Updated: Aug 8
It is with pride and joy I present to you the next member of Team Do Good, the mighty Marissa Guarino. I am absolutely thrilled to have the opportunity to celebrate Marissa here via Tampa Bless and Team Do Good. Her willingness to participate in this feature and to provide feedback is highly appreciated. And now, without further ado...
Name: Marissa T. Guarino
Place of birth: Fairfax, Va
Currently reside: Clearwater, Fl
Heritage: German & Italian
Family: A truly amazing husband, 3 children (2 boys and 1 girl)
Alma Mater: My Alma Mater is Milton Hershey School, Hershey, PA, however, my undergrad is UCONN and my grad is Columbia Southern.
Occupation: Vice President, Practice Management of America, Inc.
Activities you organized or participated in related to helping others and uplifting humanity? I realize this is an uncomfortable question to answer because it feels self-promotional, yet it's important to share so to inspire others:
I created a 911/311 Call Center for the NYC Health + Hospital System during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. I was asked to create a call center to assist with 911 emergency calls for New York City; within 3 days I had organized hundreds of physicians to perform telemedicine for patients in crisis. My team consisted of 30 call center agents and 200 physicians and I too took calls as well to give patients the information they need to help keep them safe. These calls were heartbreaking but my focus was on providing hope and care to those in need. We took over 1200 calls in April alone!
The Tampa Bless 12
1) Favorite pastime or hobby? Why? Please explain.
My favorite pastime/hobby is painting as I find that it helps to bring a sense of peace and calmness to me and allows my creativity to come alive. It allows my mind to relax a bit and further allows me to create something beautiful that I can give to others.
2) Favorite sport, team, or player? If not into sports, your favorite musician or album? Or answer one of each if you’d like or any combo. Please explain why for any one or more of the questions you answered.
My favorite sport to watch is gymnastics as I was an active gymnast from the age of 4 to 18, whereas I competed nationally. My specialty was the balance beam and I prided myself on the ability to remain focused and steady on my feet. This sport brought a level of self-discipline and structure to my life that has remained with me to this day.
3) Favorite movie? Why? Please explain.
The Godfather is my favorite movie and series. It's Classical in Structure, Freudian in Psychology, Shakespearean and Operatic in Artistry. A quintessential "rags to riches" story: The quest for a new life in a new land leading to corruption. The characters are truly memorable, incredible dialogue, excellent cinematography and you see the full range of human emotions (anger, joy, sadness, shame, pride, love, passion, etc.), thought-provoking commentary on evolving American values, all in service of one central narrative thread: Michael Corleone's rise to power and fall from grace.
4) Favorite place (country, city, town, etc…) you have visited and why?
The Maldives is the most favorite place I have visited for many reasons. First and foremost, it was our Honeymoon destination. To be “present in the moment” off of the Indian Ocean with my husband, away from the hustle and bustle of New York City and the demands of our daily schedules was a dream come true! Being able to enjoy the stillness, the peace, and the tranquility of this magical island was a true blessing. Simply magical…
5) Last meal? You could have anything, what is it? Why? Please explain.
Lobster with hot-drawn butter… I don’t have this very often as the amount of butter and salt that I would use is not a healthy combination, however, it is one of those guilty pleasures and if it were my last meal, I would have it extra hot with extra butter!
6) Three activities or routines you would highly recommend? Please explain your reasoning for each.
1. Walking as it not only is good for your cardiovascular system it is a good way to pray and prepare for your day.
2. Keep an ongoing list... I recommend that you keep an ongoing list of items that you need to accomplish and check them off as you go. If you do not have a method of tracking and organizing items that come up daily, then how will you ever achieve and accomplish all of the things you may commit to? Keep a notebook with you at all times or use the note section on your phone.
3. Thank Jesus each day. We take for granted what we have… I make a point each morning and evening and when I am walking to “talk” to Jesus and “thank” Him for what He has blessed me with and ask Him to give me the wisdom to help others.
7) A) Personality trait you highly value? Why? Please explain. B) The personality trait you highly dislike? Why? Please explain.
A. Drive and determination as these traits will help you keep going no matter what.
B. Being Closed-Minded. Closed-minded people tend to point fingers at others rather than accept responsibility when things go wrong. They believe they have the answers to everything, so they have a hard time listening to what others have to say. This personality trait hinders growth personally and professionally.
8) Favorite thinker (author, philosopher, theologian, etc…)? Why? Please explain. And what is your favorite piece of advice, quote, or text from them or in general? Why? Please explain.
St. Thomas Aquinas is my favorite philosopher as his teaching has been long recognized by the Catholic Church with his foundation being built on “truth”. St. Thomas is known for his approach with clarity and reasoning which I very much embrace as I believe that exact knowledge helps us to separate true from false. A quote of his that really stands out to me is, "Faith is God’s work within us.”
9) Biggest influence in your life or a top one, and what was it about them that really stood out?
Milton Snavely Hershey. Milton Hershey was/is an amazing man and his legacy remains strong. He created the “Hershey Chocolate Bar” and essentially created the “sweetest place on earth”, Hershey, Pa.
As a result of Milton’s financial success, he and his wife Kitty dedicated their life's fortunes to helping those less fortunate children by creating a boarding school for children in need. Through his generosity, he has helped thousands of children receive an education that is revered by many. One of his quotes that I favor is, “One is only happy in proportion as he makes others feel happy.” 10) If there is one thing you could change in the world, what would it be?
If there were one thing it would be human greed. I firmly believe that human greed is at the core of most of our world’s biggest problems. Greed is like a newborn seed that grows into a poisonous vine, eventually dominating the human soul like an infectious disease, spreading to every corner of society. Ultimately, blinding us from the truth.
11) Where did your desire to help others and uplift humanity come from? Please explain.
As a young child, I remember my grandma always bringing me with her to check on her friends that were either ill, widowed, or alone and she would bring them home-cooked meals, clothing, and gifts each time we went. I recall her gentle touches each time we arrived at someone's home and how the person responded to that affection... I would see their whole demeanor begin to change, to soften, to open. It was quite impressive to me and the feeling was so palpable. I knew early on that I too had a nurturing soul and my calling was healthcare… I began my early studies in nursing and was later able to use my skills in helping those in need.
12) What are you working on now and how can people get involved?
There are quite a few projects underway from the launch of our COVIDGuardians Mobile Clinic to the ongoing support of our Physicians and staff providing support to the NYC Health + Hospital System fielding 911 calls for FDNY to providing the clinical care management to the Diocese of St. Petersburg, Fl employees and most recently being appointed Youth Ministers for St. Jerome’s Catholic Church in Largo, Fl. The latter of the list is most near and dear to myself and my husband's heart. We have always supported our Catholic Churches that we have been parishioners of over the years and we have given back not only financially but with our time. The time we have dedicated has focused on the youth and participating in all activities related to youth ministry. Most recently we moved to the Clearwater area and we were blessed to be asked to consider being the full-time youth ministers of St. Jerome’s Catholic Church. This by far has been the most exciting and blessed time for us as this is where our passion is most of all. We most definitely are needing support with our ministry and would welcome a helping hand for those nights that we plan to cook with not only the children but their families as well as we believe sharing a meal together is instrumental in the union of family.
Thank you so much for your time Marissa and for all that you do. The place we live in is that much better because of you. I hope that this feature has served to inspire you, as well as successfully celebrate those that help others and uplift humanity.
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