About Us

Mission Statement

The Upside of Downsizing helps 50 plus-year-olds simplify their lives by downsizing, and achieve a happy and healthy life balance. Through six educational conferences, we provide ideas and insight on such topics as real estate and moving, finances, the second half of life, and more. In addition, we connect 50 plus-year-olds with professionals through our online Resource Directory. Our conference is built on the principles of service, support and respect to others, and is designed to enrich the lives of 50 plus-year-olds, and their families by promoting healthy, safe, and meaningful lifestyles.

Mary Spann, President of Upside of DownsizingMarry's sig only 5.22.15

Mary Spann is the founder and president of Upside of Downsizing. In addition to her 26 years in construction, interior design, and home staging, Mary also holds college degrees in Social Work and Psychology, making her uniquely qualified to create the Upside of Downsizing conferences. Mary learned the key components of construction and interior design at an early age. Her father was a prominent custom home builder in Minnesota and Texas, and her mother was a successful interior designer and principal real estate broker. Mary’s passions have always been in organization, leadership, creativity, and the desire to help people enrich their lives ─ making the Upside of Downsizing conferences a dream come true! In her free time, Mary is an active member of her church and volunteers with Special Olympics Oregon and various charity organizations.

Jerry Spann, Vice President of Upside of Downsizing

Jerry Spann joined Upside of Downsizing in 2012 as vice president. Jerry works closely with companies and organizations to understand their needs and ensure a quality experience for them and the attendees. Prior to joining Upside of Downsizing, he was employed with the Ford Motor Company where he served in various management positions. Jerry has a passion for helping people, which is reflected in his many years of volunteer work and in his 25 years of management and leadership roles. Jerry attended Pacific Lutheran University where he majored in Production Management and Pierce College where he majored in Business Management. He has lived in Washington, Alaska, and Oregon. Jerry and his wife, Mary, have five sons and one daughter-in-law. Jerry is an active member of his church and coaches for Special Olympics Oregon.

“When you need something done yesterday, Mary is your go-to person. She is highly organized and detail-oriented, and you can trust that she has checked her facts. Her high energy style blends well with her empathetic listening skills, and everything she does comes from the heart. I totally trust in her abilities and recommend her highly.”

Jan Cullivan, Real Estate Broker
Re/Max Equity Group


“Mary is a very hard working and creative person. Her ideas are very beneficial to the retirement community, as well as for people of retirement age. Mary is a great friend, always thinking of how she can help others. If you are of like mind (helping others), I suggest you get to know her.”

Jerry Koberlein, President
Minuteman Press


“Working alongside Jerry in an extremely stressful job was an enjoyable comfortable experience. Jerry never let the stress show, his calmness and genuine good-heartedness shined. As a fellow manager, I could lean on him for help, as well as, trust his decisions and course of action.”

Travis Workman, Manager
Ford Motors


“Jerry is the real deal. For many years and through many challenging circumstances I have witnessed Jerry live out his life before others. I say without reservation that Jerry has consistently demonstrated approachability, honesty, dependability, availability, humility, and a genuine love for people.”

Lance Wagner, Manager
Young Life’s Washington Family Ranch

More Testimonials