Meet Maria

 PhD, MBA, MSW

Certified Nonprofit Professional

Recognized as one of Pittsburgh's "30 under 30" for 2021

Maria was recently chosen as one of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania's "30 under 30," an award honoring leaders in Pittsburgh's business and nonprofit communities who are under 30 years old.  Winners are selected for their successful efforts to grow a business or nonprofit and for their contributions to the community and civic organizations.

Read Maria's story and see the other 29 winners here.

Maria is originally from a small town outside of Scranton, PA. She moved to the western part of the state when she began attending Slippery Rock University where she received her bachelor’s degree in social work and nonprofit management all while serving a full-term with AmeriCorps, interning and volunteering at multiple nonprofit organizations (including a school in Cape Town, South Africa), and working full time at a residential treatment facility for at-risk youth. Maria went on to receive her master’s degree in social work from the University of Pittsburgh’s Community, Organization, and Social Action program.

Maria continued her educational career by becoming a licensed social worker in the state of Pennsylvania, and earning her master’s degree in business administration from Fitchburg State University where she focused in human resource management. She also became a Certified Nonprofit Professional with the American Management Institute.

Most recently, Maria received her PhD in community engagement from Point Park University. Her study entitled, “Millennial Targeted Recruitment and Retention Strategies in Allegheny County Nonprofit Organizations,” found that Allegheny County’s nonprofit sector may soon be in a hiring crisis due to a lack of succession planning efforts. Most prevalently, Maria found that nonprofit organizations lack adequate recruitment and retention strategies and are not appropriately targeting new generations of leadership to fill positions that will become vacant upon the fast-approaching wave of baby-boomer retirement. 

Maria is an accomplished consultant in the nonprofit sector. She specializes in creating effective, meaningful succession plans for small to mid-range nonprofit organizations. This includes recruitment, retention, and emergency planning to help nonprofits succeed and fulfil their important mission-driven work. Maria is also very passionate about social justice issues. If your nonprofit’s mission is actively targeting social justice issues such as systematic racism or the eradication of police brutality, Maria will consult for your organization or program for free. 

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Maria is highly skilled in volunteer management through her employment at Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank where she helps to organize a team of over 6,000 volunteers per year, create engagement opportunities for corporate groups, and develop initiatives to engage future generations as donors and volunteers. She is also passionate about creating valuable strategic plans, coordinating fundraising events, improving grant writing, and board development.