President & Certified Birkman Method® Consultant
Maria brings to her coaching practice a tremendous wealth of knowledge, corporate experience, and a proven track record of managing and developing successful teams.
Maria blends her 30+ years of business, leadership and coaching experience to best serve her clients’ needs in the area of personal/executive leadership, productive team dynamic and effective communication.
As a certified consultant in The Birkman Method®, Maria uses this industry-leading behavioral assessment tool in facilitating team building, executive coaching, leadership development, career management and interpersonal communication skill building.
Maria’s career has been the combination of focused coaching and development with corporate leadership responsibility. Maria spent 14 years as Senior Vice President at Dardis Communications. She had the opportunity to work with thousands of leaders, business owners, clinical experts, technical specialists in a vast array of industry. Maria’s focus was personal coaching, team building, communication/presentation skills and consultative selling skills. She had the opportunity to support individual business owners to employees and leaders of the Fortune 500.
Maria joined Dardis Communications from Principal Financial Group in Des Moines where she was Vice President of the National Accounts Division. She began her career at Principal Financial Group in 1987 in the group health division, and over the years held several leadership positions including Senior Underwriter, Senior Account Manager, Director of Operations and Regional Marketing Director.
From mid-1999 to early 2007, Maria served in several roles at Wells Fargo Home Mortgage in Des Moines, including Vice President of Strategic Initiative Implementations, Regional Sales Manager and Senior Vice President of Business Design and Development. Her experiences ranged from managing a ten-state sales territory of over 320 salespeople as the top producing sales region to the leadership and implementation of projects exceeding $20 million.
She returned to the Principal Financial Group at the beginning of 2007 as Vice President of the National Accounts Division serving Principal’s largest health clients. Her responsibilities included leading the third-party administrator of health benefits for nearly 700,000 members as well as oversight for the Principal Wellness Company that included over 250,000 members.
Maria has served in many leadership roles over the years with United Way of Central Iowa including board chair, executive board member, campaign cabinet board member, campaign chair of the Women’s Leadership Connection and marketing cabinet chairperson. Maria sits on the board of the Young Women’s Resource Center serving young women and girls in the Des Moines area. Maria has previously served as a board member for the Chrysalis Foundation (also serving women and girls in Central Iowa) as well as the Des Moines Social Club (leveraging the arts to bring community together). In April 2019, Maria was honored to be nominated by the Girl Scouts for Central Iowa’s Inspiring Woman Award. In February 2023 she was awarded the Purpose Award by the Young Women’s Resource Center which recognizes leaders who give, advocate, and volunteer for positive change to advance the opportunities for girls and young women in the community. Maria also received the 2023 Women of Influence award which recognizes Central Iowa women for the impact they have made in their chosen field and for their contributions through civic and philanthropic organizations. United Way of Central Iowa selected Maria as the recipient of the Tocqueville Society Award. To be considered for this award, one of United Way’s highest honors, awardees much exemplify inspirational, sustained leadership and service to the central Iowa community.
An Iowa native, Maria is a graduate of the University of Iowa with a BBA in Marketing. Maria and her husband David live in Clive, Iowa.