As part of our Staff Profile series, we recently caught up with Stefanie Coe, Secretary & General Counsel and Corporate Director of Health & Safety at MPW Industrial Services, to highlight her contributions.
Where did you get your start?
After graduating in 2001 from the University of Dayton with a Bachelor’s degree in Communication with minors in Political Science and Women’s Studies, I received my law degree from The Ohio State University in 2004. I started as a law clerk and then became an Assistant City Attorney with the Columbus City Attorney’s office. While there, I ran the Environmental Court in Franklin County, Ohio, where I dealt with zoning, code enforcement and animal issues. At the same time, one of my law school classmates, Jimmy Peck, was working at MPW and wanted to start a legal department there. I came to MPW in October 2006 and took the position of Associate General Counsel. What began as a small legal team has now grown into a strong department of five lawyers and one paralegal.
Could you tell me a little more about your background?
I was born in Columbus and moved with my family to Greenville, Ohio in the first grade. I am the middle child of seven. I have a younger brother, two twin sisters, and three adopted siblings who are older than me. I grew up in Greenville and went to high school there, but I have been living in Columbus ever since I began studying law at Ohio State.
Were you always interested in the legal field?
Growing up I originally wanted to be a math teacher, but became interested in law during the O.J. Simpson trial. For a while, I actually wanted to use my law degree to enter the field of journalism. I also had a strong interest in being an advocate for people. My mom would always say that I should “use my voice to give a voice to others.”
Can you tell me a little bit about the roles you play at MPW?
Well, I really have two roles within the company. As Secretary & General Counsel, I manage a diverse range of projects. I handle everything from contract reviews with vendors and customers, to compliance, which requires me to be familiar with OSHA and EPA regulations, for example. A large part of my job also involves dealing with risk management, and you can’t really get an idea of the risks and challenges we face as a company without visiting our customer sites. So, I travel a lot for work. In my role as Corporate Director of Health & Safety, I oversee how MPW engages with employees and customers. To help understand what employees are experiencing, I visit worksites to talk with front-line staff, whether they work day shift, night shift or weekends. Speaking with employees across our platform helps me gain a better idea of the challenges we face as a company, so we can address them further.
How do you see the company progressing in the years to come?
We are always developing new technology, and I think we will continue to do so. I think we will continue to focus on improving efficiency, quality and safety here at MPW. Since we work in some hazardous environments, we are always looking to improve our equipment and processes as well as explore new alternatives. Other factors like the changing regulatory landscape and the economic shifts in things like energy production will also determine how we adapt our practices to meet the needs of industry.
My favorite part about my work at MPW is the diversity of what we do — no day is ever the same here and there is always a new problem to solve. It’s also exciting to be part of a growing business. MPW truly gives you the opportunity to build your own future. The entrepreneurial culture allows employees to explore their own interests and create their own path to success within the company. Whether it’s helping external or internal customers, the teamwork and camaraderie I experience each day at MPW is really wonderful.