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Work experience

2015Present

Licensed NJ Real Estate Agent 

Maria Afsharian Real Estate

Assist buyers, sellers, renters, landlords with real estate transactions.

May 2012Present

Owner, Independent Business Communications Producer

BloomFive, LLC

Provide communications, video, social media, community outreach, marketing and special event planning. Produced videos and communications for clients e.g. Literacy Volunteers of America, New York area medical professionals. Organized and led several committees for national organizations.

Oct 2013Present

Founder

Montclair Media Alliance (MMA)

Organize Montclair New Jersey area media professionals to network, learn and collaborate

Jan 2007Present

Founder, Shiraz Iran Branch

MAHAK Charity Organization for Children Suffering from Cancer (NGO)

Identified the lack of quality cancer care in the southern region of Iran and took steps to solve the problem. Because of sanctions against Iran I could not start or fund my own charity so I sought out the most successful cancer charity in Iran. I found and contacted NGO MAHAK Charity Organization (based in Tehran) and convinced them to create its first branch in Shiraz, providing accessible, quality, affordable or free care. Also helpful was that MAHAK Charity Organization has an OFAC license approval through the United States government (via ISCC Charity Organization in California) - which allowed me as a dual citizen to work with them. 

To achieve this goal. I had to overcome enormous challenges related to language, society, law, women, tradition and US sanctions. MAHAK had said that they would not open a branch and I had to convince them to do so - before I met with them. I strategically searched for resources and staff to promote the vision and goals of the organization. Established strategic partnerships with local charities such as The United Nations High Commission on Refugees in Shiraz (UNHCR), Child Foundation, Shiraz University Chancellors Office, Shiraz Cancer Institute, Nemazi Hospital, Bonyad Omid and Amir Hospital.

With this office, jobs providing above average salaries and full benefits were created - paid by MAHAK. Built a positive, productive work environment with only one staff change in five years. Engaged the local community through volunteer and giving opportunities. Organized special events with Iranian celebrities to entertain the children in hospitals. Negotiated lower costs for patient medicine at local pharmacies. Secured local housing to provide shelter for traveling families, and gathered staples like rice, oil, grains for low-income patient families.

Today hundreds of children and their families are cared for by the Shiraz office, with people who are citizens or refugees traveling from the entire southern region of Iran to seek care for their children with cancer. The local existing cancer charity can now focus on adults without the financial burden of the children. Charitable donations to MAHAK by the Shiraz or southern Iranian communities have brought in much needed revenue for operations and patient costs. The branch is so successful it is considered by MAHAK as the " model branch" and used as a reference to set up other branches across Iran to help save children's lives.

Please note: This was a non-paid position. 

Sep 2012Present

Various Volunteer Work -  Past and Present

Iranian American Women's Foundation - Founding Member, NYC Chapter

National Iranian American Council (NIAC) - Co-Captain State of New Jersey

Building One America - Member, Subcommittee on Growth and Workforce Development

Montclair Film Festival - Member, Public Relations Committee

The Adult School of Montclair - Member, Fundraising Committee and Focus Group

Junior Chamber of Commerce - Member, Newsletter Editor, Event Chair, Fundraising

20032005

Associate Producer and Producer

DATELINE NBC NEWS

Washington, DC, Associate Producer/Producer Produced or assisted in development and production of 60+ compelling stories and segments for broadcast on national network and local affiliate TV. Managed investigative reports, features, consumer, entertainment, politics, crime, news and breaking news (short or long-form formats, 1: 30 minutes to 1 hour).

20012003

Assistant Producer

DATELINE NBC NEWS

Washington, DC, Assisted Producers with the development of reports for national television broadcast on Dateline NBC.

19982001

News Researcher and Office Manager

DATELINE NBC NEWS

Washington, DC, Oversaw office operations in the 30+ staff of the Dateline DC Bureau. Researched topics in free time and successfully obtained Assistant Producer credit on several broadcast stories.

19971998

Newscast Assistant

NBC NEWS Washington DC Affiliate
19951997

Marketing and Circulation Assistant

USA TODAY / GANNETT

Skills

Real Estate
Business Communications
Social Media Management
Negotiating
Networking
Event Management
Public Relations / Publicity
Community Outreach
Video Production
National Broadcast TV Journalism
Producer
Philanthropy and Charity
Founder, volunteer, organizer
Iran
Iran culture expert

Education

Various TV Production, News writing Courses 

Montgomery College

News Writing and Television Production

Film & Video Graduate Program

American University

Film and Video Production and Management

Office and Computer Management 

International Business College

Bachelor of Science Degree

Lubbock Christian University

Business Communications 

Awards

  • Emmy Award, 1st Place for "Auto Sales" (Field Producer)
  • Emmy Award, 1st Place for "No Greater Love - Story of Flight 93" (Associate Producer)
  • Emmy Award, 3rd Place for "Scanners" (Assistant Producer)
  • National Press Club Headliner Award, 1st Place for "Auto Sales" (Field Producer)
  • Clarion Award, Women in Communications, 3rd Place for "Dirty Dining" (Associate Producer)
  • CINE Award, 1st Place for "Roots of Rage" (Associate Producer)
  • Chris Award, 1st Place for "Gender Home Improvement" (Associate Producer)
  • Loeb Nat'l Award of Excellence in Financial Reporting for "Sweepstakes" (Assistant Producer)
  • Excellence in Consumer Reporting by National Consumer Advocates Association in DC
  • Presidential Award of Honor, Junior Chamber of Commerce
  • Woman of the Year, Beta Sigma Phi