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Mary Gajda

Mary Gajda is the managing editor for 517 Magazine and has an extensive background in radio and television. She enjoys creative writing, photography and spending time with family — and she will never say no to an evening of karaoke.

Articles by Mary Gajda


How to Hold a Successful Garage Sale

A garage sale is a great way to purge old items and make cash to pay off bills, buy replacement pieces or even take a vacation. Doing it right will make the …

Zesty Radish and Chive Sandwich

Radishes are fresh, crisp and peppery tasting. Not everyone loves them; but if you do, here’s a treat you’ll want to try. Ingredients: 3 radishes, th…

Why Coffee Table Books are a Thing

Coffee table books have long been considered as decorative. They grace your tabletop with beautiful photos. They are nice to have guests leaf through as conv…

On the Record with Aaron Tobias of Century Construction

Aaron Tobias is passionate about the work he’s put into the community for 15 years with Century Construction of Lansing. As a general contractor, the busines…

Hall of Famer Smoltz Makes a Stop in Support of Autism

Lansing Native and Baseball Hall of Famer John Smoltz has been making headlines again for putting his name behind the Strikeout Baseball Stadium coming to Fe…

Baked Goods by Dominic Reaches Another Milestone

Last July, 517 Magazine shared the story of Baked Goods by Dominic. Dominic Blatnik started his business baking products under the Michigan Cottage Food L…

On the Record with Jim Owens, Financial Adviser for Lansing Community College

As the saying goes, “You don’t know what you don’t know.” When it comes to paying for college, the facts can be a game-changer, and that’s why it’s important…

Starting from the Bottom can Provide Motivation

Having a business is a dream for countless people. Many new business owners have gone all-in, spending every last dime to open their doors. But is starting y…

Author accepts challenge to Step Out of Comfort Zone

Now that we’re a few months into a new year, how are those resolutions coming along? According to Statista, the most common New Year’s resolutions are to …

On the Record with Sam Hoag of Island City Realty

Island City Realty’s Sam Hoag can clearly recall telling his fourth-grade teacher he wanted to be a real estate agent. He also remembers flipping through mag…

Cheesecake Entrepreneur Expands into Meijer Stores

Marcus Leslie puts love into his cheesecake brand. You can see it on his branding, you can see it on his Facebook business page and, mostly, you can taste it…

11 in the 517: Women Leaders Who are the Regional Trailblazers

There has never been a more tumultuous time for leadership in any business community: human resources departments turned on their heads, a hybrid workplace, …

On the Record with Courtney Gordon of Coco’s Confections

Like many, DeWitt resident Courtney Gordon was happy enough in her job, having been the event director at The MTG Space, a Lansing meeting facility, for seve…

Best of New Beginnings

Jan. 1. A fresh start. That’s often the way people view a new year. We make earnest resolutions, mostly on how we’re going to do better in the coming year. T…

Quality Dairy Family of Employees is Credited for Sustained Success

Quality Dairy has been the familiar and friendly go-to of Greater Lansing neighborhoods for 85 years. Founded in 1936 with the first store on Washington A…

Made in the USA: Another 517 Unique Holiday Gift List

Here at 517 Magazine, we strongly encourage you to shop local, but we couldn’t resist conducting a courtesy search on your behalf for a few items that are ga…

Best of: Try a New Stuffing Recipe

We surveyed our readers for the inside scoop on their favorite Thanksgiving foods. Stuffing was the overwhelming response on our social media channels, follo…

Local Selfie Museum Provides Family Fun at Eastwood Towne Center

Shanise and Quandrel Ollie want you to put your best face forward. The couple set out to build an inspiring and fun family business in the community but w…

Chrysalis Enrichment Center Helps People Look Within

Laurie DeBruin is in the business of healing. As the owner of Chrysalis Enrichment Center, 2380 Science Parkway in Okemos, DeBruin brings more than education…

Households Losing Income Due to Day Care Issues

Outside of businesses taking financial hits, perhaps much of the angst in the earliest days of the coronavirus pandemic was felt by parents. From being force…

Hendrickson Balances Family, Career and Performing

Grant Hendrickson’s parents knew their son had vocal talent by the time he was 3. By age 5, Hendrickson was asking for piano lessons. Fast forward to the …

Best of Celebration Spots

You’ve just won a big award, and you want to go out to dinner or drinks to celebrate. Where are you going? What are you having? We polled our readers on our …

Chocolatey S’mores Martini

Shopping List Chocolate syrup Graham crackers Godiva chocolate liqueur RumChata Vodka Heavy cream Marshmallows   Ingredients…