By Bonnie Adams, Managing Editor
Region – For over 30 years, Col. Marian McGovern served in different roles in the Mass. State Police, culminating with her earning the top position, superintendent, in 2009. After retiring in 2012, she has spent her time speaking to different groups and serving on boards that assist many of the same types of people she worked with during her storied career – children, the elderly and victims of abuse.
McGovern was the guest speaker at the Corridor Nine Area Chamber of Commerce's women's networking group Business Forward Females (BFF) Sept. 9 meeting, held at the Courtyard by Marriott in Marlborough.
A native of Worcester, McGovern grew up in a humble but happy household as the daughter of two hardworking Irish immigrants.
“I learned so much from my early simple life,” she said. “My mother always liked to say, “hard work never killed anyone.””
In 1979 McGovern was working in the clerk's office in the Westborough District Court, where several police officers encouraged her to take the state police exam. She followed their advice, and graduated from the state police academy after an intense 20-week training period. She served as a “road trooper” before spending 20 years as a detective in the Worcester District Attorney's office. She also served stints in media relations, the crime lab and leadership training.
“The number one rule for success is to love what you do,” she told the audience. “And I loved my job because of the lessons I learned and what I have been able to share with others.”
“Any law enforcement officer will tell you,” she added, “that you need to prove yourself and that you can follow through on the job that needs to be done. If you follow through, you show you can be counted on.”
It was not always easy, she acknowledged, being a woman in law enforcement, especially in the early days of her career. But she refused to use that as an excuse and urged the women in attendance to never allow themselves to use that either.
“Shame on us if we believe being a woman hinders us,” she said. “I don's want something given to me because I am a woman but I don's want anything taken away from me because I am a woman.”
Instead, she noted, “we should all help each other – men and women.”
She followed that philosophy throughout her career, including when she held the top position.
“My door was always open,” she said, for anyone who needed to talk with her.
“You are only going to be successful because of the people you work with, not for,” she added. “The greatest gift you can give anyone you are mentoring is your time. And never forget where you came from.”
The next BFF meeting will be held Tuesday, Oct. 7, at the Marlborough Courtyard by Marriott. The guest speaker will be Mary Simone, the hotel's general manager. For more informatio