Mary Ellen was born and raised in New Jersey. She has studied Horticulture at Foothill College and had her own design firm. While raising her two children she served on the board of the San Jose COOP Preschool and was active in countless PTA organizations. Her volunteer activities include Our City Forest, A Girls Middle School and Hospice of the Valley. In addition to her love of art and history, Mary Ellen is interested in bicycling, knitting, gardening and traveling with her husband Blaine.