SBM Articles


Women Leaders: Mary Elizabeth Grimes, President, Marian Middle School

by Marianne Biangardi and Jennifer Bardot

When you began your career did you ever imagine you would have a leadership role like you have now? What advice would you give your younger self?

I started my career in media. My mother was a teacher and counselor. I didn’t imagine I would be in education where she made an incredible difference in the lives of so many young people. As a result, I would say to my younger self, thank your Mom for the sacrifices she made for you to have a great life. Don’t forget to honor her by paying it forward and giving back to others.

Who inspires you and why? What is your most valued attribute in the leaders you respect or mentors you have had?
There are so many people who inspire me daily. Since I’m in education, my mother and sister were educators. I witnessed their passion and commitment to the children whose lives they touch. I also see that at Marian Middle School. It’s my job as a leader to recognize the gifts and talents they possess and be the inspirational wind beneath their wings so they have the courage to fly higher.

What did it take in order to trust yourself to step into leadership?
I’ve always been in a leadership role since high school. Even when I was stepping in a role I’ve never done before, I saw it as a divine appointment. If God placed me in a position, he would give me what I need to be successful.

Have you experienced any hardships and how did you overcome the obstacles? When did you know, the business was going to make it?
I’ve experienced hardships many times! I’ve been through enough challenges to know even when things are really bad, it’s not the end of the story. You have to do what it takes to stay encouraged until you begin to see the light of day.
What do you attribute your success to? Secret to your success…

Getting back up to stay in the game, and not listening to the naysayers on the sidelines. Making sure I was prepared as much as I could be then leaving the rest to God. He’s the real secret to my success.

What advice would you give other local women leaders?
Get a great mentor! This is the person that knows you and will tell you the truth about what they see in you and provide trusted direction when you need it.

Join the GRIT Community:

Jennifer Bardot (, or
314-630-1451) is CEO and Founder of G.R.I.T. Community For Women.

Marianne Biangardi ( or 314-322-4871) is Sr. Associate, Marketing and Business Development, at UHY LLP.


Submitted 24 days ago
Categories: categoryWomen Leaders
Views: 142