Meet Maria Santi, an attorney and minority outreach director at Grand Prairie Chamber of Commerce, a non-profit organization where she connects different business communities.
“Everything is Possible”. This is the simple philosophy Maria Santi has been following all her life, and that has her touching new heights every day. She has got no regrets and firmly believes that the sacrifices she made in the past were necessary to get to the place where she stands today.
Maria is an attorney and a bilingual Minority Outreach Director at Grand Prairie Chamber of Commerce in Texas. She did her bachelor’s from Universidad Autónoma del Estado de México and then got an LLM degree in US Law from Washington University School of Law.
She is a mother of two, residing in Texas with her husband, youngest son, and two spoiled dogs. Coming from a strong cultural background, Santi knows the struggles of being a person of color trying to establish a business in the United States. She grew up in a Mexican family where it was important to preserve the culture. This is something that drove her to help out and support the minority business community in the area. Growing up, Santi was always a leader with innovative ideas. These qualities did not come without their struggles, but she fought through them all.
Now, she works to engage different business communities with her abilities to negotiate, create partnerships, and develop new strategies. The venture protects the customer’s interest in local, state, and national legislation that may affect their business and community. They provide multiple opportunities to enhance the member’s professional and personal growth and expand business opportunities to build their businesses. As the minority outreach Director, Santi closely works with the Hispanic community and caters to their business needs. She helps small businesses in their management and administration projects. She thrives to create a network of professionals in a frame of respect, inclusion, and diversity.
While starting out at Grand Prairie Chamber, Santi reminisces that there was no one to help the Hispanic businesses in the city. They faced challenges regarding language, culture, and inclusion. Being a person of color herself, she could relate to their hardships. But gradually, with a lot of work, she and her team were able to improve the situation. Currently, she specializes in assisting the Latino community in the Dallas Fort Worth (DFW) area. Santi has personally developed programs on “Negotiation and Communication” and “Commercial Culture in the USA”. She presents them at different workshops and networking events to educate the potential and growing business owners.
Santi had to undergo a complete switch in her professional life. Before joining Grand Prairie Chamber in 2016, she worked as a criminal attorney, senior paralegal, and even as a teacher assistant. She went from the legal to the business field where she had to implement new strategies that were relatively alien to her. But she didn’t give up, worked tirelessly to build stronger relationships in the business community, and continues to do so. Her conviction and hard work led her to build a successful career for herself.
When asked about her ultimate success mantra, she says, “One reason you should never settle and stop fighting is that, even if you don’t see it, it is a lesson that leads others to believe that anything is possible… Don’t stop!”. Santi inspires all the women out there to not only work for themselves but also their community. She encourages everyone to nerve settle for less than what they deserve and instead to keep thriving till the very end.