Marnie Oursler honored with Girls Inc. Strong, Smart and Bold Award

Board President of Girls Inc. of Delaware Suzette M. Schultz, left, presents Marnie Oursler, founder of Marnie Homes, with the Strong, Smart and Bold Award for 2013. BY MARIA DEFORREST
May 15, 2013

Marnie Oursler of Bethany Beach, founder of Marnie Homes, based in Bethany, received the Strong, Smart and Bold Award at the Girls Inc. of Delaware 24th annual awards event. Girls Inc. is a national network of nonprofit organizations that teaches girls independence and resilience through a wide range of interactive and educational programming.

The event, hosted at the Delaware Art Museum in Wilmington, honors women who are leaders in the community and inspiring role models for young women. In 2009, Oursler built Delaware's first LEED-certified home. She recently teamed up with 84 Lumber on the national We Build American initiative, which seeks to increase domestic jobs by utilizing American-made building products. The 2013 Strong, Smart and Bold honorees also included Tatiana Copeland and Cynthia Primo Martin.

During her acceptance speech, Oursler discussed three key principles for successful leaders: a strong support network of family and friends, development of personal value through continuous self-improvement and thought leadership. “Success, particularly for women, is not just measured in terms of material possessions - money, houses cars, jewelry - but in creating a range of successful relationships - professional, personal, family - that, together, make you greater than the sum of your parts,” she said.

She concluded, “If you have a strong support network, you can develop the mind-set of always creating value. And if you have both of those, you can ultimately become a thought leader - not just in business, but also in all aspects of your life."