Maria is a highly skilled communications professional by trade, yet her clients and colleagues know her as an expert problem solver and a passionate business evangelist. Throughout her career, she has drawn on her strategic communications expertise to help firms achieve their business objectives and strengthen relationships with stakeholders within the company and throughout the community. Consistently recognized by senior leadership as a forward-thinking, motivated team leader and player, her core competencies include internal communications, executive visibility, crisis communications, media relations, and industry thought-leadership.
Having worked with leading public and private companies in a variety of industries, Maria has deep experience helping executives address the complex communications challenges facing high-profile organizations. Her approach is built on a belief that communication is the foundation of effective leadership, and this approach has helped guide companies through periods of unprecedented change. Based on a thorough understanding of each client’s business challenges and opportunities, Maria focuses on partnering with clients to develop and execute strategies related to change management, communications, and reputation management.
Prior to joining Gagen MacDonald, Maria was Director of Communications at William Blair & Company, a premier global investment bank and asset management firm where she shaped the firm’s communications vision to drive strategy and enhance business performance across investment banking, private wealth, and institutional asset management. Understanding the importance of equipping the firm’s professionals with compelling and consistent brand messaging, Maria created William Blair’s first-ever value propositions and launched the firm’s Front Line Insights thought leadership/PR program.
As Vice President of Corporate Communications at MF Global Holdings, she was credited with translating the corporate vision into a highly effective communication and thought leadership strategy. Her efforts included managing the transition of the chairman and CEO, resulting in articles in The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Business Week, Forbes, and Fortune.
During her 10-year tenure at the Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT), Maria played a major role in successfully guiding CBOT through a transformative period in the company’s history. She drove the change communications efforts for CBOT’s demutualization, initial public offering, and highly publicized merger with the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME).
Maria began her career on Capitol Hill, where she honed her skills and discovered her career path while serving as communications director for the U.S. Congress.
Maria holds a B.S. in Public Affairs, with a major in Management, from Indiana University.