Maria Afsharian 

Communications, Media, Video Production, Social Media, TV, Newspapers, Design, Writing, Content Creation, Journalism, Public Relations, Marketing, Human Resources, Health, Philanthropy, Non-Profit, Community Organizing, Networking, Marketing, Management & Real Estate

Experience

Owner | Bloom Five, LLC, Montclair, NJ (2013-Present)

Own and operate a virtual business communications company focusing on social media, video, content creation. Participated in President Obama’s Call to Action to assist with resume writing for the refugee crisis during his administration.

Broker Associate | EXP Realty, LLC, Montclair, NJ (2021-Present)

Provide real estate services to buyers, sellers, renters, and landlords. Certified by the National Association of Realtors as a Short Sales and Foreclosure Resource and Military Relocation Professional.

Previous broker affiliations include, Prominent Properties Sotheby’s International Realty and Keller Williams NJ Metro Group.

Northeast Regional Chair | National Iranian American Council (2015-2019)

Appointed to this volunteer position by the NIAC national organizing director. Strategized, planned, and implemented grassroots campaigns in NY, NJ, PA, MD, VA, DC. Managed 5 volunteer state captains. Built community and coalitions with other organizations to improve campaign outcomes. Educated the public about NIAC’s mission, goals, campaigns, and accomplishments. Led or assisted with successful social media campaigns that led to national news coverage. Proposed and created social media group pages for NY, NJ, PA, CT, MA. Organized local meetups for networking. Reason for leaving: To focus on entrepreneurship

NJ Captain | National Iranian American Council (2013-2019)

Appointed to this volunteer position by the NIAC national organizing director. Oversaw grassroots efforts and community building activities for New Jersey. Led successful Iran Deal campaign in NJ contributing to Senator Cory Booker agreeing to support the Iran deal. Recruited and managed members. Led voter registration drives. Planned and led meetings with local and state legislators including NJ Senators Cory Booker and Robert Menendez. Organized service events including visiting Toni’s Kitchen and First Friends NY/NJ. Reason for leaving: To focus on entrepreneurship 

Various Projects  |  Shiraz, Iran (2005-2013)

Relocated back to my birthplace of Shiraz, Iran where I volunteered or conceptualized and implemented various philanthropic projects. I became acquainted with Shiraz University Management, Nemazi Hospital, Amir Oncology Hospital, Khodadoust Eye Hospital, Saadi Hospital, UNICEF in Tehran, UNHCR in Shiraz, Behnam Daheshpour cancer charity, Yavari charity, social entrepreneurship projects for women, and a local cancer charity Bonyad e Omid to help decorate a children’s cancer ward and build chairs that converted into beds for parents to stay with their children overnight.

Later, I realized a need for improved local cancer care and services in Shiraz. Unable to start a charity due to being bound by US Sanctions, I proposed an idea to Tehran based charity, MAHAK Charity for Children with Cancer and their families, to set up their first branch office ever in Shiraz. They agreed, and the office was named the MAHAK Shiraz Social Worker’s Office. It served as the pilot and is the model office in which other MAHAK branches in Iran are now based upon. Today, the office is still in operation and is fully funded by MAHAK. It was an honor to coordinate this project that serves hundreds of children and their families each year.

Other activities included teaching conversational English, creating, and teaching resume workshops. Participating in exhibitions and cultural events. Reason for leaving: Relocated to the US

Investigative Journalist | Dateline NBC, Washington, DC  (1998-2005)

Worked my way up from a 1997 summer internship at Dateline NBC’s Washington DC Bureau in 1997 to a staff position. Worked in various roles, producer, associate producer, assistant producer, researcher, booker, logistics manager contributing to the production of 60+ segments for national television broadcast. As a result of that work, I am proud to be the recipient of several national journalism awards including an Emmy award. Reason for leaving: Relocated to Iran

Newscast Assistant | NBC News DC Affiliate -WRC (1997-1998)

Assisted morning producer and anchors with the 5 am newscast. Reason for leaving: Offered an opportunity with Dateline NBC

Marketing Assistant | USA TODAY Newspaper, Newington, VA (1995-1997)

Assisted Regional DC/VA/MD Marketing and Circulation Directors. Organized and implemented team building, community outreach, and marketing events. Reason for leaving: To pursue a career at NBC News as a Journalist

Patient and Public Relations Specialist | University Medical Center-Dimensions Breast Center, Lubbock, TX  (1993-1995)

Worked with patients referred for mammograms by doctors, scheduled appointments. Provided community outreach, public relations, and helped plan special events. Reason for leaving: Relocated to DC area to explore career opportunities in media 

Owner | Action Personnel Resume Services, Lubbock, TX (1988-1993)

Created and managed a successful resume service. Reason for leaving: Left for an opportunity to work in public relations

Education

American University, DC &  Montgomery College, Rockville, MD (1995-1997)
Completed several courses in film, video, production & television news writing

International Business College, Lubbock, TX / 1991-1992
Computer Office Management Certificate

Lubbock Christian University, Lubbock, TX / 1985-1990
BS Business Communications, focusing on public relations and journalism
Campus Edition newspaper contributor and advertising manager

Organizations

Iranian-American Women Foundation (IAWFoundation.org)
NY Chapter Social Media Committee Member, NY Conference Committee Member

Building One America (BuildingOneAmerica.org)
Leadership Training and Community Organizing

International Association of Business Communicators (IABC.com)

National Iranian American Council (NIACouncil.org / NIACACTION.org)

Women in Film and Video

Certifications / Licenses

NJ Department of Banking and Insurance
NJ Real Estate Salesperson License. Currently pursuing Broker license.

National Association of Realtors Certifications                                          (1) E-Pro (2) Military Relocation Specialist (3) Short Sale & Foreclosure Resource

Islamic Republic of Iran Ministry of Higher Education
Confirmation of B.S. in Business Communications degree earned in the United States

Goft-va-Shnood English Institute, Shiraz, Iran
Teaching English as a Second Language

International Business School. Lubbock, Texas
Computer office management

Specific Skills

Social Media: Content creation, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube, LinkedIn

Writing: Letters, resumes, CV’s, business communications, bios, reports, typing

Video: Basic production, planning, booking, interviewing, videotaping, transcription, editing

Web: Data mining, research, analytics, digital marketing, networking

Computer: Microsoft Office, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Google, G Suite, Apple, Mac, PC, Chrome, Safari, Explorer

Tools: Hootsuite, Buffer, Canva, Pic Monkey, iMovie

Languages

  • American English, native
  • Farsi or Persian, professional working proficiency

_______________________________________________________________

Maria.Afsharian@gmail.com | Montclair, NJ