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February Board Member Spotlight – Maria Whatley

Get to know your fellow Ad 2 Members! This months featured Board Member is Maria Whatley.

Where is your hometown?

I was born in the largest city on the northeast coast of Brazil, Salvador, which is the capital of the state of Bahia. Salvador is also known as the Brazil’s “capital-of-happiness” due to the easygoing population and the popular week long Carnival street event.

At age 14, my father relocated his business to Sao Paulo, thus, the entire family moved to the big city. However, even to this day, I am always looking for an excuse to go back to Bahia!

What brought you to San Diego?

Having obtained a technical Masters degree in Chemical Engineering, I came to San Diego almost 5 years ago in effort to expand my knowledge in business administration and marketing. I attended UCSD for nearly 2 years in order to obtain certificates in both marketing and business administration. Throughout my tenure with UCSD, I was simultaneously engaged with a local branding/web marketing agency where I was initially exposed to Search Engine Optimization. I fell in love with SEO and I have been doing it ever since.

What made you join Ad 2 San Diego?

Prior to becoming a member, I was looking to be part of an organization where I could collaborate with other likeminded young professionals. Coincidently, in early 2011 a colleague and friend of mine, Stephanie Garcia invited me to attend an AD2SD event, I instantly identified the opportunity and recognized that there would be tremendous value of being part of this association – this was the special interest group I had been looking for!

What has been your favorite part as an Ad 2 San Diego Board Member?

I absolutely love the people! Each and every meeting is enjoyable; there is never a shortage of similes and laughter! In addition, I value the ability to sharpen my skills and work on campaigns beyond what I might encounter on a day-to-day basis. One element in particular, is how AD2SD has helped me develop a holistic understanding of the social landscape and subsequently, I have been able to leverage this knowledge when working with my current clients.

The Leaplist is going viral- it’s a list of ten things you want to accomplish before your next BIG Leap. Let’s shorten it up! What are 5 things you’d like to conquer before your next BIG Leap?

I am looking forward becoming trilingual. I am finishing my Spanish certificate at UCSD and I am excited to finally deliver international SEO services in Portuguese, English and Spanish at Covario Inc. In addition, I would like to tour Europe with my husband and I would like to experience the joy of success associated with the recent launch of my family’s organic aquaponic farm, Elfin Alive Organics.

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