Mara was born and raised in Santa Rosa, and was volunteering at Sonoma County hospitals at the age of 14. In college, she trained as an EMT, ER tech and phlebotomist, working as a circulatory technician in orthopedic surgery and organ transplants and as a medical assistant prior to beginning her nursing career. She holds a BA in Integrative Biology from UC Berkeley, a BS in Nursing, and a Masters degree in Nursing with a Family Practice Medicine specialty, earning induction into the Sigma Theta Tau Nursing Honor Society. She is experienced in Urgent Care, Primary Care, and Community Health medicine, but her passion is educating and energizing the community about nutrition, exercise, and healthy lifestyles. She serves as a medic with the American Red Cross Medical Disaster Services and Sonoma County Medical Reserve Corps, and is a member of the Physical Activity Subcommittee of the Community Action and Nutrition Coalition of Sonoma County. In her spare time Mara enjoys training for and participating in triathlons, hiking and camping, enjoying an active, outdoor life. She and her husband (also a Sonoma County native) enjoy life with their dog Gabriel.