Rio joined San Diego Coastkeeper in September 2023 as the operations coordinator. Rio has had a somewhat unconventional career journey, starting with dreams of being a chef. With a culinary arts degree from the California Culinary Academy and a B.A. in Hospitality Management from San Francisco State University, she spent the majority of 12 years in catering and event planning at large organizations, including Four Reasons Resorts, Marriott, and San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance. After reaching her goal of leading her own kitchen, Rio decided to see what other adventures she could embark on and jumped into financial services. Helping to launch the first Capital One Cafe in San Diego, she realized she always had a deep love for helping others and a desire to make positive changes at any opportunity. Partnerships with local nonprofits such as Junior Achievement Academy and Solutions for Change helped to further her experience as a steward to the community, specializing in financial literacy and empowerment for individuals of all ages and socioeconomic statuses.
Inspired to set and achieve new personal goals, Rio completed a Master’s in Sustainability Leadership with the plan to combine her lifelong passion for environmental protection with a fulfilling full-time career. She hopes to inspire others to dare to chase their goals and passions and see life as a bigger picture than the daily grind.
When not working, Rio likes to spend her free time gardening, road cycling, training for half marathons, or hanging out with her two bunnies, Bandit and Mochi.