Maria was raised in Silver Spring, Maryland as one of five children. After graduating high school, she attended the University of Maryland where she studied Elementary Education. It was her heart for service that brought her to Nashville, Tennessee where she led girls in a youth discipleship program. Maria later became a third and fourth grade teacher at a local school where she also coached track.
Maria and Bill married in 2008. They are active members of Grace Chapel Church and are involved in numerous faith-based ministries that have taken them all over the world serving those in need. Maria currently serves on the board of Friend2Friend Book Project, a mission devoted to delivering uplifting literature to children and their families suffering from medical hardships.
As first lady, Maria wants to motivate others with her passion for service, and believes that through community engagement, fellow Tennesseans will be driven to serve their neighbors in need. As part of her initiative, Tennessee Serves, Maria is focused on serving the Volunteer State’s distressed counties while highlighting organizations and people already doing great work throughout the state.
When traveling the state with her husband, Maria enjoys meeting so many wonderful Tennesseans. She is deeply grateful for the privilege to serve as first lady to the great state of Tennessee.