People) held in Bali, Indonesia. 


Mary is often asked about the types of clients she has  worked with over the years - here is a partial list below: 

- Innovative North-American based recruitment provider for healthcare professional opportunities - clinicians, locum tenens, RNs, Home Health Care professionals.
- Global recruitment agency for the Fortune 1000 in IT, Sales (Based in Dublin, Ireland)
- Italian-based high-end cosmetics and spa organization with locations in the Middle East
- SF Bay Area-based global online marketplace leader
- California-based social network, online community network of top rated relationships websites
- Boston-based executive/personal development life coach and training business.
- Phoenix-based major hospital
- Honolulu-based major medical center - analyst for research, business development and clinical data
- Honolulu-based luxury jewelry retailer
- Hawaii-based alternative medical services provider
- Hawaii-based locations for cutting edge vacation property management technology
- Atlanta-based quality solutions & management consulting firm


Originally from the southwest Chicago suburbs, Mary’s first job out of school was working full-time as an HR representative in a call-center for a Fortune-50 company. During the next five years, she experimented in other occupations, but she soon discovered that her favorite part about each job was interviewing people. She quit her job, took the chance to be a recruiter and have never looked back. For the next 15 years, sheworked as a corporate recruiter and a search professional as a third-party representative, working with start-ups, small and mid-size companies, enterprise and Fortune-listed companies throughout the world. 

In 1998, Mary made the life-defining decision to leave the Chicago area and take a job in Boston. This was the first time for Mary to leave her close-knit family and move to a new place on her own. In her heart, even as a young kid, she knew her life would be out there in the world somewhere, and not Chicago, and she knew that if she didn’t take the chance to grow and leave, she would be stuck doing the same thing for the rest of her life. This major life change helped her learn that you, the individual, create what your world should be – no matter the circumstances. She is passionate about politics, art, and is an active golfer (-26 handicap!) and casual yogi.  She is a Board Member of the Fur-Angel Foundation, an animal welfare and rescue non-profit based on Oahu.