Foster Biography

From Mary-Jane Foster:

Mary-Jane Foster was raised by her mother and grandmother – two smart, hard working and inventive women who taught her to believe anything is possible with hard work and effort. A native of Denver, CO, she and her two brothers were toddlers when their father left the family with nothing but a station wagon, a dog and a lot of debt. Foster and her siblings lived with their grandmother while their mother took a job six hours away, where she learned the jewelry business. After four years she opened her own store, which enabled Foster and her brothers to be reunited with their mother.

A graduate of Colorado public schools, Foster received a small scholarship to Bennett College, where she earned an Associate Degree in theater. With $227 in her pocket, she moved to New York City, where she performed professionally in theater, film, television, and radio. Over her 22 year career, she filmed or recorded over 200 commercials, including the iconic “Don’t squeeze the Charmin.”

Foster married, had two children, settled in Fairfield, and commuted to New York, but left her career behind to care for her daughter, who was diagnosed with Brittle Bone Syndrome. During this time, she began volunteering at the YWCA, now The Center for Women and Families, which introduced her to Bridgeport and the region. Finding her voice as a victims advocate, Foster went on to become a certified domestic violence counselor, volunteered as a court advocate, was appointed to the Mayor’s Commission Against Violence in the Home, and served for nine years on the CWF Board of Directors, including two years as president and four years as chair of the Investment Committee. In 1995, she was honored as YWCA Volunteer of the Year and in 1999 she received the Philip Morris Companies Doors of Hope Outstanding Volunteer Award for her work against domestic violence.

With the end of her marriage, Foster completed her undergraduate degree and earned her juris doctorate with honors from Quinnipiac University School of Law. She went on to serve on their Board of Trustees for seven years and was named to their Business Leader Hall of Fame in 2008. She is admitted to practice law in Connecticut and New York and opened a solo practice concentrating in family law.

In addition to her work in domestic violence, Foster has worked to provide financial literacy, prevent homelessness and open job opportunities through organizations including The Bridge Fund, Family Assets, Career Resources, The Entrepreneurial Center, and the Women’s Business Development Council. For over 12 years, she has worked with The Fund for Women and Girls to address the critical needs of underserved girls and women in Fairfield County. In addition, for six years she co-chaired Success by Six, the United Way of Eastern Fairfield County’s early childhood education initiative, developed an infant through pre-school day care center in Bridgeport and currently serves on the Teach for America advisory board. In 2003, Foster was named Connecticut Post Woman of the Year and in 2006 was elected to the Junior Achievement Hall of Fame, one of only a few women to have been selected to this high honor. She is a director of Hudson Valley Bank, where she serves on the Audit Committee.

Happily remarried and residing in Bridgeport, Foster and her husband Jack McGregor were the visionaries behind the development of the Ballpark at Harbor Yard and the adjacent 10,000-seat arena that have created hundreds of jobs and serves as an economic stimulus for dozens of area businesses. She co-founded the Bridgeport Bluefish and engineered the concept of an arena anchored by a professional hockey tenant in addition to world class concerts and entertainment and national college basketball. Since 2009, she has served as vice president of university relations for the University of Bridgeport.

In addition to her son and daughter, Foster has four stepchildren and 12 step grandchildren.



  1. *** What has she done for Bpt besides ask for $ concessions from the city to keep the Bluefish afloat before unloading the team? Also let’s hope all the candidates running get the same bio-time on OIB as Foster’s been getting, no? *** Time will tell. ***

  2. Mojo, she created hundreds of jobs in the city, she has volunteered FOR YEARS helping people throughout the city, she has contributed her time and talent in numerous ways and asked for nothing in return. As for concessions for the Bluefish, do you think it is easy starting a business like that in Bridgeport? … it is still up and running serving thousands every year … employing hundreds (mostly local workers) and creating a buzz … something no one else has been able to accomplish …

    I like you a lot Mojo, but I am really surprised at your reaction to someone so capable. I would ask you to open your mind to the possibility of a Mayor who actually works FOR THE PEOPLE.


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