Mary grew up in Rochester, Minnesota where her father served patients as a doctor at the Mayo Clinic and her mother raised six children and volunteered in the community. She attended the University of Michigan, where she received her bachelor’s degree in political science and speech communications. Mary went on to earn her law degree from William Mitchell College of Law and went to work for Moore, Costello & Hart, eventually becoming a partner specializing in construction litigation. She also worked as an arbitrator and mediator with the American Arbitration Association and as president of the Woodbury Economic Development Authority.
Mary served on the Woodbury City Council before being elected Mayor of Woodbury from 2007-2018, running unopposed for a second term as Mayor in 2014. During her tenure, Woodbury was consistently rated among the top places to live in America, and as Mayor, she presided over significant growth and job creation in the city’s economy due to an outreach program she undertook with local businesses to make sure they were positioned for success at the end of the last recession.