Born and raised in Panama City, Panama, Carolina Huser has always had a strong desire to help others and a passion for bringing out the best in people. As a child, she was constantly involved in a variety of school events and extracurricular activities. Today she carries this forward as a busy volunteer for a wide range of Peoria-area nonprofit organizations and fundraising events.
With a bachelor’s degree in marketing from the State University of New York (SUNY), Huser first came to Peoria in 2010 for a marketing training class at Caterpillar. She recently launched House of Luxe PR, using her knowledge and experience in marketing, PR and media relations as an independent consultant to help her clients reach the right audience.
Among her extensive community involvement, Huser serves as Peoria development director for PAME (Performing Arts Master Classes and Events), a nonprofit organization that teaches kids the art of philanthropy, and was previously a program coordinator at Peoria Friendship House. She is the new VP of special events for Women in Leadership of Central Illinois and a board member for ART Inc., Peoria Art Guild and Greater Peoria YMCA, dedicating her time to helping them fulfill their missions for the greater good.
“Being able to help nonprofit organizations raise the funds they need to keep impacting and inspiring lives in our community,” Huser explains, is her life’s proudest achievement. Besides supporting and hosting philanthropic events, she enjoys salsa dancing and spending time with her two daughters, Isabella, six, and Gigi, four.
- What is your motto? Maya Angelou: “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
- Person who’s had the greatest impact on my life: My grandmother. Her unconditional love to her family and others inspires me daily to keep trying to be the best version of myself—and to always follow my dreams.
- Famous person I’d like to meet: Oprah Winfrey. Her lifelong success is a remarkable example for young girls from different racial backgrounds to know that there are no dreams too big you can’t pursue and accomplish.
- Favorite meal: Anything that Chef Dustin Allen of Edge in Peoria Heights wants to cook for me!
- Favorite smell: I’m obsessed with pumpkin. I literally have a countdown for the first day of fall in all my calendars!
- Favorite vacation spot outside of the U.S. I would love to have time to travel more. But for now, close to my heart is going back once a year to Panama, my country of origin, to show my daughters my roots and experience the cultural difference.
- At what time of the day do you feel your best? After that first sip of coffee, especially if it’s from Zion Coffee Co.
- What’s one thing you’d rather pay somebody to do than do yourself? Probably my biggest guilty pleasure, my hair! My stylist Candice Whitman probably sees me more than my mother.
- If Hollywood made a movie about you, who should play you? Sofía Vergara from Modern Family.
- What’s your idea of perfect happiness? When self-fulfillment is complete by finding gratitude in everything that surrounds you. PM