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2024 Power 100: Sue Mailman

A woman with short grey hair and tortoise glasses wears dangling silver earrings and a dark navy cardigan. Photo I Courtesy of Coghlin Electrical Contractors Sue Mailman
Sue Mailman Title President Company Coghlin Electrical Contractors, in Worcester Employees 3 Residence Worcester College Northeastern University Read all the Power 100 profiles here
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Sue Mailman has been with her family’s 139-year-old Coghlin Electrical Contractors business for nearly 40 years and run the electrical contracting company for more than two decades, but she, like her well-known father before her, uses her influence to improve the Greater Worcester community, particularly advocating for women, people of color, and disadvantaged populations.

Understanding the need for a skilled workforce, she is committed to improving public education and vocational training. Her father, Edwin “Ted” Coghlin, was instrumental in the construction of Worcester Technical High School, and she served on the school’s general advisory committee.

Mailman says her strength is in finding and lifting up the next generation of professionals. She has served on the boards of organizations throughout the area, including UMass Memorial Health, Quinsigamond Community College, and United Way of Central Massachusetts, all based in Worcester

Mailman was elected to Worcester School Committee 2021, where she champions vocational education, early childhood education, and diversity. Mailman questioned the disparity in pay between the School Committee and the Worcester City Council. Councilors earn $33,960, twice as much as School Committee members. Mailman sees it as a gender/equity issue, suggesting it may stem from a time when schools were viewed more as women’s work.

Mailman acknowledges that may not be a popular position, but she’s accustomed to speaking her mind. When she first took over at Coghlin, many in senior management believed they knew when it would be time to retire. That was not always the case, she said

“I think of this because in so many spaces outside of the business I see a need to transition power and control to the next generation; senior people can be helpful or a hindrance. Let’s be helpful!” Mailman said. 

Read all the Power 100 profiles here.

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