Hispanic Lifestyle is pleased to recognize Regional External Affairs Manager, Maria Castro as a 2020 Latina of Influence. Ms. Castro along with our entire list of 2020 Latinas of Influence are invited to participate in Latina Conference taking place June 2, 2020 in Ontario, California.
Maria exudes her personal tagline of “building a better tomorrow for everyone, today” in everything she does. Maria is a lifelong Chicagoan born and raised in Chicago’s Pilsen community where she brings back invaluable resources. She is highly skilled and experienced in both multi-cultural and mainstream event marketing, community outreach, corporate social responsibility and corporate event planning. She is a co-author of the 2019 Today’s Inspired Latinas Volume V and recurring public speaker. She received a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Barat College in Lake Forest, Illinois. Maria has more than three decades of special events/promotions experience representing clients such as Proctor & Gamble, Kraft, Quaker Oats, American Express, Citibank, Allied Domecq, Nestle just to name a few.
Maria has strong roots within the Latino community that stem from her early career experience as a member of Lotus Hispanic Networks and Cabellero Spanish Media national sales forces. She has worked in a wide range of management roles including as the Director of Marketing for a one-million square foot shopping center on Chicago’s North Side, a Regional Marketing Manager for one of the largest real estate developers in the country, a Regional Operations Manager for a leader in event marketing services and promotions, and as the Regional External Affairs Manager for Comcast for the past 15 years.
Maria believes in taking everything she does to the next level and is best known for her ability to strengthen and expand corporate social responsibility programs through significant signature events. She also frequently lends her time, talents and treasures to support organizations outside of work. She currently serves as chair of the Hispanic Scholarship Fund Chicago Chapter, sits on the Women’s Business Development Center’s Advisory Council, Telemundo Chicago Community Action Board, DePaul Art Museum and was appointed by former Governor Pat Quinn to serve on the Illinois Conservation Foundation Board in 2014.
Maria has received numerous awards and acknowledgements for her community service work including the Negocios Now 2019 Who’s Who Hispanic Chicago, 2019 Aurora Regional Hispanic Chamber of Commerce’ Hispanic Catalyst Champion, YWCA Woman of Distinction Award, People with Disabilities Champion Award from Seguin Services and the 2020 Today’s Inspired Latinas Woman of the Year Award. One of Maria’s most notable acknowledgements was the proclamation of “Maria Castro Day” in the City of Aurora (Illinois’ Second largest city) on October 10, 2009, for her service and leadership in Illinois’ second largest city. Maria is an avid advocate for education, domestic violence, people with developmental disabilities and cancer. She uses her voice and resources to raise money and awareness for organizations whose focus is to eradicate or provide much needed services to specific organizations where she was born and raised. One of her favorite quotes is “if you don’t have a seat at the table, bring your own chair”.
In her spare time, Maria enjoys traveling with her husband Martin of 43 years, attending cultural events and spending quality time with her four amazing grandchildren, Savannah, MJ, Amaya & Aaliyah.