Director of Membership Retention Benefits,
Associated Builders and Contractors of West Virginia
South Charleston, 33
There's no question about what motivates Marisa Pedro.
"I have a strong desire to help others," she said. "I do a lot of volunteering and giving back."
A native of Ohio, Pedro has been a West Virginian for four years.
"The people here are super nice," she said. "It's a great community to be in and the state is beautiful. I've really enjoyed it here.
"I love what I do with the Associated Builders and Contractors of West Virginia," she added. "Small businesses are huge in West Virginia. A lot of the members are small businesses. They're very vital here. It's important to be sure their issues are addressed and that we provide them the best work environment possible, and make sure their voices are being heard."
She began a statewide coalition, WV Kids Cancer Crusaders to "Unite and Fight childhood cancer," which was inspired by her experience with a cousin.
"I wanted to create more awareness about childhood cancer," she said. "I do it because of him."
Sports are a big part of Pedro's life. She is a graduate of The Ohio State University, with a degree in athletic training.
"I was a part of the first class to graduate in athletic training at Ohio State," she said. "I loved it. I worked with the football team, and it was a baptism by fire.
"It was a tough balance, between football and classes. But it was good for me. It taught me discipline and setting priorities."
She was a part of the 2002 national championship football staff.
"It was a lot of fun and we beat Miami. That was a cool experience," she said. "I met a lot of great people and I learned a lot about medical professionals and athletes at a Division I university."
Reading is a favorite pastime for Pedro, who names Mitch Albom and Nicholas Sparks as her favorite authors.
Two of her favorite quotes are a part of her email signature, which she is quick to recite as her mottos: "Life is not a dress rehearsal. This is the main event. The longer you leave it to make your run at success, the harder it becomes," and "Life is not a dress rehearsal. Stop practicing what you're going to do and just go do it. In one bold stroke you can transform today."