The honor, which the YWCA has given out since 1979, recognizes the “special achievements of women in the workplace and community.” Past winners have included educators, nonprofit leaders, entrepreneurs, executives of the region’s largest businesses.
Mary has served as a partner in Thompson Coburn's Business Litigation Group for 30 years. She has served as lead counsel in more than 75 jury and non-jury cases and is a member of the American Board of Trial Advocates. Her trial experience includes disputes of all types, including general commercial litigation defense and real estate and construction claims.
As one of Thompson Coburn’s first female attorneys, Mary played a fundamental role in the creation of Thompson Coburn’s Total Commitment® Women’s Initiative, a comprehensive program that focuses on helping the firm’s women attorneys meet their full potential and promoting their achievements and contributions. Mary led the strategic planning for the Women’s Initiative, organized Steering Committee events and pushed for the expansion of the firm’s formal mentoring program, as well as serving as a mentor over the years to numerous women partners and associates.
“Every single female lawyer at our firm — and we have over 100 — stands on the shoulders of Mary Bonacorsi,” said Thompson Coburn Chairman Tom Minogue in a video (at right) that was played at the Dec. 10 event.
In the same video, Mary reflected on her role as a mentor for dozens of women attorneys at the firm. “Since I was given those opportunities, it’s just natural to want to pass them on. And as a lawyer and a mom, I really, really enjoy watching people grow and develop and do terrific things.”
Mary’s community contributions include board service for The Salvation Army, Lutheran Family & Children’s Services, the United Way of Greater St. Louis, and the Mentor St. Louis program. More recently, Mary has served as a leader on the board of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater St. Louis, where she directly supported a Thompson Coburn pro bono project that is converting an 11-acre Superfund site into a significant expansion of the Boys & Girls Clubs’ location on North Grand Avenue. For those efforts, the Boys & Girls Club of St. Louis honored Mary and Thompson Coburn with a 2013 National Award of Merit.
“You can’t all be president, but you can always be a leader in your own little sphere of influence,” Mary said. “It’s about service to something bigger than yourself.”
The YWCA empowers women by providing economic education, childcare, leadership recognition, transitional housing, support for victims of sexual assault, and by working for racial justice.