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  • Sonya Sharififard

Step Up Ventura welcomes Executive Director, Maryse Najar!

Maryse is a 30+ year veteran in Marketing & PR with 10+ years of experience with nonprofits. Maryse started a statewide nonprofit from scratch called Not for Sale South Carolina, an anti-human trafficking arm of Not for Sale international. There, she created a nonprofit strategic plan including a marketing approach, a volunteer network, college student organizations across the state, grant initiatives, large-scale, multimedia presentations (800+ persons), all marketing materials, press relations, donor/sponsor outreach, and networking with ICE, the police, sheriffs, the FBI, community VIPs, religious institutions, and related NGOs. With her background working with trafficked minors and their mental health concerns, she became attracted to Step Up Ventura's mission to help those most in need, with little voice of their own.

Maryse's most memorable accomplishments include helping change the Human Trafficking law H4202 in South Carolina with a vote of 102-0 in June 2010, volunteering for such nonprofits as the International Institute of Boston, helping refugees and asylum seekers; American Red Cross of Santa Monica, developing a marketing plan and large special event for prospective donors; Boston Center for the Arts, creating its first strategic business/marketing plan and volunteer outreach; Food Share of Ventura County, working in their Senior Nutrition Garden and packing up fruits and vegetables for vulnerable seniors; and the Social Justice Fund of Ventura County, assisting the Board of Directors with marketing outreach; launching the cable channels FX and FXM to more cable operators than any premium service to date; also generating hundreds of news articles for FX within 30 days of launch. Maryse's extensive experience has brought communities closer together and has created opportunities for underserved youth.

To those thinking of getting involved with Step Up Ventura, Maryse says "Homelessness is a serious community problem in Ventura County. What better way to impact the homeless population than by intervening with the most vulnerable, young children. We at Step Up Ventura aim to prevent homelessness in adulthood."

Please join us in welcoming Maryse Najar!

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