Twenty-five years ago, newly married Mary Giuliani Stephens and her husband Greg decided to drive out to a little-known city—Woodbury—to check out Evergreen, a neighborhood dubbed one of the 10 top places to live in the Twin Cities by a local magazine. They found a perfect home location in that new neighborhood and raised their two children (Jane and David) there, frequenting the puppet wagon, making trips to the library, walking in the Tamarack Preserve and participating in Woodbury Athletic Association and high school sports.
“In 2006, as I was preparing for an empty nest, I was deciding whether to get back into law practice full time or become more involved in the Woodbury community,” says Stephens, an arbitrator, mediator and former partner in the St. Paul law firm Moore, Costello and Hart. “After learning there were going to be empty seats on the city council and consulting with my family and friends, I decided to run.”
Following a term on the council, Stephens is now serving as mayor of Woodbury, moving into the role held by Bill Hargis for 17 years. This up-and-comer on the local political scene has made economic development and bringing good jobs to Woodbury her top priorities.
“The city’s continuing commercial development is vital in diversifying the tax base,” says Stephens. “We need to make sure the focus remains on bringing more high-paying jobs to the community. Woodbury’s participation and leadership in regional economic development efforts will be important.”
A native of Danville, Pa., Stephens graduated from Rochester, Minn.’s Mayo High School and headed to the University of Michigan, earning a Bachelor’s of Arts with distinction in political science and speech communication. She is a cum laude graduate of the William Mitchell College of Law.