Meet Anita Nuñez Cepollaro, AACRAO’s new Director of Corporate Partnerships

January 11, 2021
  • AACRAO Staff

AACRAO is thrilled to introduce the newest member of our team, Anita Nuñez Cepollaro, Director, Corporate Partnerships. 

Anita is all about building relationships, which shined through during our conversation. If you’re interested in chatting with her about opportunities to partner with AACRAO, email Anita.

“We’re very excited for Anita to join the AACRAO team,” said Tina DeNeen, Associate Executive Director, Meetings & Partnerships. “Her diverse experience and easygoing personality will be invaluable assets, especially as we launch a new and improved corporate partnership program. Anita is enthusiastic, and she's ready to hit the ground running.”

Connect: Welcome to AACRAO! Tell us a little bit about your background. 

Nuñez Cepollaro: I spent the majority of my career in the hospitality industry, working for hotel companies and destinations. For example, as Senior Sales Manager for Visit Baltimore and as Director of Multicultural Sales at Hilton Hotels Worldwide, I learned to take my sales, negotiations, presentation, and people skills from the hospitality industry, selling buildings and cities, and bring all of those skills to selling the mission and vision of a nonprofit organization. I started my sales career 22 years ago and had to face challenging times such as 9/11 and the recession, which really impacted the meetings, travel, and the hotel industry, as well as fundraising.

Connect: How did those challenges prepare you to meet the crises created by COVID?

Nuñez Cepollaro: We had to learn to sell differently. We can’t just call partners and ask them to sponsor a conference without acknowledging their needs. We have to build relationships, make sure our partners know we are willing to invest in them, just as they invest in us. It takes creative thinking and sensitivity to their unique needs so they can see we are committed to the relationship. 

Connect: What are you looking forward to at AACRAO?

Nuñez Cepollaro: I’m really impressed by the longevity of the association — over 100 years old! — and AACRAO’s leadership in higher education. I was an early childhood education major in college so I’m excited to come back to the field of education. Working for an association focused on enhancing the student experience, I feel like I’ve come full circle. 

Connect: What would you like to share with AACRAOans about your life outside of work?

Anita Nuñez Cepollaro's family

Nuñez Cepollaro: Like many other American families, my household is very multicultural and multinational. My parents are from Bolivia, I’m the first American-born in my family, and my husband was born and raised in Naples, Italy. We have two children, in second and third grade, and we work hard to teach them about our different cultures and languages.

Pre-COVID, I was a sports mom — the kids were in baseball, basketball, softball, ballet, soccer. Every season it was a different sport. We love to travel together, bike ride, and go to concerts. Now my family has adjusted to these different times. With all four of us stuck at home together we’ve learned to slow down and find other ways to have fun, which hasn’t always been easy; however, it’s been a huge blessing.