Maria, originally from New York City, grew up in Spanish Harlem, where her parents migrated from Puerto Rico. She is the youngest of five sisters and likes to say she “…was made in Puerto Rico but born in NYC!” She moved to Atlanta GA in 1994 with her then ten-year-old daughter, Gabrielle. She accepted an ‘experimental’ position at the Archdiocese of Atlanta as assistant to both the Director of Development and Chancellor for Operations and Administration, then advanced to positions including special aide to the Vicar General; Spanish language interpreter [she is bi-lingual, Spanish being her first language]; archdiocesan liaison to the 1996 International Olympic Committee; event planner for the archbishop’s residence when they embarked in a $50MM campaign that resulted in three times the goal! This was her introduction to the world of hospitality.
Maria moved on to Callanwolde Fine Arts Center as the Rental and Events Director for four years before joining the Capital City Club at Brookhaven where she held the position of Catering Director. In 2003, Maria was recruited by the owner of a not-yet-built five-star resort, to be a member of the Founding Executive Team in the capacities of director of both human resources and catering of what is now The Old Edwards Inn & Spa in Highlands NC.
With her daughter Gabrielle in college at Duke University, she decided to move back to NYC where she accepted the position of assistant to the rabbinical placement director of the Reform Movement. After five years in NYC and “because the South had made me soft,” she relocated to DC in 2011 to serve as executive assistant to the executive director of a large DC synagogue until June 2020, when the pandemic impacted organizational finances resulting in staff cuts.
Maria enjoys her life here with all DMV has to offer in the way of the fine arts, lectures, culinary delights, music, and all things cultural! Maria is an avid reader of both fiction and non-fiction – especially psychological thrillers – both written and in film. She misses her daughter Gabrielle, son-in-law Peter and her two grandchildren, Liliana Aubrey (5) and Noah Peter (3) in NYC. She is on an ongoing ‘gentle’ campaign to get them to look at the DMV as their next destination.