MARY (DEWITT) WEST
Class of 1964
Inducted in 1994
Mary was inducted into the SHSAA Hall of Fame in 1994.
If Omaha is the kingdom of telemarketing, then Mrs. Mary West must surely be its Queen. Few people can justifiably be called pioneers, but Mary West deserves such a label. Since she founded the Mardex Corporation in 1973, Mrs. West has been blazing trails that few in the industry have been able to duplicate. Mardex was one of the first companies specializing in capturing and processing orders for companies. By 1978 Mardex had become one of the largest telemarkeing agencies in America, an industry which Mary West almost single-handedly created. But her trail blazing did not stop there. In 1978, Mary and her husband, Gary, founded WATS Marketing which serviced both incoming and outbound clients. In 1980 First Data Resources and its parent company bought WATS and contracted Mrs. West to run the company. Due to philosophical differences, she left WATS, and soon Mary was back in business.
Contrary to the idea that new companies cannot be started in a fiercely competitive industry, Mrs. West started West Telemarking and to coin a phrase, "the rest is history." By providing a service which is honest and honorable, fair and state-of-the-art, and above all of quality, Mary West has built West Telemarking and its family of companies into the largest telemarketing company in the world. Not bad for someone who started in the service industry by hosting social events at SHS with her sister Portias.