The 1828 Project, sponsored by Citizens Energy Group, is a civic leadership tract for Indy’s young leaders with the goal of fostering intentional relationships with a cross sector of Indianapolis’ thought leaders and decision makers. Marissa is a part of 1828’s Class IX– learn more about her below!
How do you spend your days?
I am the Convention Marketing Coordinator for Visit Indy. I work closely with our Sales and Services team to promote Indy to meeting planners to drive conference and convention business to the city. My role is 50/50 event planning and marketing, which I love! I honestly feel like I never work a day in my life because I am incredibly passionate about what I do.
Where are you originally from?
Mishawaka, Indiana! If someone hasn’t heard of it, I usually just say “South Bend” followed by “Notre Dame” and they catch on pretty quickly.
If you aren’t from Indianapolis, what made you choose Indy?
I am a 21st Century Scholar so I needed to attend a college in Indiana but also wanted to feel like I was in a big city – Indy seemed like the perfect fit. It was!
You’re off the clock. What are your plans?
My fiance and I love to take our dog, Lucy, places and we love that Indy has many pet-friendly spots. We love going to Metazoa Brewing Co., Hotel Tango, hiking trails at Holliday Park, catching a concert at Garfield Park, and strolling through Fountain Square/Fletcher Place!
When thinking about the future of Indianapolis, what are you looking forward to the most and why?
Indy has changed tremendously in the five short years I’ve called it home. I love its vibrant culinary and arts scene and look forward to seeing it grow even more!
Are there any local causes that you support? What are they and how might others learn more or get involved?
I love giving back, advocating for, and volunteering with the organizations who helped make me the professional I am today. Two organizations come to mind: The Benjamin Harrison Presidential Site and Kurt Vonnegut Museum and Library.
I interned with the Benjamin Presidential Site in college and still serve on their Wicket World of Croquet committee. I encourage others to come to this event to support their high-impact educational programs that serve around 17,000 local students each year!
The Kurt Vonnegut Museum and Library jump-started my career out of college. They serve as a cultural and educational resource and are advocates for common decency. They are moving into their forever home and I encourage others to support them financially so that Kurt’s legacy can live on!
Do you have a favorite local spot that you love going to? Where and why?
I will never say no to enjoying a meal at Tinker Street Restaurant and Wine Bar. The service and culinary artistry is absolutely out of this world! I loved working there in college and it’s still our top choice for special occasion dinners.
Which is your preferred way to get around our city and why?
When I’m downtown I prefer to walk because the Cultural Trail and temperature controlled sky walks make it so easy. However, this year I finally tried the Pacers Bikeshare and loved it! It is definitely my new favorite mode of transportation during the summer months.
What’s something underrated about Indy that more people should know about?
Did you know Forbes actually called Indy “America’s Most Underrated City” in 2018? I would have to agree. One of my biggest takeaways from that article is that our value is underrated. When you come to Indy you get amazing restaurants, a vibrant arts culture, and unique attractions at a fraction of the cost compared to other major metropolitan cities!
What’s a tv show that has impacted your life most to date?
Coming from a Hispanic and Native American background, diversity is something I am very passionate about. I recently finished Jane the Virgin and love it for its POC and LGBTQ+ representation! Not to mention, it features many strong, independent females.
If you had to remove all the apps from your phone except for 3, which would you keep?
I would keep Spotify, Instagram and Calculator. I need my true crime podcasts, Instagram can’t be used on desktop, and calculator for obvious reasons.
Do you have a special talent?
I would consider figure skating my special talent! It’s the only sport I enjoy and am relatively good at. I’m involved with Winterclub of Indianapolis and was on the Circle City Theatre on Ice team this year!
If you had to listen to one song for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Golden Slumbers by The Beatles.
Pancakes or waffles?
Waffles all the way!