Maria Fischer Millet says business is in her blood. Her father ran a PR agency for more than 25 years in his native Nicaragua before he moved to the United States. So it was only a matter of time before Millet would rise to prominence in the business world. “My parents moved us to the States so we could have a better education and career opportunities—and we have,” she says. Today, she is COO and managing partner of Miami-based 305 Communications, an event-planning business that employs roughly 20 contractors across the country and brings in annual revenue of nearly $500,000.
They wanted me to know I could have my own business, my own dream job, and a great salary.
Though born in Miami, Fischer Millet has taken the lessons of her immigrant parents to heart. When the communists came to Nicaragua, Fischer Millet’s parents were forced to flee. Her father “left his country on asylum with maybe $2,000 to start over,” she says. Watching her father’s success in business—and then the loss of it—became a driving factor in Fischer Millet’s professional pursuits. After studying public relations and marketing, she worked for various agencies and organizations before joining 305 Communications. “In the Latino culture, there’s the idealized version of a stay-at-home mom, but the American part of how I was raised was that my parents wanted me to be independent,” she says. “They wanted me to know I could have my own business, my own dream job, and a great salary.”
Fischer Millet says her culturally diverse upbringing has helped her excel in the business world, especially since 305 Communications works primarily with Latino organizations. “Being bilingual and having an understanding of the culture and their needs, it helps us better serve our client base,” she says. Some of their most prominent clients include the Latino Coalition, which advocates for Latino businesses and consumers, and the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute, which works to educate and empower young Latinos.
Fischer Millet would like to see immigration reform that allows people to access opportunities like the ones she and her parents did. But she’d like the process to be easier and more mindful of keeping families together. “The reason I am where I’m at today is because my parents wanted to better our lifestyle and provide me with opportunity,” she says. “And today, the families that are coming here are doing so to better their lives and their children’s lives. They work crazy hours, they pay their taxes, they are not criminals. Let’s give them a chance, and make it easier for these families to get a green card, or even just apply for work status. We have to take advantage of hard-working people who want to live here, and we have to stop breaking up their families.”