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Washington University in St Louis Olin Business School

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Mary Frontczak, Executive MBA

Mary Frontczak

EMBA Class 31
Senior Vice President and General Counsel – Americas, State Government Relations, and Communications
Peabody Energy Corp.
"Leadership really isn’t about me; it’s about making the people around me better."

"Leadership really isn’t about me; it’s about making the people around me better."

Expanding her leadership profile

Frontczak says the Executive MBA program taught her to make more strategic business decisions and to know when she has "sufficient information to solve problems."

The program also gave her the confidence to expand her leadership profile. "Specifically, I learned to check my pacesetter style and to focus on being more collaborative. Leadership really isn’t about me; it’s about making the people around me better.

"Using influence wisely is essential, especially with employees who aren’t my direct reports."

One example: Peabody Energy Corp. didn’t employ part-time attorneys until 2012. Frontczak used her "influence to change company practice.” Creating a work environment with flexibility is one way to demonstrate “we really value our employees."

EMBA community became her "family"

"My mother’s health declined dramatically while I was in the program. She was rushed to the hospital at one point, and I was told she had hours to live. During this time, the EMBA community was my 'family.' Everyone understood what I was going through. Fortunately, my mom began to recover. She attended the program’s family picnic day with me, and the EMBA team had the chef make something she could eat. My mom was considered part of the class.

"She also couldn’t have attended my graduation without the support of the EMBA staff. It was great to hear her clapping loudly when my name was announced (Frontczak received the C. William Emory Executive MBA Award)."

What surprised her most about the program

"I was surprised by how much I loved going back to school. I thoroughly enjoyed putting on jeans and a sweater, heading to the Knight Center, and sitting in a classroom filled with great, smart people.

Mary Frontczak

Senior Vice President and General Counsel – Americas, State Government Relations, and Communications, Peabody Energy Corp.

Previous Employment

Vice President and Assistant General Counsel, Peabody Energy Corp.;
Regional Counsel, Peabody Energy Corp.;
Senior Counsel, The May Department Stores Co.;
Associate, Newman, Goldfarb, Freiman, Stevens & Klein;
Associate, Lewis, Rice & Fingersh

Background

Education: JD, Saint Louis University School of Law;
BA, Psychology, Saint Louis University