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Maria Dugandzic-Pasic is the founder of VeraLuca Media.  Maria spent more than 17 years as an award-winning producer covering both international and domestic news for CNN, FOX and ABC. During her 15-year career at CNN, she helped organize the cable network’s editorial coverage and international distribution of many of the biggest and most historic news events since 1995.


In 2013, she was nominated for a Midwest Emmy for her

role as senior producer for the Grannies on Safari

television travel series. 


Her focus areas are strategic planning, publicity 

execution, content production, crisis management,

branded marketing and special event planning.


She has travelled and produced stories in the US, the Middle East, the Balkans, Europe and Latin America and earned a DuPont and Peabody award for CNN’s coverage of Hurricane Katrina and the Southeast Asian Tsunami.

Before leaving CNN, her recent work included a series of stories on “Violence in Chicago”, an Emmy-nominated series for Anderson Cooper’s AC360 and a story on Chicago’s Urban Prep Academy for CNN’s special series Black in America.  Shortly after the Urban Prep story aired, the school received an anonymous $1 million donation. Maria helped manage CNN’s Midwest Bureau based in Chicago and supervised regional and national special projects including the network’s coverage of President Obama’s victory rally in Chicago’s Grant Park.




Midwest Emmy Nomination

Producer, Grannies on Safari

Travel Series on PBS




St. Jerome's: an authentic Chicago Story



Executive Producer, documentary film

They Never Walked Alone



Author, Croatians of Chicagoland

Arcadia Publishing



National Emmy Nomination

“Chicago Violence” CNN’s Anderson Cooper



Peabody Award

CNN Hurricane Katrina Coverage

Senior Producer



DuPont Award

CNN Southeast Asian Tsunami Coverage

Senior Producer

She was a featured speaker for “Chicago Week 2011” hosted by the U.S .Embassy in Zagreb in Croatia to discuss the history and integration of the Croatian diaspora in the Chicagoland area. She has also addressed journalism classes at Loyola University Chicago, Columbia College Chicago and Georgia State University.  Maria worked as a media consultant for the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta and volunteered for the Chicago 2016 Olympic Committee. She has served as an advisor on several community organizations.

Maria’s rolodex is a who’s who of international movers and shakers.  She and her team use it effectively to strategize, launch and pitch concepts, events and stories.


She is a Chicago native and a graduate of Loyola University Chicago.


VeraLuca Media is a strategic public relations and communications firm based in Chicago, Illinois.  The firm provides strategic communications support for a variety of clients using traditional and digital brand awareness targeted for U.S. and international markets.  


The range of consulting services includes: public and media relations, crisis communications, social media management, broadcast/print/radio production, audience engagement, website creation and management, brand management, sponsorship engagement, political campaign consulting, and special event planning and execution.  


The company originally launched in Atlanta, Georgia, with a mission to provide communications strategies to corporate and non-for-profit organizations.  Since then, the founder, Maria Dugandzic-Pasic, has helped a diverse clientele expand brand awareness through print, radio, broadcast and digital platforms. 

In August of 2013, Maria co-authored a book, St. Jerome's, an authentic Chicago story, chronicling a parish and its historic contribution of upholding one of the oldest ethnic traditions in Chicago.  She also produced a landmark map highlighting historic Croatian heritage sites in the Chicagoland area.


In December 2012, Maria produced a documentary, They Never Walked Alone, chronicling the 100-year history of the Croatian parish of St. Jerome in Chicago. The film is one of first to document to story of four generations of Croatian-Americans living in the Chicago area. The film debuted on Chicago’s WTTW, Milwaukee Public Television and the Chicago History Museum.


In 2010, Maria published Croatians of Chicagoland, the first book to chronicle the 170-year history of Croatian immigrants arriving in the Chicagoland area.

Maria invited as on-air guest on Chicago's WTTW, December 2012

Maria invited as on-air guest on Croatian national television, 2011

Maria interviewed via phone on international television outlet, 2011


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