Rita Santelli has spent her career transforming creative ideas into innovative, consumer-centric products, programs, and services.
Rita began her career as an internal consultant for Walt Disney World developing growth strategies for the theme park and hotel brands. She then joined Choice Hotels where she held various leadership positions including Brand Leader for their flagship brand, Comfort Inn, and Department Head of Brand Experience. Rita’s responsibilities included brand strategy, product innovation, integrated marketing planning, and franchisee relations.
Following Choice, Rita transitioned to the non-profit sector. She was retained by Rebuilding Together, a leader in safe and healthy housing, to teach marketing seminars to their 200+ affiliates and expand corporate partnerships. At the end of her contract, Rita joined BoardSource, the premier association focused on non-profit governance. Joining BoardSource as VP of Marketing & Communications, Rita was responsible for 60% of the organization's revenue generation, their individual membership program of 10K+ non-profit leaders and their publications arm of nearly 100 titles. She successfully transformed her teams into innovative, creative problem solvers who expanded brand awareness, increased individual membership and reversed declining revenue trends across multiple product lines, including publications.
Today, Rita’s consultancy, SAVVY, partners with forward-thinking leaders to achieve sustained growth through innovation. She offers to consult, speak and train on nurturing the skills, organizing the processes, and building the environment to develop customer-centric, flexible and innovative teams.
Rita earned her MBA from the University of North Carolina’s Kenan-Flagler School of Business and her BA in Economics from Fairfield University. She lives in Hyattsville, Maryland with her husband and their two rescue dogs.