Innovator, artist, protagonist, and positive provocateur, Maria has pursued a vision of intelligent, elegant, people-centered design throughout her professional life. Her grasp of the pragmatic, the authentic, and the essential have kept her at the forefront of design and business for over 30 years.
Under Maria’s leadership, Hot Studio, the experience design firm she founded in 1997, grew into a full-service creative agency with an impressive list of Fortune 500 clients. Hot Studio was nominated for a National Design Award in 2013. In March 2013, Facebook acquired the talent behind Hot Studio. In 2015, she joined Autodesk as VP, Experience Design.
Her third book, Rise of the DEO: Leadership by Design,is published by New Riders and will be sold and signed in the event. Maria is an AIGA Design Fellow. She has spoken at conferences all over the world and currently serves as an adjunct professor and trustee at California College of the Arts in San Francisco. Maria is a mom to two amazing teenagers, and just recently, was ordained as a Minister at the Universal Life Church.