Maria is currently the owner of MGSmoak and Associates, a company that provides translations, training and consulting services.
Maria is a native of Cuba who came to the US with her family at the age of eight to escape the Castro Communist regime. She attended public schools in South Carolina and graduated from the University of SC with a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and a Master’s in Educational Research.
After completing a 20 year career with Bellsouth from 1981- 2001, she served as the Director of Hispanic Ministries at St. Peter’s Catholic Church in Columbia from 2002 – 2015, providing outreach and services to the growing number of Spanish speaking parishioners, and to the Hispanic Community at large.
Maria has also been a Community advocate for the rights of immigrants and a founding member and past president of the SC Hispanic Leadership Council, serving on numerous community and State boards of non-profit agencies and organizations.
Maria is a graduate of Leadership Columbia and Leadership South Carolina. Graduate of Furman University Riley Institute’s Diversity Leaders Initiative and past president of the Leadership Columbia Alumni Association (LCAA), Junior Woman’s Club of Columbia, and a recipient of the YWCA TWIN award.
Maria currently serves on:
Advisory Board for PASOs,
Sisters of Charity Foundation Community Engagement Committee
ETV Community Advisory Council