About Marisa


Marisa Cleveland promotes the leadership lifestyle, working with others as they become the CEO of their own lives.

Professional Biography:

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Marisa Cleveland understands the power of words, education, and the ability to communicate. With more than two decades in the education and publishing industry, Marisa is adamant about supporting efforts toward the betterment of the human condition.

Marisa has led writing programs, chaired events and fundraisers, and mentored emerging writers through the literary agency where she is an executive director. Writers she’s discovered have landed traditional publishing deals and become New York Times and USA Today bestselling authors. Previous to entering the publishing industry, she gained experience in higher education administration, in secondary education, and in writing, including technical, grant, research, and dissertation analysis. 

Within her community engagement endeavors, Marisa has been a speechwriter for awards ceremonies, chaired several events, presented at conferences and awards ceremonies, and crafted acceptance speeches for various awards. She was a judge for the FACE Diversity Summit Awards, the Naples Performing Arts Center Dancing with the Stars, the Optimist Club of Naples International Essay Contest, and numerous regional and national writing competitions.

As an author, Marisa has been featured at various book festivals and participated on panels and workshops on diversity, inclusion, the importance of communication, cultural agility, and the state of the book publishing industry. She has ten peer-reviewed publications and nine published novels.

Gulfshore Business and D’Latinos magazines honored Marisa with the Arts and Culture 2015 FACE Award, and in 2015, Gulfshore Business selected her as a “40 Under 40” honoree. While working with Collier County Government, she earned the Goodwill Award in 2014 and the Rising Star Award in 2012. In 1998, she earned the President’s Merit Award for her active participation in the Society for Advancement of Management, and during her graduate studies, she was inducted into Kappa Delta Pi’s Nu Alpha chapter. She is the vice-chair for Hodges University’s Board of Trustees, a former board member for the Naples Press Club, and a former board member for Southwest Florida Romance Writers.

Marisa earned her Doctor of Education from Northeastern University, and her master’s and bachelor’s from George Mason University.