Women of Influence

Maryanne R. Lavan, B.S.’81

Epitome of a Leader

By Carol Olechowski

Maryanne Lavan

Early in life, Maryanne Lavan learned some valuable lessons. Her parents taught her “the value of hard work, respect and integrity. In any job, do your best, always, no matter what.”

They also taught their daughter to be nice to everyone. Lavan’s father, a public-school teacher, “worked at a number of jobs” to support his family. “It does matter how you treat people,” comments Lavan, now the senior vice president, general counsel and corporate secretary at Lockheed Martin Corporation. “You need to treat everyone well. The person delivering packages could be my dad.”

Lavan also learned valuable lessons at the University at Albany, where she studied business. She was a residential assistant, a position that enabled her to “acquire some leadership skills,” and worked in the cafeteria. Both experiences have contributed to her professional success, she says.

Longtime School of Business Assistant Dean John Levato also encouraged Lavan. She recalls Levato, who passed away in 2014, as “a hands-on, involved person who was admired and inspirational. He had a lot of energy and a positive attitude. I kept in touch with him on and off after graduation.”

Lavan continued her education at Washington College of Law, American University. While an associate for a District of Columbia law firm, she did some work for Martin Marietta, now known as Lockheed Martin, and subsequently took a position with the company. This April, Lavan will have been with the Maryland-based corporation for 25 years.

As counsel, “I oversee significant litigation, offer legal advice to the executive leadership team, and manage the legal department.” explains Lavan.

“I’m very fortunate to have a great team. It takes many people to run the corporation. At Lockheed Martin, it’s not about me; it’s about the team. I think it’s important not to let ego get in the way. I want people to have an environment where they feel comfortable and want to do a good job.

“I try always to remember where I came from. It was a big stretch for my family to send me to college, so I appreciated the experience. I’m determined to work hard and appreciate the opportunities I have,” adds the Farmingdale, N.Y., native, who established the University’s Anne and Thomas Lavan Scholarship to honor her parents.