About the Author
Raffaela Marie Rizzo's passions are faith, people, family stories, books, community, genealogy, history, and travel. She is a creative, resourceful and service-oriented leader with a proven record of accomplishment and success in integrated marketing promotions and communications programs.
Raffaela Marie's writing and communication talents have translated into award-winning image campaigns, grassroots movements, crisis and issues management, constituency-building initiatives, new product development, consumer and trade media relations and outreach, organizational leadership and team building.
She brings more than three decades of professional experience to her writing. In addition to her career within corporate America, Raffaela Marie worked in education and later with the NY Times Magazine group in marketing and promotion. She was also a free-lance journalist. Most recently, Raffaela Marie served for 12 years as the inaugural President and Managing Director for the National Peanut Board (NPB), a farmer-funded, research and promotion organization. There, she was responsible for developing and implementing strategic marketing programs at the national and international levels. Prior to NPB, Raffaela Marie was with Rayonier Inc., a diversified forest and specialty pulp products company, serving as corporate communications expert and a marketing communications leader.
She currently serves as president in Giro di Mondo publishing a small hybrid publishing firm, helping authors achieve their dream to be published.
She earned an MBA degree from Jacksonville (FL) University and a BA degree in media studies from Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, CT, where she graduated magna cum laude. She is the recipient of dozens of professional and community awards., including the prestigious Harold Geneen Award.
Raffaela Marie has been a lifelong volunteer in community and faith-based organizations.
She is currently heavily involved in the Amelia Island Book Festival as Author and Authors in Schools Coordinator and Fundraising Chair. She's a past president and loves to help emerging authors and get books into students' hands. A former director on the Board of the Boys & Girls Club of Nassau County Foundation, she remains involved as a guardian and serving on the governance committee. She is active in several ministries at St. Michael's R.C. church.
Born in Italy, raised in Connecticut, she and her husband, Mark, now make Amelia Island, Florida, home.