When the women of the Keys Weekly were tossing around ideas of women to watch under 40, one of the first names that came to mind was Maison Benitez. Not only is she under 40, but she’s under 25 and is more accomplished and professional than many people twice her age. 

But….Why did there have to be a “but?”

Because Maison works in our office, not for the Keys Weekly, but for our sister company, Overseas Media Group (OMG), full service digital marketing agency specializing in website development, digital advertising and social media. Maison was the first social media manager and digital strategist hired by OMG’s COO Annie Briening, and the one she wants to clone as the company continues to grow.

“I manage our social media accounts at OMG, meaning I create content; I develop strategy, meet with clients regularly and post to all their social media accounts,” she said. “This was my dream job. I had started doing social media for a gym I worked at in North Carolina when I was 15 and I loved it.”

She joined OMG when she was still 19 and finishing her bachelor’s degree in communications. “I was working full time and a full-time student, finishing my degree online at Florida International University,” she said. 

But Maison’s personal ambition started long before she joined OMG. She had graduated high school with an associate’s degree. It was a five-year program that she finished in 4 ½ years.

She moved to Key West in December 2019 and interned with the nonprofit Reef Relief, where she handled their social media as well. In May 2020, she took a job at FYT Key West, where she met Briening, who works out there.

“My parents were talking about moving to Fort Myers, and I knew I couldn’t afford to live in Key West with just my gym job. When Annie interviewed me for OMG, it seemed a perfect fit.”

The company’s social media clients include local construction companies, restaurants and resorts. “All of our clients are Keys–based, so we’re more familiar with them and the surrounding community,” she said.

She’s engaged to Damien Sellers and is planning her wedding for January 2023.

(Oh, and did we mention that Maison is also a certified personal trainer? We’re exhausted just writing about her.) 

Q & As

 What would your theme song be? “You Say” by Lauren Daigle

What superpower would you choose? Teleportation 

What calms your mind after a long day? Working out on my porch with good music. 

What show did you last binge watch? “Stranger Things”

What three things would you have to bring with you if you were stranded on a deserted island? A book, water, and a knife. 

What’s your go-to birthday dinner? Italian food or steak.

Morning person or a night owl? Morning person 

What makes you laugh, no matter what? Impersonations or being tickled. 

Best piece of advice you’ve been given? When people tell you who they are, believe them.

Surround yourself with people who free up their time to see you, not only see you on their free time. 

Who is the most inspirational person in your life and why? Both of my parents. They have taught me great life lessons of being a hard worker and have been examples of what a loving relationship looks like. I am still constantly learning from them and go to them for advice when needed. 

Favorite smell? Warm vanilla or baking sweets in the oven.  

Would you rather be trapped in a building with no way out or lost at sea? Lost at sea

What item do you already have too many of, but can’t help but keep buying? Workout clothes 

Puppies or kittens? Puppies

Most badass moment in your life so far. Receiving my bachelor’s degree at 20 years old. 

What’s the last lie you told? Saying “I’m good” when asked if I need help. 

Best compliment you’ve ever received? That I’m mature for my age or well beyond my age

What’s your favorite word? What word makes your skin crawl when you hear it? Faves:  Empowerment, Intentional, Gratitude  Worst: Roaches 

Mandy Miles drops stuff, breaks things and falls down more than any adult should. An award-winning writer, reporter and columnist, she's been stringing words together in Key West since 1998. "Local news is crucial," she says. "It informs and connects a community. It prompts conversation. It gets people involved, holds people accountable. The Keys Weekly takes its responsibility seriously. Our owners are raising families in Key West & Marathon. Our writers live in the communities we cover - Key West, Marathon & the Upper Keys. We respect our readers. We question our leaders. We believe in the Florida Keys community. And we like to have a good time." Mandy's married to a saintly — and handy — fishing captain, and can't imagine living anywhere else.