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GirlGeek of the Week
March 2001

Marnie Pehrson

Marnie Pehrson

Marnie Pehrson's parents bought her a TI99 computer for Christmas back in 1981. She was immediately hooked and in high school, Marnie took a BASIC class. Back then, she used machines that dialed up to the local university through an acoustic cup modem, now a favorite geek antique.

In college Marnie studied Information Management, a composite of computers and business. She fell in love with relational database design, a new field at the time. Marnie worked her way through college as an R*base programmer.

In 1990, after having two children and not working for a few years, Marnie decided to start a computer training company, tutoring people on computers and hooking up with jobseekers who needed to improve their computer skills and their chances of employment. This led to database and software consulting, to writing, and then Web development.

Marnie has combined her love for databases, writing and the Web to create sites like the writer-publisher matching service at and in helping other people with their computer-based businesses as the president of the International Association of Computer Professionals.

When did you first discover your love and/or obsession with computers and technology?

The BASIC class in high school is where I discovered I had a knack for them. I really fell in love when I got into database design in college.

How do you earn a living?

Through selling subscriptions and memberships on my Web communities, self-publishing, Internet revenue/marketing consulting, and a little side-work in Cold Fusion programming.

Do you consider yourself a Geek?

Please, No! I'm a philosopher, a writer and a people-person who needed a way to earn a living from home in the early 90's and computers were my best bet. Computers are simply the means to the end of allowing me to earn a living at what I really love - writing and teaching.

What is your favorite Website?

Well, I don't surf much, amazingly enough. I'm too busy with my own sites. But if I had to have a favorite, it would be my labor of love, I know, I'm prejudiced, since it's mine, but the people I meet through there are fantastic. :)

What do you do when you are not working?

Chase five children around and try to keep the laundry from piling up over our heads. For fun, I like to read when I can find an empty bedroom to hide in. I also enjoy traveling with my husband and being with friends.

What's your motto?

"Everything in our lives happens for a purpose and that purpose is to prepare us." — Spencer W. Kimball

Who would play you in a movie about your life?

Sandra Bullock. Sometimes I feel like most of my life is lived on the Net.

What would be the title of your autobiography?

Mission Impossible

Who is the person you most admire?

Sheri L. Dew. She's an inspirational speaker, writer, and VP of Publishing for Deseret Books.

When and where were you the happiest?

Here and now... I don't think I've been happier than I have been over the last year. I'm the happiest when I'm teaching or writing about uplifting and inspirational topics, which is what I get to do almost every day.

If you could have one super power what would it be?

The ability to twitch my nose like Samantha on Bewitched and have my house spotless in a split second.


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