Maruchi Azorin, M.B.A.
A native of Cuba, Maruchi immigrated to the United States with her family in 1960 due to the effects of the Castro revolution. She attended school in Plant City, Florida and graduated from Plant City Senior High School, as an honor student where she was named “Girl of the Year”. She is a magna cum laude graduate of the University of Florida from where she holds an M.B.A with honors as well as a Bachelor of Arts degree with highest honors. While at UF, she was inducted into the University of Florida Hall of Fame in 1975 (the first Hispanic woman ever), selected to Who’s Who in American Colleges and Universities, and among the earliest women selected to membership in Florida Blue Key Leadership Honorary, one of the state of Florida’s oldest leadership honorary founded in 1923 and a previously all male organization.
Maruchi served as the Chair of the Board of Directors for MOSI, Tampa’s Museum of Science and Industry, for three years. She was the first Hispanic person to hold that position in the 50-year history of MOSI as well as the first UF graduate to serve as Chair of the Board. She has been a member of the MOSI Board of Directors since 1997. She created and is the founding “Chair” of MOSI’s National Hispanic Scientist of the Year Award event in 2000. This first of its kind national annual award recognizes renowned Hispanic Scientists who excel in the public education of science and serve as mentor and role models for students in middle school thus helping to reduce the 30% dropout rate for Hispanics. To date, in its 14th year, the event has raised over $2 Million for MOSI’s STEAM education efforts, and has impacted the lives of over 20,000 Hispanic students in the Tampa Bay area.
Maruchi chaired the City of Tampa Mayor’s Hispanic Advisory Council for an unprecedented eight years. This volunteer advisory council, established in 1983, serves the mayor of Tampa in communicating with its constantly expanding Hispanic community and assists the mayor in determining the needs of the local Hispanic community. Having served on this council since 1987, she created the annual “Latinos Unidos Luncheon”, in 1997. This fund raising event features high-ranking, national Hispanic Business Leaders that showcase the economic impact of the Hispanic community nationally. Now in its 18th year, the proceeds of the annual luncheon have provided over 120 scholarships at local college and universities for Hispanic students in need of financial assistance pursuing college educations.
Maruchi was the First Hispanic woman to serve on the Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce’s Board of Directors and Executive Council in 1992. Maruchi served for three years on the Judicial Nominating Commission (JNC) for the 13th Judicial Circuit in the late ‘90’s, interviewing and selecting judicial candidates for appointment by the Governor of Florida. She served on the Board of Directors of Tampa Hispanic Heritage, Inc. for six years. Currently Maruchi serves on the Board of Trustees of the Tampa Bay History Center and on the Board of Directors of the Girl Scouts of West Central Florida.
Maruchi is the founder and owner of Villa Rosa Distinctive Linens, one of the Tampa Bay Area’s most successful specialty retail stores, established in 1984 in an owner-renovated gas station nestled in the Palma Ceia Neighborhood, in the heart of South Tampa. Now in its 32nd year, Villa Rosa Distinctive Linens was recognized by Yves Delorme/Fremaux, the largest internationally renowned French linen manufacturer, as the #1 growth store in their partner program in 2014. Maruchi and her father-in-law, Rafael Blanco, created the internationally distributed and trademarked product “LeBlanc Linen Wash©” and its family of products sold through specialty stores.