After receiving an M.S. in public relations from the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communication at Syracuse University, Maria went on to lead PR efforts for several of Conde Nast's properties, such as SELF magazine and Epicurious.com and then for Rodale's Women's Health and Prevention magazines. She went on to lead operations in the technology startup community in NYC, working at two startups backed by Spark Capital - 5min Media and Onswipe, both of which achieved successful exits via acquisition. From there, Maria headed operations for Vimeo's Entertainment unit, building out a supply chain for licensed and Vimeo created content. She currently serves as the founder of Vayas consulting where she helps startups scale through operational excellence. Maria is an active supporter of the Richmond startup community, mentoring through Lighthouse Labs and Startup Virginia and also serves on the board of Women in Venture.
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