VAL’s Chittenden County Learning Center is fortunate to have been selected by Leadership Champlain of the Lake Champlain Regional Chamber of Commerce for a service project! VAL’s proposal invited a team of emerging leaders to identify Burlington-area businesses who have interest in partnering with VAL on workforce development initiatives (e.g., English at Work classes for New American employees). We are so grateful for this association and are pleased to introduce Maria Echevarria, one of our team members. Maria is a Senior Operations Manager for a USAID-funded project implemented by Tetra Tech ARD.
Hometown: New York City and Westchester County, New York
Education: BA in Psychology and French, MBA in International Business
Interesting Past Job: I worked as a Radio Announcer at the Korean Broadcasting System, in Seoul, South Korea.
Last Book Read? Caste by Isabel Wilkerson
Enjoys: Spending time outdoors hiking, biking, cross-country skiing, going on walks, sitting in the sun
Work-Life Balance: I haven’t always been good at this, but more than ever, I value my personal time whether it’s to exercise, get outside, spend time with my partner and kitties, or simply to rest and relax while watching Netflix.
What motivated you to participate in Leadership Champlain? Colleagues who are also alumni of the program spoke very highly of it. While my work is internationally focused, I also want to engage closely with my local community. COVID-19 gave me the perfect opportunity to join Leadership Champlain as previously I was often traveling for work.
What gets you excited about working on VT Adult Learning’s (VAL) project? I’ve had several friends work at VAL in the past and I have always loved VAL’s focus on adult learners. I’m excited about the potential and positive impact that VAL’s programs can have both on employees to help them reach their personal and professional goals, and on employers towards creating a positive and fulfilling work environment for their employees.
Is there anything else you feel readers should know about you? My parents came to the U.S. as immigrants from Argentina so I grew up speaking Spanish at home. I also learned French at school, which I use at work when supporting projects in Francophone Africa. I am so grateful that I grew up bi-lingually/bi-culturally, and the great gift this was in giving me a window into other perspectives, cultures, and ways of life.