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Helios Education Foundation Elects Maria Sastre To its Board of Directors

Posted on: April 11, 2011

Recognized Leader and Top Power Influencer Joins Helios' Board

Helios Education Foundation today announced the election of Maria Sastre to its Board of Directors. Ms. Sastre joins seven other members of the Helios Board all focused on creating opportunities for individuals in Arizona and Florida to achieve postsecondary education success. In addition to Ms. Sastre, Helios' board members include Vince Roig, Founding Chairman; Tom Herndon; Ioanna Morfessis, Ph.D; Jane Roig; Don Aripoli, M.S.Ed, Ph.D; Mark Fernandez; and Paul Luna, President and CEO.

With a strategic focus on early childhood education (birth to five), the transition years (Grades 5-12) and postsecondary scholarships, Helios has invested close to $100 million in education in Arizona and Florida since 2006. Through its investments and partnerships, the Foundation is working to change lives through education and create a college-going culture among individuals, families and communities.

"As we continue to build new partnerships and strategically invest in education in Arizona and Florida, it's critical that the voices on the Foundation's Board of Directors reflect a diversity of experiences and viewpoints," said Helios Education Foundation's Chairman, Vince Roig. "In getting to know Maria in her role at Take Stock in Children, I've seen firsthand her proven leadership skills and wide-ranging knowledge of education systems. I'm excited that her voice will complement the board's vision of and commitment to changing lives through education."

Based in Orlando, Florida, Maria Sastre is Chief Operating Officer for Global Operations at Signature Flight Support Corporation. She is responsible for the company's worldwide network of fixed base operations.
Before joining Signature, Ms. Sastre served as President and CEO of Take Stock in Children, a statewide non-profit organization in Florida that, since inception, has helped over 16,000 low-income, at-risk students overcome the cycle of poverty through education, mentorship and access to college scholarships.

Prior to her work at Take Stock in Children, Ms. Sastre held positions at Royal Caribbean Cruises, LTD, including Vice President of Operations and Vice President International, Latin America, Caribbean and Asia. Her roles included strategic growth across emerging markets as well as managing all aspects of the guest experience onboard Royal Caribbean's fleet of vessels. She has served as Vice President of Worldwide Customer Satisfaction for United Airlines where she led the newly created customer satisfaction division charged with refining the customer service experience.

Ms. Sastre currently serves on the boards of directors and audit committees for Publix Supermarkets and Darden Restaurants. She has been recognized as one of the Top 80 U.S. Hispanics, Top 20 Latinas and has received numerous awards in the travel and hospitality industry sectors. She was named one of South Florida CEO magazine's Top Power Influencers in 2007.

Ms. Sastre's education includes a Bachelor's Degree in Finance and a Master's in Business Administration, both from New York Institute of Technology.

Category: Foundation Feature

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