“It is our role as adults to help create the environments that foster and allow children to discover and cultivate their unique beautiful brilliance.“
Maria Woodruff-Wright is the interim president and CEO and vice president of operations & CFO of The Skillman Foundation. She previously served the Ruth Mott Foundation as the director of finance and administration.
A native of Detroit, Maria is a graduate of Cass Technical High School and holds a bachelor’s degree in computer science from Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois and a master’s degree in business administration from the University of Michigan–Ross School of Business in Ann Arbor, Michigan.
After earning her degrees, Maria moved to the Flint area to serve as general manager of her family’s Ford and Lincoln Mercury franchises in Clio and Saginaw, Michigan. She later became president and dealer principal of Expressway Ford, Inc. Under her leadership, the company received numerous awards for customer satisfaction, quality, and sales growth from Ford Motor Company and JD Power. She also received the Ford Minority Dealer Association Female Entrepreneur of the year award from Essence Magazine.
In addition to working in the automotive industry, Maria has accounting, finance, marketing, and operations experience. She has also served on the Board of Directors of the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Flint.
Maria is a member of the Detroit Employment Solutions Corporation (DESC) board, the ABFE board member, Council of Michigan Foundations – Government Relations Policy Committee, and has served on the Council on Foundations Endowment & Finance Summit Committee. She enjoys traveling and spending time with her husband and three adult children and has competed in over 15 triathlons.
Areas of expertise:
Financial and operational leadership, leading strategies involving human resources, administration, finances, and technology.
How I can support partners:
Connecting them with supports related to grants and grant applications, technology, finance, human resources, and operations.
Some of my favorite things:
Traveling, trying new foods, golfing, painting, biking in nature, and swimming in the ocean.
A quote that describes my outlook:
“For there is always light, if only we’re brave enough to see it, If only we are brave enough to BE it.” —Amanda Gorman