About Merri Lee Marks

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Merri Lee Marks is a landscape designer, graphic artist and philanthropist, and "author". In her first book, The Giving Game: Surviving Philanthropy’s Schemers, Dreamers and Volunteer Vixens – Come Hell or High Heels, now available from Amazon and Barnes and Noble, Merri Lee is the first to expose the existence of bullying and incivility in the philanthropic realm – a setting which, for all its seeming benevolence, is ironically not exempt from such inappropriate, demoralizing behavior. It too, Merri contends, has become a competitive sport, overrun by agenda-seeking, glory-hogging, desperate-for-attention-housewives who will do most anything to capture the prize: which in the world of philanthropy means recognition and upward mobility.
 
Merri Lee is known as the" Conscious Philanthropist." She prides herself on giving back for social good and empowering others on how to give back and find reputable organizations. She is a big supporter of Charity Navigator, a site that evaluates the financial health, accountability and transparency of 6,000 of America's largest charities.

Merri Lee's landscape design led her back into philanthropy after having children and becoming involved in their schools. She is a member of The American Horticultural Society and The Robinson’s Gardens of Beverly Hills, the latter of which interests her because of her deep interest in history, conservation and garden design. She recently designed and created Garden's annual black tie Gala themed “The Queen of Hearts Rose Garden.” She is also a member of The Beverly Hills Women’s Club, The Los Angeles County Museum of Art's Contemporary Arts Council, Center Dance Arts at the Music Center, The Library Foundation of Los Angeles, and a board member of The Latina Dance Project. She is currently the secretary of the American Landscape Society of LA, student chapter UCLA.

Merri Lee has a Bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts/Graphic Design from The School of Visual Arts in New York and a Master’s Degree in Painting and Art History from the Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore, Maryland. In 1982, she received an Artist in Residence Grant from The Artist For Environment Foundation for her work in landscape painting. She was the owner and jewelry designer for ZZZAP in New York and the jewelry designer for 1928 Jewelry Company in Burbank, Calif., until 1992, when she started a landscaping and plant design consultation service. She has spent the past two years getting divorced and going to school at UCLA for landscape architecture.

Merri Lee resides in Brentwood, Calif., with her sons Ian and Zachary, who never know what they're going to come home to after mom tests out new visions for landscapes in the yard.

You can find her on Pinterest at: http://www.pinterest.com/merrileemarks/

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Merri Lee Marks's Latest Tweet

Elite Philanthropic World Like 'Mean Girls', Full of Bullies

Elite Philanthropic World Like ‘Mean Girls’, Full of Bullies

June 9, 2014 with

‘All of this is fodder for sitcoms or HBO specials,’ says philanthropist Merri Lee Marks, author of The Giving Game

Fight Back Against 'Adult Mean Girls' Bullying; Share Your Stories!

Fight Back Against ‘Adult Mean Girls’ Bullying; Share Your Stories!

February 25, 2014 with

Inspired by Merri Lee Marks’s The Giving Game, we are inviting power women to share their stories of adult female bullying

The Giving Game Author Merri Lee Marks on Word of Mom Radio

The Giving Game Author Merri Lee Marks on Word of Mom Radio

February 4, 2014 with

‘The Conscious Philanthropist’ went on Word of Mom Radio to talk about Philanthopistas, Faux-Philanthropistas, Altruistas, and Socialistas

Interested in Volunteering? VIDEO with Giving Game Author Merri Lee Marks

Interested in Volunteering? VIDEO with Giving Game Author Merri Lee Marks

January 29, 2014 with

Giving Game author talks about ‘elite parents’ dominating PTA, volunteer groups, what you must check out before you donate, advice on women and giving back

'Giving Game' Author: Philanthropy Is Having a 'Renaissance'

‘Giving Game’ Author: Philanthropy Is Having a ‘Renaissance’

December 12, 2013 with

‘Conscious Philanthropist’ discusses good, bad, ugly world of charitable giving with lifestyle expert Gina Heart

The Giving Game Author Merri Lee Marks on Cause Talk Radio

The Giving Game Author Merri Lee Marks on Cause Talk Radio

November 6, 2013 with

Merri Lee Marks, the conscious philanthropist, was a guest on Cause Talk Radio to talk about her upcoming book The Giving Game and the darker side of philanthropy.

The Giving Game Exposes Bullying, ‘Mean Girl’ Incivility in Glittery World of Philanthropy

The Giving Game Exposes Bullying, ‘Mean Girl’ Incivility in Glittery World of Philanthropy

October 8, 2013 with

What do you get when you mix personalities from ‘Mean Girls,’ The Devil Wears Prada or Crazy Rich Asians with the charity world?

Philanthropist, Soon-to-Be-Author of Giving Game Joins genConnect

Philanthropist, Soon-to-Be-Author of Giving Game Joins genConnect

June 21, 2013 with

Landscape designer, graphic artist, philanthropist, will soon tell all about catfight world of philanthropy in new book

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