Forte Connect
MBAs on the Move

HGTV Television Host Showcases Home Construction Success

Marnie Oursler, President and Founder – Marnie Homes and Host of HGTV’s “Dream Home 2018” and DIY Network’s “Big Beach Builds”

Alumna of Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business (MBA, 2013) and
East Carolina State University (BS, 2001: Education and Information Technology)

Marnie Oursler never envisioned a career in construction – and certainly not in television. As a kid, she worked in sweltering summer heat for her father, a real estate developer, where her tasks included cleaning houses and collecting trash from his properties. Marnie had a major change of heart after college when she worked as a real estate assistant in a Delaware beach town. She became fascinated with home construction and real estate trends, and Marnie found her calling after purchasing a dilapidated beach home. Having no money to renovate, she learned how to do it entirely on her own, and then sold the house for a profit of $100,000. Her success gave her the confidence to start her own construction business, and she also chose to get an MBA from Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business during this time so that she could communicate on the same level with her educated clients. As if her booming construction business and MBA studies were not enough to keep her busy, television production companies – eager to capitalize on the DIY craze – started calling her to discuss a potential show based on her building and renovation projects. Fast forward to the present, and Marnie recently completed her second season as host of HGTV’s “Dream House 2018” and the DIY Network’s “Big Beach Builds.” While Marnie finds the television show fun, her true love is the construction business she has built from the ground up and continues to grow. She does this while promoting energy-efficient building methods and American-made products and inspiring young girls who have never before considered a career in construction.

Word(s) that describe her: Fun, creative
Book recommendation: Inspirational books, such as Tim Ferriss’s Tools of Titans and Adam Grant’s Originals.
Song that makes her turn up the volume: “Glorious” by Macklemore
You won’t find this on her resumé: She attended the US Naval Academy for her first year of college. Ultimately, it wasn’t a fit, but she valued the experience.
Business lessons: When you question whether you should take on a job, or if you have reservations, listen to your gut.
Words she lives by: May you trust God that you are exactly where you are meant to be. May you use those gifts that you have received and pass on the love that has been given to you. – St Theresa’s prayer

Get more inspiring stories and a wide array of professional development programs to help you attain the career you deserve by joining the Forté Foundation.

Related posts
LET’S DO THIS

Get tips, event info, and careers resources
for women delivered directly to your inbox.

our partners