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Marisa Vallbona’s career keeps her in the spotlight

Marisa Vallbona is a four-time Silver Anvil winner (a coveted award in public relations) with world-renowned clients in a variety of industries. In addition to managing her La Jolla-based firm, CIM Incorporated for the last 19 years, Vallbona is a co-founding director of PR Consultants Group Inc., an affiliation of public relations consultants with offices in 32 states.

Vallbona serves on the board of the Coggan Family Aquatic Complex in La Jolla, as well as other professional and community committees and boards. She also serves as ethics officer of the San Diego Chapter of PRSA, professional adviser to the PRSA chapter at San Diego State University, and was most recently co-chair of the 2009 PRSA International Conference.

Vallbona is an avid supporter of the La Jolla High School water polo programs. Her older son, Donald Rayner III, a sophomore at SDSU, played for four years on his high school team, and now her younger son, Timothy Rayner, is on the freshman team.

What brought you to LaJolla?

I fell in love with La Jolla on my first visit to San Diego the year before I moved here in 1988. I attended church here, had a lot of friends here, and wanted my kids to go to school here because La Jolla schools have such stellar reputations. I finally bought a home here in 2001 and the rest is history.

What makes this town special to you?

It’s breathtaking. At every turn there’s something beautiful to see. It also has a small town charm about it because everyone seems to know everyone else and we look out for each other and for each other’s kids. I love that!

If you could snap your fingers and have it done, what might you add, subtract or improve in La Jolla?

I wish I could get rid of the traffic on Torrey Pines Road!

Who or what inspires you?

My sons inspire me. I love their enthusiasm for their future. Nothing is an obstacle to them and it inspires me to continue to see my own life as limitless. I taught them to see life that way, and when I hear them talk enthusiastically, it reminds me to live what I preach to them.

If you hosted a dinner party for eight, whom (living or deceased) would you invite?

Jesus, Einstein, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson and my four grandparents who died before I was born.

Tell us about what you are currently reading.

“Crazy Love” by Francis Chan, a book about God’s amazing love for us, and “Your Best Life Now” by Joel Osteen.

What is your most-prized possession?

My German shepherd, Brisco. I imported him fully trained from Germany. He’s my constant companion.

What do you do for fun?

I love to run with my dog and friends, snow ski, go to movies, try new restaurants, spend time near the ocean, travel (especially to Paris), watch my son play water polo, and spend time with my family.

Please describe your greatest accomplishment.

Raising my two sons mostly as a single mom, and most recently co-chairing the Public Relations Society of America International Conference which hosted more than 3,000 public relations professionals from around the world to San Diego for four days of professional development, keynote speakers and networking.

What is your motto or philosophy of life?

I have been so incredibly blessed in my life and I trust God to direct my life because it has gone so much better than I would have ever imagined for myself at this age. I can sum up my motto with this verse: “From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked.” Luke 12:48.