Maria Verven is a strategic, accredited marketing professional with over 35 years’ experience helping her clients create solid brand reputations, build a strong market presence and meet their revenue goals. An expert in helping start-up companies get to the next phase, Verven makes the most of limited resources by focusing on the lowest hanging fruit. After helping her clients hone in on their unique selling proposition (USP), she develops and implements a solid marketing plan, employing well-honed skills in P.R. as well as traditional and ‘inbound’ marketing. Accredited by the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA), Verven was V.P. of marketing for a technology company now owned by Accenture before starting her firm, VERVE Communications in 2008. Previously, she served as V.P. with the international P.R. firm Fleishman Hillard and as V.P. with the investment firm Piper Jaffray, where she managed eight P.R. agencies from NYC to San Francisco. Verven has provided strategic counsel and P.R. services for many small businesses in a variety of different industries. She has written feature articles for several of the biggest companies in Minnesota including 3M, Medtronic and UnitedHealthcare and is also a regular contributor to Vapor Voice magazine. With a bachelor’s degree in music from Vassar College, Verven is a singer-songwriter who released a CD of her original songs after creating her own music publisher, Songnificant. A resident of Minneapolis, Verven served on the PRSA board and was a guest-lecturer in public relations at the University of Minnesota.