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Maria Puglisi is dedicated to connecting people to pressing societal issues that demand purposeful public response. She is a versatile practitioner known for her ability to assess needs and find creative solutions that build and maximize the assets of mission-driven organizations. Her forte is developing fully integrated marketing, communication, and operational plans that strengthen capabilities and achieve goals. In 2000, Maria established a NYC-based consulting practice after a decade of service as a nonprofit management executive. Today, Right Tree Consulting is a trusted training and technical assistance provider to foundations, nonprofits, and government agencies. The firm's customized business processes and management tools create more effective, stronger, and unified organizations.
Since 2001, Maria has worked extensively within the child welfare arena, including consulting with the New York City Administration for Children’s Services (ACS) in various capacities across multiple divisions. Most recently, she served as the event planner for the NYC Infant Safe Sleep Summit, which convened nearly 300 public health experts, child welfare professionals, and community stakeholders to address policy, community engagement, and best practices for improving outcomes for babies citywide. In 2016, Maria developed and led the NYC Family Strong awareness campaign promoting Child Abuse Prevention Month. The campaign's signature event, the Party for Prevention, connected thousands of people in the South Bronx to family resources and preventive programs offered by 80+ participating organizations. In 2015, Right Tree analyzed and recommended strategic improvements for the ACS Volunteer and In-Kind Donation Hub and supported the Agency Program Assistance Unit's Collaborative Quality Improvement initiative by providing messaging, training curriculum, and implementation tool refinements.
In 2009, ACS and United Way of NYC hired Right Tree as the sole marketing technical assistance provider for Project Full Enrollment, which involved professional development workshops, customer service training, peer learning programs, coaching, as well as branding and marketing support for 300+ early childhood learning centers. Previously, Maria took part in a citywide foster/adoptive parent recruitment and retention initiative overseeing special events, publicity, community engagement, and staff training. She also assisted the ACS Office of Advocacy with strategic planning, training, and special projects for the Parent Advisory Work Group.
Maria regularly works with nonprofit coalitions and partnerships to improve their collaborative efforts. She led a strategic visioning process for the Fostering Youth Success Alliance focused on assessing and improving operations and infrastructure, branding, and advocacy initiatives. She also is a communications coach for several child welfare agencies where she helps young people currently and previously in foster care become stronger advocates by presenting their personal stories at public events and developing their professional skills. For three years, she designed and facilitated workshops and train-the-trainer sessions introducing social workers and stakeholders to the Casey Family Programs Permanency Roundtable model. Previously, she organized and managed the National Foster Care Month campaign securing unprecedented media coverage on behalf of children nationwide. Right Tree created core messages, a brand identity, website, and promotional materials that mobilized new interest and support from volunteers, donors, faith-based groups, elected officials, educators and other community leaders.
Prior to establishing her consulting practice, Maria was a senior development officer at several NYC-based charities securing more than $10 million from individual and institutional donors. She was an award-winning cable television marketing executive before shifting to the nonprofit sector. Her early exposure to corporate start-ups and emerging business models informs her current work helping human service organizations adapt to change and prepare for growth.
Maria holds a Bachelor of Science in Journalism from the University of Maryland. She currently resides in New York City.