For over a decade, Mariela has shaped strategies that build the assets of community members, entrepreneurs, farmers, and values-aligned stakeholders engaged in cultivating our local economy and food system. As part of Mandela Partners' (MP) leadership team, she catalyzed the development of MPs economic ventures framework, entrepreneurship programming, and Community Capital Fund – which seek to increase access to low-cost, relationship driven capital. In her role as Interim Director, Mariela develops and promotes new models for investment, growth, and shared wealth that sustain and elevate community ownership, opportunity and health.
Mariela's lifework is firmly based in the belief that supporting under-resourced entrepreneurs is key in building thriving, sustainable, and healthy communities. She brings with her a wide breadth of in the field experience in economic development, business advising, accessible capital, and community engagement. Mariela holds B.A. degrees in Economics and International Relations with honors from the University of California, Davis, and an M.A. in Latin American Development for Vanderbilt University. She is currently a BALLE fellow, and NALCAB Colegio alumni.