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Recognizing 100 CEOs & C-level Executives

Kathleen M. Mazzarella

Chairman, President and CEO


Location: Clayton, MO

Founded: 1925

Industry: Wholesale Distribution

As a leader, Kathleen M. Mazzarella has learned not to let fear get in the way of progress. “Whether it’s fear of failure, making a wrong decision, or just looking foolish in front of others, we often let fear dictate how we think and what we do,” said Mazzarella. “Overcoming fear starts by believing in yourself.”

As the chairman, president and CEO of Graybar, Mazzarella embraces fear and failure to empower her team. “No one likes to fail, but failure is merely a chance to readjust, to learn and to become a better person than you were before.” She also believes that by surrounding yourself with people who share your goals, priorities and vision, you can create a culture that helps them to be their best. This is what she has accomplished at Graybar.

Graybar is a leading North American distributor of electrical, communications and data networking products and a provider of supply chain management and logistics services. The company primarily serves the construction market, the commercial, institutional and government market, as well as the industrial and utility markets.

Mazzarella began her journey with Graybar in an entry level position at 19 and is now the first woman to lead the company in its more than 92-year history. Under her leadership, the company has achieved profitable growth and positioned itself for continued success. “Under Kathy’s leadership, Graybar has invested in acquisitions, technology, service capabilities and people, all of which help to position the company for many more years of success,” said her staff. “Kathy’s focus since the early days of her presidency has been on the digital transformation of Graybar’s business.”

As president and CEO, Mazzarella has also focused on preserving Graybar’s employee ownership culture and sustaining the company’s reputation as a top workplace. “As a leader who has risen through the ranks, she believes in investing in employees’ ongoing development,” said her staff. “She strives to build a collaborative environment where our employees have the opportunity to grow, learn and make a difference, both as individuals and as part of the team.”

For 41 years, Mazzarella has had an impact on both the business and the employees. She serves on several boards across the St. Louis area and has been recognized with the Most Influential Business Women in St. Louis award.

Moving forward, she said she plans to continue learning and growing while sharpening her skills. For her commitment to being a lifelong learner and example for her staff, Mazzarella has been named a Titan.

Presented by:

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Did you know?

Kathy has a black belt in Taekwondo.


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