Mary Lou Carrington was one of great professionals in our industry who knew how to dramatically build a brand with the highest integrity and ethical standards. She not only understood marketing, she understood her product - sometimes a rare combination in marketing circles. But most importantly, Mary Lou was a gracious, funny, kind and generous woman.
As a professional woman, her family and friends always came first. She looked for the good in people - even when it was difficult. I remember Mary Lou as Liffe was building its brand in Europe and then she extended it to the US by opening the Exchange's first US office in NY. She was never afraid to make the difficult decisions; yet she always did it with humility and grace. Sometimes, as with all of us, she was not treated with the utmost respect - but you would have never known that from her. I was honored to work with Mary Lou in several capacities.
When I headed PR for the Chicago Board of Trade in the 1980s, we did many marketing and PR events with Liffe and it was always a great deal of fun and successful. I watched her build the first internal PR department at Liffe and she found the best in the industry in London to grow that department. When I left the Chicago Board of Trade in 1990 and opened my business, she hired us within our first 30 days.
We have enjoyed a long and wonderful relationship with Liffe ever since. But what I most cherish about Mary Lou was her concern for others. When our daughter was born (during Expo in 1990) she ran out to Marshall Fields and was the first to send a gift - one that our daughter has kept to this day! Over the years, after she left Liffe, I went to London on business and we would have coffee or dinner together to catch up and her first questions were about all those people she had worked with in the futures industry - always interested as to their welfare and progress.
The futures industry owes a great deal to people like Mary Lou who helped solidify its position in the financial markets during a time of explosive growth. She broadened the scope of understanding and acceptance of futures in Europe and always did it behind the scenes without much notoriety.
My hope is that we, as an industry, will remember Mary Lou as a tireless worker who cared for people and the industry she loved so much. - Ray Carmichael