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Mary Ann Boccolini

President/CEO, Samaritan

What inspired you to join/start your business?

Having lost my mother due to cancer when I was a young teenager, I was inspired to make a difference in the lives of people who are vulnerable and suffering. Since I joined Samaritan, I have always been grateful for the honor to use the gifts I have received to put love into the world by helping to provide hope and healing for our Samaritan patients and those who care about them.

Samaritan is an independent, not-for-profit provider of hospice care, grief support, palliative medicine and primary care at home. Samaritan is region’s preferred provider of life-enhancing care and leads the advancement of coordinated, person-centered care with extraordinary compassion and expertise to help patients, and those who care about them, live their best life every day.

What challenges have you faced as a woman entrepreneur and how did you overcome them?

I have not experienced challenges due to gender. During the more than 20 years that I have been in my role, I have actually been provided with remarkable friendships and support by so many of my peers.

What was your most satisfying moment in your career?

There are so many satisfying moments that stem from the different aspects of my job. Witnessing the staff members grow in their authenticity and expertise is at the top of the list because I then know that the culture of the organization is fostering compassionate care through them. Related to that is the satisfaction I felt when I received the Smart CEO Corporate Culture Award on behalf of my Samaritan colleagues. As leaders, it is our job to provide the best possible support for our staff through the manifestation of our culture and philosophy of care, so they can provide the best possible once-in-a-lifetime experience for the patients we are honored to serve.

How do you define success?

I define success through the fulfillment of our mission, knowing that Samaritan makes a positive difference in the lives of those we serve. Reading letters of appreciation from the families of our patients is always satisfying to me. The sentiments they express affirm their feelings of respect and love, safety and comfort, all the essentials we strive to provide through our mission of extraordinary compassion and expertise.

What’s the best piece of career advice you’ve ever received?

Be mindful, grateful and always your authentic self.

What women inspire you and why?

In addition to my treasured colleagues, friends and family whose gifts move me every day, Oprah Winfrey is another source of inspiration. She worked so hard to overcome many terrible experiences. Yet, she recognized that she is part of something much bigger than herself and used her gifts for the greater good to improve the lives of vulnerable people all over the world.

What advice would you give to other women entrepreneurs?

Always be your authentic self and consistently intentional in your interactions and decisions.

Describe yourself in three words.

Compassionate. Positive. Determined.

Fill in the Blank:

  • When I face a challenge, I... take a step back to gain perspective, consider all aspects, potential solutions, and best and worst possible outcomes to identify the solution with the most positive impact.


  • If I could go back in time, I would tell myself… to trust and believe in my inner voice, and always make decisions that align with my personal values and priorities.


  • The one thing I couldn’t live without is… my family!


  • By this time next year, I will be… wherever I’m meant to be.


  • The best thing that happened to me last week was… spending time with my grandchildren.


  • To get my creative juices flowing, I… like to engage in conversation, brainstorm, consider possibilities and figure things out.
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