Marisa Diaz-Waian, is the Founder & Executive Director of Merlin CCC. Born in Santa Monica, CA, she spent the majority of her formative years along the coastlines of Southern & Northern California. As she grew older Ennis, Bozeman & Helena, MT became regular stomping grounds. Her summers were frequently spent fly fishing, bird watching & “wandering into the great wide open” with her late father (and buddy), Lee. B. Waian. An active member of the Helena community, Marisa happily “hangs her hat” at Merlin Nature Preserve (located just outside of Helena) & serves as its trustee and steward.
Conscientious, versatile & hardworking, Marisa is adept in a wide-range of areas, including: operations & strategy, philosophy (theoretical/applied), marketing, academic research & technical writing, community outreach, philosophical counseling, elder care, scholarly publications, and editorial services. She is also skilled in project & tour management and event coordination and has worked with several well-known organizations, including: Natural Resources Conservation Services, 19/Starcom Entertainment, American Idol, U.S. Department of Agriculture, U.S. Forest Service, ESPN Bassmasters & The Nature Conservancy.
The first person to introduce me to philosophy was my poppa. We would spend hours talking shop — holding ideas up against the light of reason, taking them apart & putting them back together again…having fun exploring the terrain. But it was more than just that. My father was a man who put his (& others’) ideas to the test…who walked the walk….and who showed me (by virtue of who he was) that thought & action (must) go hand-in-hand…That talk (thought, feeling) is not enough…we must also strive to do & be. Over the years, the philosophy-seeds that he & countless others in my life have helped to sow & nurture, took shape…ultimately resulting in the formation of Merlin CCC. I am grateful and elated to be part of such an amazing process…and feel passionately about the power of philosophy to transform & inspire in each of us…grace, humility, beauty & strength.
A Summa Cum Laude graduate of San Diego State University, Marisa has an M.A. in Philosophy (and a B.A. in Psychology & Philosophy), was a high school & collegiate scholar-athlete & civilian member of the U.S. Marine Core (Camp Pendleton) Women’s Basketball Team. An active figure in the philosophical (research) community, Marisa has published numerous articles in peer-reviewed journals, regularly participates/presents at academic & professional conferences and events & has received a myriad of scholastic & community awards. She also holds credentials in basic & elder mediation, advanced-status philosophical practitioner credentials in Logic-Based Therapy (esp. in re to grief, death & dying), serves as a referee for The Journal of Ethics: An International Philosophical Review, is an executive assistant (and trainer) for the U.S. LBT Institute of Critical Thinking & the National Philosophical Counseling Association, and an Adjunct Philosophy Instructor at Carroll College in Helena, MT.
Marisa’s unique capabilities & life experience, personable demeanor, great sense of humor, and unyielding dedication to giving back to the world in ways that matter, make her the perfect fit for our organization. A lover of philosophy, reading, learning, music, art, sports, nature and “all things wild & free,” she is an invaluable leader & player on the Merlin CCC team. To view Marisa’s cv/bio click here.
Marisa can be reached at [email protected] or #406-439-5788 (Cell) or #406-204-0064 (Office).