About Us

Majestic. Fierce. Playful. Adaptable. 

Not just the top Bear adjectives, but the mindset of The Bear Events. From all wedding celebrations to non-profit events, we work with your "pack" to bring your event vision into fruition!

Mary Sullivan - Kowalczyk

AKA Mare the Bear, Founder & Head Grizzly

Mary founded The Bear Events on the principle of "The Pack" mentality - one person can create a good event, but a team (or a pack) can make it LEGENDARY! In complete transparency, Mary founded TBE by true force of nature - meaning she was forced by her very large family and friend group to plan their weddings and celebrations. :D She has always had a knack for creativity, beauty, style, and handling many large personalities in one room. 

In addition to founding TBE, Mary serves as the Director of Operations and Development for Jackson Chance Foundation since 2018 where she oversees all fundraising activities and campaigns, the NICU Transportation Programs, while maintaining donor and Board of Directors relations. Prior to 2018, Mary’s career has taken her to the March of Dimes as a Community Director, where she oversaw the walk program, as well as the American Diabetes Association as Associate Director overseeing the country’s top Father of the Year Awards.

Mary graduated from DePaul University with a bachelor’s in public relations and advertising and minor in theatre studies. She was a 4-year cheerleader and captain her senior year. Go Blue Demons! In her free time, she enjoys seeing every Broadway Musical that comes to town, assistant coaching the Northwestern Cheerleaders (Go Cats!), as well as spending time with friends and family. Currently, Mary resides in Chicago with her husband, Andrew.

She is ready to bring your pack together for celebration, not for hibernation!