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Have You Met Annette Marino?

New acquaintances are often amazed when they learn Annette Marino has her degree in computer science. "For some reason, I don't fit the stereotype that people have in their heads about people who understand computers," Annette says with a chuckle.

It is true Annette found her affinity for computers while still in high school, working as a data and process technician in mainframe environments. Early on, Annette realized her strengths at blending technology with business and marketing initiatives and this set her upon a successful career path.

Always drawn to the development of creative marketing and business strategies, Annette earned her expertise in the business and marketing world through her skill with using technology as a tool. “I’ve always just used technology to optimize the productivity of business and marketing initiatives,” says Annette. During the 90’s she led the development of a number of successful, high profile e-businesses, including Spiegel and SkyMall. Equally at ease in high level strategic planning sessions with C-level executives and boards of directors or working with software developers to tweak code in a Web-based marketing initiative, Annette has earned the reputation of being able to “see future scenarios and the roadmap to get there”. As we spoke recently, she was hard at work in her home office. “You’d be surprised at the variety of activity that occurs in this space!”

Annette also worked for several years as a productivity optimization consultant for both for-profit and nonprofit organizations. “The non-stop travel eventually got to me, though, and in the summer of 2001 I decided to only take on clients in situations where little or no travel was involved,” says Annette. “I am so happy that I made that decision, and so is my family!”

“I also found that I was drawn more and more to helping the mission-driven nonprofit organizations, rather than the for-profit companies,” continues Annette. “As time went on, it became clear that the needs of the nonprofit sector could be better served through a foundation and operating nonprofit organization, rather than providing direct consulting services to individual organizations.”

This creative and multi-dimensional businesswoman founded Success For Good, Inc. this year as a 501(c) 3 nonprofit organization. This nonprofit grew out of a grant-making foundation with which Annette is associated. The mission of Success For Good is to increase sustainability, community awareness, and support of other nonprofit organizations and the nonprofit community in general. Its role is to engage and educate, inspire and invigorate the various members of the community in order to strengthen the nonprofit sector.

As a volunteer driven organization, the board of Success For Good is comprised of people who have extensive business and nonprofit experience, community contacts and a passion for the mission. The active Programs Committee is comprised of staff and volunteers with widespread community networks, nonprofit optimization or other specialized experience, and a desire to strengthen the nonprofit sector. There are a variety of programs Success For Good employs to further its goals: research initiatives, education and collaboration, community awareness, recognition and mentoring, and the coordination of funding and services to nonprofit organizations.

Although Annette has previously resided in southern California, New York City and Boca Raton, Florida, she has enjoyed living the last 11 years in Arizona. “The climate and weather, the lifestyle and the people of Scottsdale are a great fit for me and my family!”

In addition to her work with Success For Good, Annette is a member of the Arizona Grantmakers Forum and has contributed many volunteer hours to a variety of nonprofits. She is also pleased her children are involved helping out with different projects in the Success For Good organization. “They are definitely techno kids of the era!” Annette’s husband, Joe, is also involved with Success For Good, serving on the board of the organization.

Annette Marino and the Success For Good organization are positive and caring additions to Arizona’s nonprofit community!

What are your volunteer activities? I volunteer to strengthen the entire nonprofit sector as Chairman and Founding Director of Success For Good.

Which social event is your favorite? There are so many great events for wonderful causes, but one comes to mind because of its model, the Molina Holiday Party, hosted by the Molina family. Not only is it a wonderful party, but I also love their model in that Molina Fine Jewelers underwrites all expenses associated with the black-tie event and therefore all ticket purchases go 100% to the beneficiary charities of the event.

Favorite Restaurant? Locally, I truly enjoy lunching with my friends at Bloom in Scottsdale. Tomaso's is great and my family and I thoroughly enjoy the Cuban fare at Havana Cafe.

Who is your hero and why? I don't know if I would classify them as 'heroes', but I certainly admire people who creatively come up with ways to get other people to join them in doing good. Two national examples come to mind in Paul Newman and Oprah Winfrey. Paul Newman has donated over $150 million to charities by donating 100% of the profits from his Newman's Own line of foods to charity. So everyone who buys one of his products is involved in doing good. In addition, he is one of the founders of the Committee to Encourage Corporate Philanthropy, which is a group of leaders of large corporations with a mission to foster and promote good corporate citizenship. Oprah Winfrey, in addition to her own personal foundations, also underwrites all expenses of Oprah's Angels, which through her extensive media access, she encourages everyday citizens to donate to for a variety of worthy causes. Since she underwrites all expenses of administering the foundation, 100% of all donations go to the causes. These are just two examples of people creatively getting others involved to work for the common good.

What gives a woman/man style? Good self image, positive and caring attitude, discerning values

Do you have any Pets? Our 15 year old Maine Coon cat named Merlin.

What words describe you best? Deep thinking, perceptive, intuitive, good communicator, multi-dimensional, creative, caring

What words would you like others to use to describe you? Hopefully at least one or more of the words I use to describe myself!

What was your first job? Computer work in high school (a bit unusual at that time for a girl!)

What is the trait you most deplore in yourself? Lack of a "sales gene", and it is a trait that I hold in high esteem in others who have it.

What is the trait you most deplore in others? Lack of self-motivation.

What is the greatest gift you have ever given and received? Time.

What do you consider to be your greatest achievement? My children.

What one thing would you change about yourself? I need to learn to ask for and accept help, instead of being the one to always offer help.

What is the best advice you have ever received? You can't keep doing the same thing and expect different results.

What about you surprises people when they learn it? That my degree is in computer science. That I have been married for 22 years. That my role with Success For Good is a volunteer role and that I'm not financially compensated for it.

Annette: Hi, old friend... oops! - As we know, that's "long time friend." I'm happy to see that you're still doing good things. Love to you and family. April
April Hammer

Annette, This is a great article. Computer Science?? I had no idea. Congratulations and keep up the vision!!
James Cadet

Great Info! Passion drives many wonderful changes in our society. Glad to see yours is helping nonprofits deliver their mission.
Lea Benson

Dear Annette -I am constantly amazed with your ability to think from a global, objective perspective as to how to affect dramatic, social and cultural change. Congratulations on the Golden Karma wards....the "Oscars of Philanthropic Giving" on a national scale!!! In hindsight, it is amazing that an award like the Golden Karma Award sdid not exist before!! Thank you so much for promoting philanthropy!
Stephanie Orr

Thanks for all your advice and help to me and the nonprofit, 501(c)(3) Phoenix Creative Planning Centers Foundation, Inc. The success for our good is the best proof of your incredible effectiveness
Jim Norman

I'm proud to say..."Yes, we have met!"
Crystal King


Kudos to a graceful dynamo!
Ben Wilson

Kudos to a graceful dynamo!
Ben Wilson

Hi Annette: How Super! You go Girl...... Proud of the work you are doing. fondly, Robin p.s. great photo too!
Robin Woodworth

Congratulations Annette-

I love you!
Joe Marino

I'm so happy to see this recognition of your hard work for the greater good! You make it look so easy...most people have no idea all the stuff you are making happen!
Beth Smith