Marianna was raised in the New York City area. She received a Bachelor of Arts from BYU in English Literature, an Master of Science in special education from Johns Hopkins University, and an EdD from Seattle Pacific University in curriculum and instruction doing research in cross-cultural motivation. She has taught at BYU as an adjunct professor and is currently serving as Director of Communications for the G20 Interfaith Forum. Marianna is married to Steve Richardson and has 12 children and 29 grandchildren. She and her husband served presiding over the Brazil Sao Paulo South Mission from 2008-2011.