Ms. Maria J. Garcia Santana

Manager of Communications, Communications and Government Relations Division
East Lansing, Michigan
United States

Focus Areas



Maria Garcia Santana, Kellogg Group 13, is Manager of Communication and Government Relations for the Michigan Education Special Services Association, otherwise known as MESSA. MESSA is a long established VEBA created by the Michigan Education Association at a time when Michigan teachers, predominantly women, were unable to get health insurance benefits. MESSA membership is at a healthy 70,000+. The MESSA Communications team is responsible for brand development, member education in regard to health plan benefits, added-value benefits, and wellness initiatives. Maria has served MESSA members since 2001. Prior to coming to MESSA, Maria worked in the political arena with Congressman Howard Wolpe during the 100th Congress, specializing in military and education cases. She was later recruited to join Governor James J. Blanchard's administration during his last term as part of his public relations team. After the loss for his re-election bid, Maria was able to utilize her degree from Michigan State University in television production and was hired by WLNS-TV 6, the local CBS affiliate, where she worked 5+ years as the Community Affairs Director and producer of three local programs. In this capacity, Maria was able to give voice to non-profit groups, NGOs, and disenfranchised groups. Through her programs Maria was able to bring light to issues of importance to the public and used the position to build bridges in the community. Maria has a combined 28 years experience in the communications industry.