Maria was born and raised in Cedar Rapids, and is a Jefferson High School graduate. She received her Bachelors in Public Relations and Communications from the University of Northern Iowa, and her Masters of Business Administration at the University of Iowa. She has over 15 years experience in Marketing, Public Relations and Communications, working in both Chicago, IL and Cedar Rapids. She is currently the Communications Division Manager for the City of Cedar Rapids, and previously was Assistant Vice President of Marketing at Collins Community Credit Union. Maria began volunteering at Families Helping Families in 2017 because of her interest in providing much needed support for foster children and foster families in her community. In her free time she enjoys spending time with her husband Matt, and attending the many activities of her teenage twins, Abram and Shea.