“We’re honored that Ms. Rios delivered the commencement address to our 2010 graduating class,” said Marygrove President David Fike. “As a key federal official with broad experience in economic development issues, I know her message to graduates, their friends and family will remembered.”
Rios, an engaging speaker, spoke candidly about her own experiences growing up as a one of nine children raised by a single mother. She thanked her mother for instilling in all her siblings, the importance of getting a college education: "we all graduated from college," said Rios. She also reflected on a variety of statistics about Millennials, the generation of people born between 1980 and 2000, citing their comfort with communicating through technology as a strength, but encouraging them not to overlook the importance of human-to-human contact. Rios also emphasized the importance of going on to graduate school while students are still young and their minds still flexible. She praised Marygrove's leadership role in being involved in community and helping to teach its students the value of civic and community involvement, and reminded graduates that voting should not be something they take for granted. "Every vote matters," she said.
Rios became Treasurer of the United States in August 2009. In that position she advises the Secretary of the Treasury on monetary matters and serves as a senior advisor and representative of the Treasury on behalf of the Secretary in the areas of community development and public engagement.
Rios also serves on President Obama’s White House Council on Women and Girls as a proponent of federal government policies and programs that take into account the needs of women and girls. She also serves on the Board of the Toigo Foundation, an organization whose mission it is to “change the face of finance” by inspiring minority students to consider a career in finance and provide them with the leadership training, mentoring, tuition assistance and lifelong support they need as they pursue finance careers and beyond.
Prior to appointment by President Barack Obama, she served as the Managing Director of Investments at MacFarlane Partners, one of the nation’s leading real estate investment management firms with more than $11 billion in assets under management. In that role, she served as a primary liaison with the firm's development and global capital partners to facilitate equity transactions for large mixed-use development projects in major urban areas.
Before her time at MacFarlane Partners, Ms. Rios was a Principal for Red River Associates and played a major role in the successful effort to move the Montreal Expos baseball team to Washington, D. C., where they became the Washington Nationals.
Ms. Rios has also served as the Director of the Redevelopment and Economic Development for the City of Oakland; the Director of Economic Development for the City of Fremont; a Development Specialist for the City of San Leandro; and Manager of the Union City Redevelopment Agency. At the beginning of her career, she worked in San Francisco as a Commercial Property Underwriter for the General Reinsurance Corporation.
Ms. Rios, a first generation Mexican American, earned her Bachelor’s degree in Sociology and Romance Language and Literature from Harvard University.
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ABOUT MARYGROVE COLLEGE
Founded by the Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary (IHM) in 1927, Marygrove College is an independent liberal arts college and a Catholic institution of higher learning committed to developing leaders for the new global society.
The main campus is situated on 53 wooded acres in northwest Detroit.
8425 W. McNichols Rd., Detroit, MI 48221
Web site: www.marygrove.edu