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Michele Coleman Mayes

Michele Coleman Mayes was born on July 9, 1949 in Los Angeles, California to Geraldine and Wilbert Coleman. Mayes graduated from MacKinzie High School in Detroit, Michigan in 1967. She received her B.A. degree from the University of Michigan in 1971 and her J.D. degree from the University of Michigan Law School in 1974.

Mayes taught as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Political Science at Illinois State University in Normal, Illinois for two years and then as an Adjunct Professor of Civil Trial Advocacy at Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan from 1981 to 1987. Mayes served in the United States Department of Justice from 1976 to 1982 as Assistant United States Attorney in Detroit and Brooklyn. Mayes eventually assumed the role of Chief of the Civil Division in Detroit. In 1982, Mayes entered the corporate sector as managing attorney of the Burroughs Corporation. Her career continued to evolve as the Burroughs Corporation and the Sperry Corporation merged, creating Unisys Corporation, for which she was appointed staff vice president and associate general counsel for Worldwide Litigation. In 1992, Mayes joined the Colgate-Palmolive Company as vice president and associate general counsel. One year later, she was promoted to vice president of Human Resources and their Legal Division for North America. In May 2001, Mayes was promoted to vice president, legal and assistant secretary, and elected a corporate officer. Two years later, she accepted the position of senior vice president and general counsel at Pitney Bowes. In 2007, Mayes was named vice president and general counsel of The Allstate Corporation and senior vice president and general counsel for Allstate Insurance Company.

Mayes is the recipient of numerous awards, including The Margaret Brent Award and
The Trailblazer Award. She was also named one of America's top black lawyers by Black Enterprise Magazine in 2003.

Mayes was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on November 6, 2008.

Accession Number

A2008.126

Sex

Female

Interview Date

11/6/2008

12/19/2008

Last Name

Mayes

Maker Category
Marital Status

divorced

Middle Name

Coleman

Occupation
Schools

MacKinzie High School

Thirkell Elementary School

Macculloch Elementary School

Tappan Junior High School

University of Michigan

University of Michigan Law School

First Name

Michele

Birth City, State, Country

Los Angeles

HM ID

MAY04

Favorite Season

All Seasons

State

California

Favorite Vacation Destination

Paris, France

Favorite Quote

Be Yourself.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

New York

Interview Description
Birth Date

7/9/1949

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

New York

Country

USA

Favorite Food

Popcorn

Short Description

Corporate lawyer Michele Coleman Mayes (1949 - ) was appointed as vice president and general counsel of The Allstate Corporation, and senior vice president and general counsel for the Allstate Insurance Company.

Employment

Illinois State University

U.S. Attorney's office, Detroit

Unisys Corporation

Colgate Palmolive Company

Pitney Bowes, Inc.

Allstate Insurance

Favorite Color

Amber

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/605942">Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Michele Coleman Mayes' interview, session 1</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/605943">Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Michele Coleman Mayes lists her favorites</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/605944">Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Michele Coleman Mayes recalls her mother's parenting style</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/605945">Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Michele Coleman Mayes describes her mother's family background</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/605946">Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Michele Coleman Mayes talks about her father's profession</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/605947">Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Michele Coleman Mayes describes her father's family background</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/605948">Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Michele Coleman Mayes recalls visiting her relatives in the South</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/605949">Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Michele Coleman Mayes describes her likeness to her father</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/605950">Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Michele Coleman Mayes recalls how her parents met</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/605951">Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Michele Coleman Mayes describes her earliest childhood memories</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/605952">Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Michele Coleman Mayes remembers her first home in Detroit, Michigan</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/605953">Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Michele Coleman Mayes describes her household</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/605954">Tape: 1 Story: 13 - Michele Coleman Mayes remembers her neighbors in Detroit, Michigan</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/605955">Tape: 1 Story: 14 - Michele Coleman Mayes describes the sounds and smells of her childhood</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/605956">Tape: 1 Story: 15 - Michele Coleman Mayes describes her personality as a child</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/605957">Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Michele Coleman Mayes describes her sister's personality</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/605958">Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Michele Coleman Mayes remembers her closest childhood friend</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/605959">Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Michele Coleman Mayes describes her religious upbringing</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/605960">Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Michele Coleman Mayes talks about her family's emphasis on education</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/605961">Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Michele Coleman Mayes recalls her mother's place of employment</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/605962">Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Michele Coleman Mayes describes her family's medical history</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/605963">Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Michele Coleman Mayes remembers two of her childhood friends</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/605964">Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Michele Coleman Mayes recalls moving Kendall Street in Detroit, Michigan</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/605965">Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Michele Coleman Mayes remembers influential teachers from her early education</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/605966">Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Michele Coleman Mayes describes her social life</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/605967">Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Michele Coleman Mayes recalls her family's holiday traditions</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/605968">Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Michele Coleman Mayes recalls attending David Mackenzie High School in Detroit, Michigan</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/605969">Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Michele Coleman Mayes talks about her childhood activities</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/605970">Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Michele Coleman Mayes recalls her early career aspirations</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/605971">Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Michele Coleman Mayes remembers the Detroit riots in 1967</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/605972">Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Michele Coleman Mayes recalls her decision to attend the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Michigan</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/605973">Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Michele Coleman Mayes remembers an early experience of racial discrimination</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/605974">Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Michele Coleman Mayes recalls her first semester at the University of Michigan</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/605975">Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Michele Coleman Mayes describes the African American community at the University of Michigan</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/605976">Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Michele Coleman Mayes recalls her academic experiences at the University of Michigan</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/605977">Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Michele Coleman Mayes remembers giving a speech on the 1967 Detroit Riots</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/605978">Tape: 3 Story: 11 - Michele Coleman Mayes describes her course load at the University of Michigan</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/605979">Tape: 3 Story: 12 - Michele Coleman Mayes remembers working at the University of Michigan's dental school</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/605980">Tape: 3 Story: 13 - Michele Coleman Mayes recalls working at the University of Michigan Law School</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/605981">Tape: 3 Story: 14 - Michele Coleman Mayes recalls attending the University of Michigan Law School</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/605982">Tape: 3 Story: 15 - Michele Coleman Mayes remembers her brief hiatus from the University of Michigan Law School</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/605983">Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Michele Coleman Mayes remembers her wedding ceremony</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/605984">Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Michele Coleman Mayes recalls teaching at Illinois State University in Normal, Illinois</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/605985">Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Michele Coleman Mayes talks about her position as assistant U.S. Attorney</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/605986">Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Michele Coleman Mayes recalls her challenges in the criminal division at the U.S. Attorney's Office</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/605987">Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Michele Coleman Mayes talks about moving to Dearborn, Michigan</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/605988">Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Michele Coleman Mayes recalls living in Birmingham, Alabama</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/605989">Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Michele Coleman Mayes remembers moving to New York City</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/605990">Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Michele Coleman Mayes recalls returning to the U.S. Attorney's Office in Detroit, Michigan</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/605991">Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Michele Coleman Mayes remembers the air traffic controllers strike</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/605992">Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Michele Coleman Mayes describes her long distance marriage</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/605993">Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Michele Coleman Mayes talks about the small African American legal community</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/605994">Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Michele Coleman Mayes recalls a case she tried as chief of the civil division at the U.S. Attorney's Office</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/605995">Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Michele Coleman Mayes talks about her experiences as a woman attorney</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/605996">Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Michele Coleman Mayes recalls her decision to leave the U.S. Attorney's Office</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/605997">Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Michele Coleman Mayes recalls her decision to practice corporate law</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/605998">Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Michele Coleman Mayes remembers her first impressions of Burroughs Corporation</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/605999">Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Michele Coleman Mayes recalls the advice of her African American coworkers</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/606000">Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Michele Coleman Mayes remembers Detroit's African American corporate lawyers</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/606001">Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Michele Coleman Mayes talks about joining Burroughs Corporation</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/606002">Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Michele Coleman Mayes recalls the merger of Sperry Corporation and Burroughs Corporation</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/606003">Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Michele Coleman Mayes remembers her challenges at Unisys Corporation</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/606004">Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Michele Coleman Mayes describes her aspiration to become general counsel</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/606005">Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Michele Coleman Mayes recalls her decision to join the Colgate Palmolive Company</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/606006">Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Michele Coleman Mayes describes her working relationship with Reuben Mark</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/606007">Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Michele Coleman Mayes recalls what she learned at the Colgate Palmolive Company</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/606008">Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Michele Coleman Mayes remembers her promotion to vice president of the human resources department</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/606009">Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Michele Coleman Mayes shares her advice about leadership</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/606010">Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Michele Coleman Mayes remembers her mentor Andrew D. Hendry</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/606011">Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Michele Coleman Mayes recalls becoming deputy general counsel at Colgate Palmolive Company</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/606012">Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Michele Coleman Mayes describes her international travels with Colgate Palmolive Company</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/606013">Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Michele Coleman Mayes talks about settling Colgate Palmolive Company's legal case in Ecuador</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/606014">Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Michele Coleman Mayes recalls mediating a conflict with Colgate Palmolive Company's plant in Nigeria, pt. 1</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/606015">Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Michele Coleman Mayes recalls mediating a conflict with Colgate Palmolive Company's plant in Nigeria, pt. 2</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/606016">Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Michele Coleman Mayes remembers working with a Nigerian law firm</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/606017">Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Michele Coleman Mayes talks about Colgate Palmolive Company's limited success in Africa</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/606018">Tape: 7 Story: 8 - Michele Coleman Mayes recalls traveling for the Colgate Palmolive Company</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/606019">Tape: 7 Story: 9 - Michele Coleman Mayes talks about working with patent law at Colgate Palmolive Company</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/606020">Tape: 7 Story: 10 - Michele Coleman Mayes remembers Sara Moss's career advice</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/606021">Tape: 7 Story: 11 - Michele Coleman Mayes recalls being hired by Pitney Bowes Inc.</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/606022">Tape: 8 Story: 1 - Michele Coleman Mayes recalls interviewing at Pitney Bowes Inc.</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/606023">Tape: 8 Story: 2 - Michele Coleman Mayes describes Pitney Bowes Inc.'s legal department</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/606024">Tape: 8 Story: 3 - Michele Coleman Mayes talks about the racial demographics of Fortune 500 company's general counsels</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/606025">Tape: 8 Story: 4 - Michele Coleman Mayes remembers her challenges at Pitney Bowes Inc.</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/606026">Tape: 8 Story: 5 - Michele Coleman Mayes describes her interactions with her staff at Pitney Bowes Inc.</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/606027">Tape: 8 Story: 6 - Michele Coleman Mayes talks about how she divided legal work at Pitney Bowes Inc.</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/606028">Tape: 8 Story: 7 - Michele Coleman Mayes describes Allstate Corporation's legal department</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/606029">Tape: 8 Story: 8 - Michele Coleman Mayes recalls chairing a special committee board at Assurant, Inc.</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/606030">Tape: 8 Story: 9 - Michele Coleman Mayes remembers interviewing with the Allstate Corporation</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/606031">Tape: 8 Story: 10 - Michele Coleman Mayes remembers Allstate Corporation's CEO, Thomas J. Wilson</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/606032">Tape: 9 Story: 1 - Slating of Michele Coleman Mayes's interview, session 2</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/606033">Tape: 9 Story: 2 - Michele Coleman Mayes recalls her first impressions of Thomas J. Wilson</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/606034">Tape: 9 Story: 3 - Michele Coleman Mayes remembers encountering a weather delay during her interview with the Allstate Corporation</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/606035">Tape: 9 Story: 4 - Michele Coleman Mayes describes the Allstate Corporation offices</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/606036">Tape: 9 Story: 5 - Michele Coleman Mayes recalls Michael McCabe's job advice</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/606037">Tape: 9 Story: 6 - Michele Coleman Mayes describes her challenges at the Allstate Corporation</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/606038">Tape: 9 Story: 7 - Michele Coleman Mayes remembers the Allstate Corporation's executives</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/606039">Tape: 9 Story: 8 - Michele Coleman Mayes recalls Thomas J. Wilson's description of a photograph</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/606040">Tape: 9 Story: 9 - Michele Coleman Mayes describes the aftermath of her interview with the Allstate Corporation</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/606041">Tape: 9 Story: 10 - Michele Coleman Mayes recalls her decision to join the Allstate Corporation</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/606042">Tape: 10 Story: 1 - Michele Coleman Mayes talks about her leadership style</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/606043">Tape: 10 Story: 2 - Michele Coleman Mayes describes her hopes for her staff at Allstate Corporation</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/606044">Tape: 10 Story: 3 - Michele Coleman Mayes talks about the role of general counsel</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/606045">Tape: 10 Story: 4 - Michele Coleman Mayes describes her goals at the Allstate Corporation</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/606046">Tape: 10 Story: 5 - Michele Coleman Mayes describes her legal staff at Allstate Corporation</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/606047">Tape: 10 Story: 6 - Michele Coleman Mayes talks about diversity at the Allstate Corporation</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/606048">Tape: 10 Story: 7 - Michele Coleman Mayes talks about the insurance industry's regulations</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/606049">Tape: 10 Story: 8 - Michele Coleman Mayes describes her first impressions of the Allstate Corporation</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/606050">Tape: 10 Story: 9 - Michele Coleman Mayes describes her hopes for Allstate Corporation's growth</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/606051">Tape: 10 Story: 10 - Michele Coleman Mayes talks about her board memberships</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/606052">Tape: 11 Story: 1 - Michele Coleman Mayes recalls changing her outlook on life</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/606053">Tape: 11 Story: 2 - Michele Coleman Mayes describes her plan for the future</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/606054">Tape: 11 Story: 3 - Michele Coleman Mayes shares advice for aspiring lawyers</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/606055">Tape: 11 Story: 4 - Michele Coleman Mayes describes her hopes for the African American community</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/606056">Tape: 11 Story: 5 - Michele Coleman Mayes describes her concerns for the African American community</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/606057">Tape: 11 Story: 6 - Michele Coleman Mayes reflects upon race in America</a>

<a href="https://da.thehistorymakers.org/story/606058">Tape: 11 Story: 7 - Michele Coleman Mayes reflects upon her legacy</a>

DASession

1$1

DATape

3$7

DAStory

3$10

DATitle
Michele Coleman Mayes recalls her early career aspirations
Michele Coleman Mayes remembers Sara Moss's career advice
Transcript
In terms of who influenced me, I don't know. My mother [Geraldine Coleman], again, very, very big presence because I announced when I was eleven that I was going to be a lawyer. I announced it to the world. It's very good when you say things out loud because it's hard to go back, and that made me and if you say something stupid, you may do it. But I announced when I was eleven years old and in junior high school [Tappan Junior High School, Detroit, Michigan], I am going to law school. In this order, however. First, I will be a, I will be a stewardess. They were called stewardesses then because there were no flight attendants, so I can fly around and see the world. And as soon as I do that and get that out of my system, mom, I'm going to go to law school. That sounds good to me. So, my mother said I stuck with that plan (laughter) until a huge airline crash happened, and I never talked about it again (laughter). But I went to law school [University of Michigan Law School, Ann Arbor, Michigan]. And I have to laugh. Several years ago, I was interviewing a candidate who'd been a flight attendant and gone to law school. I said, "You're my role model" (laughter). But in any event, that's what I'd set my sights on. People ask, did I have any lawyers in my family? Nope, nobody I knew, although my mother tells me, and I don't--he's in a book somewhere that very early on, one of my relatives in Memphis [Tennessee], a gentleman, was a lawyer. But it's not anybody I ever met, so how could he have influenced me. But who, I think, influenced me the most are two people. One was Perry Mason, don't know him either, but the other was a judge. Go back to my aunt [Katherine Coleman House (ph.)], she's sort--her circle of friends are very professional people. And one of the individuals that I always was around, particularly all the way through high school [David Mackenzie High School, Detroit, Michigan], he eventually acted as the person who married me, was a black Republican which was also a bit unusual back then. He was very much a black Republican. So, he didn't exactly mingle with everyone in the black community because he was dubbed a bit odd for being a Republican, but because he was, he got a lot of appointments, different things, because he was one in the few. He was competent and good, but still, he was one of the few. So, he got appointed to the bench and was a judge for--well, for--until he died, and he didn't die until not that long ago. So, I was around him. When I announced I wanted to go to law school, my aunt, the one, again, that had all these friends, helped me get jobs. She knew who ran the different legal aid offices and the law firms, and she knew all of these black folks in the profession. And she would say, "You know, my niece wants to go to law school. Why don't you let her work in your law firm?" I hadn't even gone to college [University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan]. I was just getting into college, and they, they let me do it. So, I was running errands, doing very pedestrian things since I was not hardly qualified to render anybody any advice--didn't have any training. But thanks to her, she was constantly opening doors for me like that, that I took for granted. It was like, "You know I'm down, you call them up and see if you can get me a job." And she would say, "Well, let me see what I can do."$Did Pitney Bowes [Pitney Bowes Inc.] come calling?$$Well, that's a very interesting story. I met, I had lunch with Sara Moss, who was my predecessor at Pitney Bowes, about what--when the marathon was here, for three or four weeks ago, she came to Chicago [Illinois]. And Sara Moss, I met through networking. I think networking is critical. I tell people to network when you don't need to.$$That's true.$$You know, people hate for you to network when they know all you want to do is ask them for something.$$That's true.$$And so, Sara and I met because I was networking with a group of lawyers, all women, most of whom were general counsel. I was deputy general counsel at Colgate [Colgate Palmolive Company]. I was not top dog. But the headhunters knew and thought I was ready to move. As I said to somebody, if I go through one more chair at Colgate, it will be a tomb. I, you know, how many more chairs can I go through? I've done enough. I've trained long enough now, I've over trained. So, the headhunters had me on their rolodex, their Blackberry now, whatever. And so one of the headhunters, she was very clever. All the lawyers she was either thinking about placing, or had placed, she would get together for a day and a half. She'd keep her hand on the pulse, "So how's it going, what are you doing?" And I met Sara, or really--I'd met her once before. I got to know Sara through that networking, and we just had good chemistry. We never worked together. We would just chitchat at these informal gatherings. I get a phone call--I'll never forget this--I get a phone call, a voicemail message in January of '02 [2002]--no. Right? January of '02 [2002]. It's Sara. "Michele [HistoryMaker Michele Coleman Mayes], it's Sara, give me a call." Okay, I give her a call, I get her voicemail. This went on until March. I finally say, "Sara, if you want me to be on a panel, just tell me. I'm tired of playing telephone tag." 'Cause I can never get her on her phone. Finally, in March, I answer my phone and she's on the other end. She said, "Well, I'll be darn, you do exist." I said, "All you had to do was leave a voicemail message telling me what you wanted, Sara." I said, "This has been going on for weeks!" She then says to me, "I have a great job. It is with one of the best jobs I have ever had." I said, "Sara, I'm not much interested." (Laughter) Here goes my big mouth. She said, "Well, I intend to leave it." And then my light goes off. I'm not as slow this time--or maybe I am. She says, "Would you like to be considered?" And that was the beginning of the discussion. And I don't think--Mike Critelli [Michael J. Critelli], the CEOs that I've worked with, have always been very open minded, and I've been really, really lucky. That's Reuben [Reuben Mark], Mike [W. Michael Blumenthal], and now Tom [Thomas J. Wilson] because I don't think I appeal to a certain person or I might--I'm not as radical as I sometimes look. People think I'm radical, and I don't think I am. I'm a little bit outside the box, but I don't consider that being radical, but some people would be somewhere put off by me. So, when Sara mentioned that she was putting the slate together with no outside search firm, she said, "I'm resigning this job." 9/11 [September 11, 2001] had happened. Sara has four kids, they were all at home, except for one. And she was commuting from New York [New York] to Stamford, Connecticut, and it was a real drain on her. And so, she was really reassessing what she needed to do personally. She wanted to find a job in the city, which she subsequently did. She's general counsel for Estee Lauder [The Estee lauder Companies Inc.]--$$Okay.$$--but she quit with no job. So, when she called me and told me that, she said, "I think you are ready, and I'm putting you at the top of the list. I told Mike, why doesn't he save the fees of an outside search firm? If he doesn't like the candidates that I've put in front of him, then hire the search firm, but why doesn't he see what candidates I can bring in on my own?" And then, she coached me through the entire process. We talk on the phone. We would meet. She'd tell me how he was as a CEO, what the company's issues were. She coached me.