Teaching, Real Estate and Politics Pryor's Specialties

Article excerpt

Marolyn Pryor exemplifies The Journal Record Corporate Woman on the Move.

She's constantly on the move.

Since her graduation from Kansas State College, she has been an educator, a Realtor, a mother and grandmother, a civic leader and, most recently, a candidate for political office.

Pryor considers teaching, real estate and politics as her three major moves. She doesn't anticipate a fourth move.

"I don't think I'll ever retire - but I don't plan a fourth career," she said with a wry laugh.

In addition to her bachelor's degree, Pryor holds a master's degree from Southwestern State College in Weatherford and a certified reading specialist (32 hours above a master's degree) rating from studies at Oklahoma State University and Bethany Nazarene College.

"I taught English and reading in every grade from first through junior college," said Pryor, who spent her 10 years as a teacher focusing on efforts for excellence in education. A charter member of the Oklahoma Academy for State Goals, she's also on the advisory boards of Oklahoma City Community College and Canadian Valley Vo-Tech School. Her husband, Roger, is assistant superintendant of schools in Moore and they make their home in Yukon.

It was their growing family of five children and the need for an income to keep up with that family that drew Pryor into the real estate business.

"I started doing it part time, as a summer job, and I loved it," she said. "Real estate was a lot more lucrative. I hated to give up teaching but, in three years, working just part time, I tripled my teaching salary each year."

The first Marolyn Pryor and Associates office in 1978 consisted of Pryor, a small office and an answering machine. Today, she owns and is president of a leading real estate firm, providing jobs for 240 people in the Oklahoma City metropolitan area. Her eight offices are located in the northwest, southwest and Heritage areas of the city; in Mustang, Moore, Piedmont and Edmond.

As her business grew, so did her contributions to the community. Two governors have called upon her to help in solving some of the state's most difficult problems.

In 1984, Pryor was among Oklahoma leaders chosen to study state government and make recommendations for reform.

In 1986, she was named to the economic development task force of the Oklahoma Department of Commerce. She also has served on the Governor's Advisory Commission on the Status of Women.

"Real estate is a good area for women. They get a good shake, particularly in residential real estate," said Pryor, who said her firm also does commercial real estate.

"Women understand needs in a home - cabinets, storage space, privacy, that sort of thing. We have to really teach our men how to show a house," she said smiling. Then she added, "People trust women more, too."

Pryor noted that the last four or five years have been tough for real estate people.

"I'm one of the fortunate ones. I still have my doors open," she said, looking about her firm's spacious new offices in Citizens Plaza tower. "I'm conservative in my management and growth but we've still opened several more offices in the past few years. …