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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 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.
For more than two decades, Maria has worked extensively within the child welfare arena consulting with private agencies and the New York City Administration for Children’s Services (ACS) in various capacities including these featured engagements:
• NYC Infant Safe Sleep Summit, which convenes public health experts, child welfare professionals, and community
stakeholders to address policy, community engagement, and best practices for improving outcomes for babies citywide.
• NYC Family Strong awareness campaign promoting Child Abuse Prevention Month. The signature event, the Party for
Prevention, connected thousands of South Bronx residents to family resources and preventive programs offered by ACS and
80+ participating organizations.
• Analysis and recommendations to improve the ACS Volunteer and In-Kind Donation Hub.
• Enhanced messaging, curriculum, and implementation tools for the Collaborative Quality Improvement Initiative.
• Selected as the sole marketing technical assistance provider for Project Full Enrollment, which involved professional
development workshops, customer service training, peer learning programs, coaching, and branding/marketing support for 300+
early childhood learning centers.
• Assisted the Office of Advocacy with strategic planning, training, and special projects for the ACS Parent Advisory Work Group.
Maria especially enjoys her work as a communications coach for several child welfare agencies. In this capacity, she helps young people with a foster care background become stronger advocates by learning how to share their personal stories at public events while developing their professional writing and presentation skills. For three years, Casey Family Programs engaged her to design and facilitate workshops and train-the-trainer sessions introducing social workers and stakeholders to the organization's Permanency Roundtable model.
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, infrastructure, branding, and statewide advocacy initiatives in New York. She also consults with Welfare Rights Initiative at Hunter College/CUNY to support their Policy Work Group's mission to improve access to higher education as a pathway out of poverty. Previously, she designed and managed the National Foster Care Month campaign working with 17 partner organizations to generate unprecedented media coverage and support for children in care.
Prior to establishing her consulting practice, Maria was a senior development officer at several New York nonprofits 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 B.S. in Journalism from the University of Maryland. She currently resides in New York City.