My story is like a staircase.

I had a wide variety of experiences that all led up to the office business industry. I’ve dabbled here and there in different fields and now I have a smidgen of many things that really help me to understand the types of people looking for office space.

As a child, I never had a vision for my professional life. I participated in many activities, such as handball and figure skating.

I was always encouraged to do whatever I wanted. But one thing I knew for certain — I wanted to be a leader and not a follower.

I didn’t just want to become a baton thrower. I became a majorette. I didn’t just want to be in the drama club. I starred in every play.

MaryEllen Gluck is the new president of ExecuSuites I-270. (ExecuSuites I-270)

That leadership inclination has stayed with me through today.

After high school, I got married and had children.

I became a clothing model for a manufacturer on Seventh Avenue in New York City and then got a variety of executive assistant jobs. I worked for the WNEW radio station, did bookkeeping for a paper recycler and delivered newspapers for the Gaithersburg Gazette.

At one point, I started my own sewing and alteration business while my kids were small. It was a skill that had been passed down from my grandfather, who was a tailor.

Having my own business really helped me understand the entrepreneurs I’m helping to provide space to today. It helps me relate to their struggles. When I hear them tell me their struggles, I am able to tell them, ‘Well, don’t eat the whole elephant. Take a bite and let me help you through it.’

I eventually moved on to an architecture firm, becoming the eighth person in the office. I soon noticed that I had a keen ability to be very logical and see the steps that need to be taken toward success. I did a lot of construction and office management work with the firm. By the time I left, the company had grown to 60 people. My greatest contribution is that I developed the policy and procedures for handling construction management work.

I write everything down.

I have a book of best practices that I have collected over my career. I teach it to everyone who has worked with or for me.

After the architecture firm, I coursed through a hodgepodge of industries.

I worked for a venture capital firm, but it was 2008, right after the recession, so it wasn’t the best decision. I stayed there for a year, and unfortunately that business had a lot of cutbacks.

I came back to the Rockville area to work locally for a nutraceutical company in their sales and marketing department, which brought me to ExecuSuites as a client looking for business services.

It was a very serendipitous meeting. The president just so happened to be looking to groom her successors so she could retire. So I came here three years ago without a title, but after a while I became the vice president of operations. I made a big financial contribution to the earnings. I put policies in place to identify lost revenue opportunities and put the company back on track to make money.

Now I’m excited to take the company forward as president.

Business is a different model than when I started out. Back then, you had one man, one office and a secretary. Now some people prefer virtual businesses.

The way I’ve adapted to the various industries in my career will help me as I adapt our model to the changing times.

— Interview with Vanessa Small

MaryEllen Gluck

President of ExecuSuites
I-270, an office business center in Rockville.

Career highlights: President and vice president of operations, office manager, and sales and marketing coordinator, ExecuSuites I-270

Age: 58

Personal: Lives in Frederick.