Mary McDermott, 45, recently decided she was tired of working with assocations and the government. At the same time, her long-time friend, Richard Jalkut, decided he could use Ms. McDermott to oversee the legal department for his company, Pathnet.
So now she has a new job.
"Pathnet gains tremendous value with the addition of someone of Mary's stature to our team," said Mr. Jalkut, president and chief executive officer of Pathnet.
The two met in 1982 while Mr. Jalkut was vice president of New England Telephone Co.'s Maine operations, and Ms. McDermott was a new lawyer responsible for representing the company in court proceedings in Maine.
"We kept in touch," Ms. McDermott said. "He said, `Might you be interested?' and it went from there."
Ms. McDermott, whose official title is senior vice president and general counsel for Pathnet, has worked in the telecommunications industry for about 20 years.
She was named, last year, as one of the top 25 "Influential Women of Wireless" by Wireless Week magazine.
Most of her experience has been with associations where she worked with policy making.
After only a month in the private sector, Ms. McDermott has made progress helping the firm create a new holding company, Pathnet Telecom, which involved assisting Colonial Pipeline and Burlington Santa Fe railroads buy an undisclosed amount of stock in the company. …