Vice President of Strategic Communications
Center for Hispanic Leadership
As a seasoned corporate communications, PR, public affairs, marketing, and media relations professional with experience working with domestic and international companies, Marisa has effectively developed, led, and executed strategic communications and relationship-building initiatives over the past 18 years.
In September 2013, Marisa, who has been featured in the media outlets such as theAtlanta Business Chronicle, MSN Latino.com, andMundoHispánicoas well as interviewedon Spanish-language broadcast stations such asUnivision, Telemundo, and CNN en Español, joined CHL as Director of Business Development and Media Relations. In her latest role as CHL’s Vice President of Strategic Communications, Marisa works closely with Fortune 500 clients to develop public relations, corporate communications, and crisis/issues management programs targeted to Hispanic consumers and employees by helping corporations craft their narratives, position their executives as thought leaders, and ultimately manage their brand reputation in the public domain.
Previously, Marisa was Communications and Brand Manager at the corporate headquarters of United Parcel Service (UPS) in Atlanta, where she worked in collaboration with the communications team to inform, engage, and empower the company’s almost 400,000 employees regarding key internal and external initiatives.
After receiving her Bachelor’s Degree in Print Journalism from the University of Florida, Marisa launched her career as the only bilingual journalist at People Magazine and People En Español in the Miami Bureau. (She also has the distinction of being the first correspondent in the magazine’s history to be granted access to enter Cuba since Fidel Castro seized power in 1959.) She later moved into a communications and public relations position for a non-profit educational foundation which created and published materials for at-risk youths in the Miami-Dade County public school system and Florida Department of Juvenile Justice.
Landing in Atlanta in 2000, she joined a market research firm specializing in providing consulting services to YMCAs and other non-profits and later worked for an international orphan advocacy group, where she traveled with other staff members to the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child to make a presentation regarding the basic right of a child without parents to have permanent home. She was instrumental in fostered a relationship with Mexican government officials with the goal of integrating a technology solution to help the country manage its orphan population.
In 2005, she continued honing her communications expertise with an association management company, where she served as national media spokesperson and member liaison to the $4.6 billion-dollar global infant formula industry. In addition to leveraging relationships with print and online media outlets, Marisa led outreach initiatives to form alliances with medical and healthcare groups and gained a penchant for navigating politically sensitive issues and advocating on public policy positions.
As the Director of Hispanic External Affairs for a national financial services agency, she developed national, regional and local corporate and non-profit partnerships that increased the organization’s visibility across the country as well as provided counsel on Hispanic marketing campaigns. Additionally, she maintained relationships with the media to proactively feature the agency in print, broadcast and social media outlets.
Born to Cuban immigrants, Marisa has always valued her Hispanic heritage, culture, and Spanish language as well as been active in the Hispanic community. With this in mind, she strives to share her insights and experiences as a Latina leader in the corporate world through her blog posts on LatinaExpert.com. Additionally, she hopes to inspire other Latinas to harness their unique abilities and strengths to both advance their career objectives and exceed their company’s or clients’ goals.
For more information, regarding CHL’s communications programs, please contact: [email protected] or 678-520-6429.