Marisa Hall wants to be the “voice” for her community. (Courtney Gladney)

Los Angeles native Marisa Hall can add Commissioner at HACLA (Housing Authority of the City of Los Angeles) to her extensive resume and list of achievements. Marisa, who is one of the three African American women on the Board of Commissioners, was appointed on September 6, 2022.

HACLA is run by the seven-member Board of Commissioners who are responsible for policy, fiscal management, and appointment of the president and chief executive officer. Marisa told the Sentinel that it feels “great” to be a part of the Board because she will be able to make some sort of change.

“My vote counts on this Board to make things happen,” she stated. “I’m happy that I’m on the Board and I’m all here to advocate for my community, so my vote counts. That’s what’s huge to me.”

Marisa’s days are jam packed as she works full-time at Eisai Inc. as a healthcare account executive, a small Japanese pharmaceutical company that sells products for Alzheimer’s disease and cancer.  She is also currently attending USC where she is obtaining her Master’s degree in their executive MBA program for business. Advocating for her community is something that is very important to her, so no matter how exhausted she is from school or from working all day, she makes sure that she stays involved.

Marisa has dedicated years to not only helping her community, but also hosting women empowerment panel discussions, being a mentor to girls who were victims of human trafficking, and advocating for diversity and inclusion in film, healthcare, and the corporate world.

She spends her weekends with The Links, Incorporated, where she is a member. The Links is a service organization that assists the community in various ways. Members are professional women of African descent located throughout the world who devote more than 1 million documented hours of community service annually.

“They are big advocates of our community and they do give to a lot of programs for kids and teens and we do a lot of giving back,” Marisa explained.

Marisa also sits on the board of the White Rose foundation, a non-profit under The Links. The White Rose Foundation is a 501 (c) (3) public charity that supports public service programs of the Inglewood Pacific Chapter of The Links, Inc.  She is also a graduate of Los Angeles African American Women’s Public Policy Institute (LAAAWPPI), a nonprofit organization that prepares women for leadership roles in both the public and private sectors.

In addition, Marisa is a breast cancer survivor who looks at life completely different. A philosophy she lives by is to treat others how you would want them to treat you. Having a sense of gratitude is another value that Marisa holds close to her heart. She overcame one of the toughest battles of her life and is here to share her testimony to those who may be going through tough times themselves.

“I want to be that example in my community of someone who got through it and if I can get through it and continue to do what I can do for my community,” she emphasized. “As long as I am here I am going to do what I can.”

Marisa attended San Diego State and graduated from Cal State Fullerton with a Bachelor’s degree in business marketing. Five years from now, she sees herself being an influencer in the community. She’s not sure where her journey will lead her, whether it being running for office, starting a non-profit, or staying in the commissioner field, but she does know that she will be somewhere being a positive influence.

“I just know I want to be a big influencer of my community and represent us and be a voice for us,” Marissa emphasized. “If I can be a voice for everybody in the world, even internationally, I would do that.”

With all that she has been through, Marisa has shown great fortitude and determination. Her empathetic spirit and selflessness when it comes to issues in the community is what makes her a great pillar for the community. She is the definition of a natural born leader, having devoted years and long hours to being the “voice” for the voiceless and ensuring that no one is left behind.

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