2024 HMC STRATEGIC EXCELLENCE AWARDS JURY

Grand Jury

MARISSA SOLIS
_______________________

PRESIDENT OF THE JURY
Senior Vice President of Global Brand & Consumer Marketing
National Football League (NFL)

VERONICA ELIZONDO
━━━━━━━━━━━━
Chief Creative Officer
Conill

UMI PATEL
━━━━━━━━━━━━
Vice President of Consumer Strategy and Insights
PepsiCo Beverages North America

EMMA VÉLEZ-LÓPEZ
_______________________

Senior Manager, Brand & Advertising Metro
T-Mobile

IVAN CALLE
━━━━━━━━━━━━
Vice President & Executive Creative Director
Zubi

Impactful Multicultural Research Jury

ALVIN MATHEW
_______________________

Consumer & Business Insights & Analytics Director
Haleon (GSK)

GERRY LOREDO
_______________________

Director, Research and Analytics 
Lopez Negrete Communications

DANA SPARBER
━━━━━━━━━━━━
Vice President of Insights and Research
NBCUniversal Advertising & Partnerships

ROY EDUARDO KOKOYACHUK
━━━━━━━━━━━━
Co-Founder & Principal
ThinkNow

Best Hispanic Cultural Insight Jury

CHRISTINE HASBUN
_______________________
Vice President, North America Consumer Planning
Diageo

MARIALEJANDRA URBINA
━━━━━━━━━━━━
Chief Strategy Officer
Dieste

CAMILA GODOY
━━━━━━━━━━━━
Multicultural Strategy Senior Lead
GEICO

KRISTEN SABINA
_______________________

Director of Strategy and Planning
MARCA Miami

EMMA VÉLEZ-LÓPEZ
_______________________

Senior Manager, Brand & Advertising Metro
T-Mobile

Impact on Innovation Jury

NICOLE PRESTON
_______________________
Head of Latino and International Brands
DISH Network

JOCELYN WANG
━━━━━━━━━━━━
Head of Multicultural Marketing & Corporate Branding
Genesis Motor America

UMI PATEL
━━━━━━━━━━━━
Vice President of Consumer Strategy and Insights
PepsiCo Beverages North America

Mainstream Impact Jury

ANGEL BELLON
_______________________

Vice President, Head of Cultural Intelligence
The Community

JEMILLY CASTRO
━━━━━━━━━━━━
Vice President of Strategy
Remezcla

CHRISTINE HASBUN
_______________________

Vice President, North America Consumer Planning
Diageo

Shopper AND/OR Experiential Impact Jury

LOUIS MALDONADO
_______________________

Partner, Managing Director
d expósito & partners

CRISTINA GALLIGARIS
_______________________

Senior Vice President, Client Strategy & Growth
Loud And Live

LUPE DE LOS SANTOS
━━━━━━━━━━━━
Senior Brand Manager, North America, Multicultural Media 
Procter & Gamble

TALIA LEON-VILLANUEVA
_______________________

Senior Director of Multicultural Commercial Strategy
Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits

Media Connections & Content Strategy Impact Jury

MARIA (LOPEZ) TWENA
_______________________

Chief Marketing Officer
Adsmovil

VERONICA HERNANDEZ
━━━━━━━━━━━━
Product Manager, Inclusion Analytics
Nielsen

MICHAEL ROCA
_______________________

Executive Director of Elevate 
Omnicom Media Group

Content Creator & Consumer Engagement Strategy Jury

NORA DE LA ROSA
_______________________

Director of Brand & Digital Marketing
Buff City Soap

TONY HERNANDEZ
━━━━━━━━━━━━
Filmmaker, Author and Creator 
Immigrant Archive Project (IAP)

LAURA GUERRERO
_______________________

Director of Content & Influencer Marketing, Amplification
Sensis

Creative Ingenuity Jury

NICKY LORENZO
_______________________

Senior Vice President & Executive Creative Director
305 Worldwide

VERONICA ELIZONDO
━━━━━━━━━━━━
Chief Creative Officer
Conill

LUCAS PANIZZA
━━━━━━━━━━━━
Executive Creative Director
Creyentes

IVAN CALLE
━━━━━━━━━━━━
Vice President & Executive Creative Director
Zubi

Pro-Bono Jury

TANIA SANJURO
━━━━━━━━━━━━
Campaign Director
Ad Council

CHENIER TAYLOR
_______________________

NHCI Lead Portfolio Advisor 
American Heart Association

MANUEL OLIVER
_______________________

Activist/Co-Founder
CHANGE THE REF

Senior Vice President of Global Brand & Consumer Marketing at National Football League

Marissa is a magnetic business leader with over 25 years of expertise in business consulting, CPG, Retail, and Sports marketing.  Currently, Marissa leads all global brand and consumer marketing initiatives for the NFL including all national advertising, both traditional and digital media initiatives, in-stadium marketing, and new fan development.  

A graduate of Georgetown University with a B.S. in International Economics and the University of Texas at Austin with an M.A. in Public Policy, she began her career in brand management at Procter & Gamble Latin America where she led marketing for brands like Ariel, Downy, and Pampers in Central America and the Caribbean.

Marissa spent a few years at Deloitte Consulting as a management consultant, leading  change initiatives and communication consulting for Public Sector clients. She also spent time as a political consultant contributing to the communication strategies of key  campaigns in Texas and Mexico.  In 2003, she took a role in marketing at Pepsico’s Frito Lay North America Division.  During her 18-year tenure at Pepsico, Marissa led numerous brand marketing initiatives and national campaigns for globally renowned food and beverage brands like Doritos and Pepsi and also held roles in shopper marketing and sales for key PepsiCo retail customers like Walmart, Target, and Costco. In 2017, Marissa led the creation of a cross functional Hispanic Business Unit – the first of its kind – winning Industry Recognition for work to engage Latinos in key brand initiatives.  She went on to lead marketing for brands at Frito Lay North America, including the coveted relationship with the NFL, and won several Reggies, Sports Clios, and a Grand Prix Cannes Lion for her work on Cheetos, Doritos and Tostitos brands.  In 2021 Marissa was recognized by Adweek as one of the Most Powerful Women in Sports for elevating the football watching occasion with the NFL and Frito Lay partnership and in 2023 Marissa and her team won a Sports Emmy for the “She Runs It” Superbowl campaign featuring star flag football player Diana Flores.

In addition to her full time marketing position, Marissa serves on the Board of Directors of Consolidated Communications, a leading broadband and business communications provider serving wireless and wireline customers across rural and metro communities. She is a new member of the Board of Directors of AIMM – Alliance for Inclusive and Multicultural Marketing. She also serves as a board member on the North Texas Chapter of the Make a Wish Foundation and The Melville Family Foundation, an organization dedicated to improving the lives of minority children in Dallas.  She has a third degree black belt in Tae Kwon Do and resides in McKinney, Texas with her husband Juan and 18-year-old daughter Gabriela.

Chief Creative Officer at Conill

With over 20 years of experience in advertising and design, Veronica utilizes her passion for great ideas and visual language to inspire teams to create memorable and noteworthy campaigns. Currently, she is the Chief Creative Officer at Conill Saatchi & Saatchi, where she oversees the Toyota account in addition to actively participating in new business initiatives. Her performance at Conill has been crucial in helping the agency garner various awards, including “Hispanic Agency of the Year” by Ad Age and the first Lion at Cannes. She was also part of the team that helped establish the new office in Dallas, TX. Veronica’s experience encompasses several brands and categories, including Burger King, Nationwide, Reliant, Fidelity, T-Mobile, Alaska Airlines, Aflac, Budweiser, and Nestlé Coffee-Mate.

Her work has won awards at the most renowned advertising festivals,namely Cannes Lions, D&AD, Clio, One Show, FIAP, El Sol, Ad AgeHispanic Awards,  , and Effies. Digiday also named her one of the “5 Hispanic shop creatives you need to know.” She has participated as a judge in various festivals: El Sol, WAVE, the U.S.H. Hispanic Awards, FePI, ANA Multicultural, and Radio Mercury
Awards.

Her hometown of Monterrey, Mexico, is where Veronica began her career and developed graphic design and corporate identity projects for both national and international brands. After spending a summer in Milan, Italy, Veronica enrolled in a graphic advertising course and moved to Miami, where she completed her art director portfolio.

Senior Manager, Brand & Advertising Metro at T-Mobile

Emma is an award-winning Marketing expert with experience in Fortune 50 companies from Puerto Rico to NY for over 20 years. She has led teams in successful full funnel advertising campaigns for the entertainment and telco industries in both the agency and client side. Today, Emma heads the Metro by T-Mobile Brand & Advertising team for T-Mobile developing work for both GM & Hispanic segments at a National and Local level. From Above the line to Below the line storytelling, she strives to lead bringing to life insightful creative that drives company growth. Emma is a proud native of San Juan Puerto Rico, the Communications chair of T-Mobile’s Eleva Network Hispanic ERG, a member of the AMA, an avid sponsor of the arts with memberships to the MoMa & the Whitney Museum and a recurring donor to the ACLU, OXFAM, and the Hispanic Federation.  On her time off, you will find her planning her next travel experience or Theater show visit with friends and family.

Vice President of Consumer Insights & Analytics at PepsiCo Beverages North America

Umi is the Vice President of Consumer Insights & Analytics of Pepsi Beverages North America, where she leads a cross functional team to drive the consumer agenda across the PBNA’s beverage portfolio. Umi has been with PepsiCo for 16 years in a variety of Marketing roles across North America Beverages, Food Service Division & Global Snacks (Walkers, UK).  Prior to her current role, she was most recently the VP of PBNA’s North Division, where she led a purposeful consumer & commercial agenda aimed at strengthening the understanding/empathy for local consumers across the 8 North Division markets as well as local Foodservice and Retail customers. Prior to working on the division CMO role, Umi led Strategy and Innovation for Mountain DEW, worked on the AMP Energy brand and led advertising and communications across Brand Pepsi, working on major music, entertainment and sports platforms such as Grammy’s, Oscars and VMAs to name a few.

Prior to PepsiCo, Umi was at InBev for 8 years, where she led marketing efforts for import beer brands including Stella Artois, Lowenbrau and Labatt Blue.

Umi lives in NYC with her husband, Amit, and their two son’s Avi (6) and Sid (4). Outside of the office, Umi enjoys running, cooking and spending most of her free time exploring the world.

 

Vice President & Executive Creative Director at Zubi

Ivan comes from Colombia were he graduated as an Industrial Designer and worked in that industry for 2 years. He moves to the States and landed in Atlanta where he studied English and started an MBA focusing on marketing at Georgia Tech University only to find out that his passion wasn’t there but in Advertising. He pursued a 2 year program at Portfolio Center, a very well know and respect program among the industry.

After he finished the program, he landed a job at Young & Rubicam where he worked for the Latino American Market as well as the general market.

After 4 years he decided to move to Bates where he become a senior art director, working for the network, in conjunction with the Latin American agencies.

Then the Hispanic blood made the call and he started working at Zubi, where he found the perfect marriage between his two loves, being Latino and Advertising.

Consumer & Business Insights & Analytics Director at Haleon (GSK)

Alvin is currently a Consumer Insights Director at Haleon (formerly GSK Consumer Healthcare), where he leads his team in uncovering deep human understanding to drive organizational strategy, marketing activation and innovation. He also has a passion in advancing foundational knowledge and capabilities specific to DE&I. He is an integral part of the organization’s capability building as it relates to Cultural Maturity & Fluency, leading the insights department in modernizing their toolkit to better reflect the fabric of today’s US population.

Alvin has extensive experience in consumer insights, having held various positions of increasing responsibilities and leadership at Pfizer Consumer Healthcare, Johnson & Johnson, and PepsiCo. A native New Yorker of Indian descent, Alvin currently lives in New Jersey with his family.

Director, Research and Analytics at Lopez Negrete Communications

Gerry has extensive client and agency-side experience in strategic planning, brand management and consumer research. He brings a highly disciplined and fact-based approach to the LNC Research & Analytics team. He has extensive experience using research and data to uncover insights and use consumer knowledge to underpin marketing strategy. Gerry is a native speaker of both English and Spanish. Gerry received his BA from Northwestern University and also holds an MBA from the University of Virginia.

Vice President of Insights and Research at NBCUniversal Advertising & Partnerships

Dana serves as Vice President of Insights and Research. In this role, Dana evaluates innovative measurement solutions and delivers thought provoking consumer insights with a focus on serving multicultural audiences across NBCUniversal’s One Platform. With more than 25 years in TV and digital media advertising, spanning both nascent businesses and large global corporations, Dana transforms data into actionable, insightful narratives and presents them in an impactful way for consumers.

Prior to joining NBCUniversal in 2020, Dana held similar research posts at FOX and Univision. She also worked on the product side at Nielsen in the early development of mobile audience measurement solutions. Dana is an active member of the ARF Cultural Effectiveness Council. She studied TV & Radio Communications and Marketing at CUNY Brooklyn College and currently resides in New York City.

Co-Founder and Principal at ThinkNow

Before co-founding ThinkNow, Roy held executive leadership positions at Warner Bros. and Garcia Research Associates, successfully launching Garcia’s online market research program and opening several market research operation centers in the U.S. and Mexico. Roy has conducted ground-breaking studies on cultural values and advertising effectiveness as well as a series of widely cited white papers on multicultural Millennials and Gen Z consumers.

In 2009, he initiated the creation of the first nationally representative opt-in online market research panel of U.S. Hispanics by developing new panel recruitment and sampling strategies focused on Spanish-speaking Hispanics. Companies such as Honda, Target and Meta as well as Government Agencies such as the U.S. Army, The Center for Disease Control, The FDA, and their Ad Agencies seek out Roy’s expertise to help craft their multicultural consumer messaging.

Roy holds a BA in Communications from the Annenberg School at USC, an MBA in Marketing from The Cal State Los Angeles College of Business and Economics and post-graduate Certificate in Business Management from the UCLA Anderson School of Business.

Vice President, North America Consumer Planning at Diageo

Christine heads up Consumer Planning for North America at Diageo, where she oversees the organization’s Consumer Insight, Foresight, Brand Building, and Brand Strategy functions. Christine leads a team of diverse strategy and intelligence professionals who look after category, brand and portfolio growth opportunities in current and future state.

With over two decades of brand-building experience, Christine has held Global and Regional strategic leadership roles for many iconic brands and a diverse set of categories, including alcoholic beverages, consumer packaged goods, automotive, health care and finance.

Prior to joining Diageo in January 2020, Christine led the consumer and brand strategy discipline at leading marketing and communications agencies, including Universal McCann, Saatchi & Saatchi, and Arnold NYC. During this time, she successfully built high-performance teams, and implemented leading-edge strategic products and services to help drive outstanding business results.

Originally from Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, Christine spent the early years of her career in Puerto Rico. She moved to New York in 2006 and, since then, calls it home.

Chief Strategy Officer at Dieste

Marialejandra has over 30 years of experience building brand strategies in advertising. For the past 19 years, she has been the head of planning, leading teams across Latin America and the USA. She holds a master’s degree in Social Anthropology and is a dedicated learner. Currently, she is expanding her knowledge of the U.S. multicultural market at Dieste. Marialejandra’s exceptional work has been recognized by the most prestigious international awards in strategy and effectiveness, including the IPA Grand Prix, Jay Chiat Grand Prix, and Cannes Lions.

Inclusive Marketing Senior Lead at GEICO

Camila is a business-minded inclusive marketing leader with a knack for generating business growth. Her expertise lies in winning untapped markets, gaining buy-in, and using customer centricity to increase conversion. Some of her biggest wins include increasing GEICO’s market share with the Hispanic audience by 6 points, increasing conversion rates with this audience by 15 pts, and discovering new markets that generated 30% more inquiries than anticipated. Currently, Camila serves as GEICO’s Inclusive Marketing Lead. She is responsible of leading the insurer’s marketing strategy with all diverse segments.

Director of Strategy and Planning at MARCA Miami

Over the last decade Kristen has primarily focused her career in the Hispanic marketing space, with a profound interest in the unique cultural experience of Latinos living in the United States and the varying influences impacting their everyday lives.

She has led strategic development for top brands like DishLATINO, Rocket Mortgage and Subway, with experience in a wide range of other categories such as CPG, Retail, and Travel. During her time at MARCA, she has received recognitions such as the Culture Account Planning Excellence Award’s Best Cultural Insight and HMC’s Best Hispanic Insight award.

She is also a proud Miami native, with Cuban-American roots and a front row seat to the ever evolving face of Latinos in the United States.

Head of Latino and International Brands at DISH Network

Nicole is a seasoned, award-winning, brand and Hispanic marketer with more than 15 years’ experience and specialization in Hispanic and multicultural initiatives. Nicole currently leads Latino and International brands at DISH Network. Nicole has managed and led DishLATINO for almost 10 years, leading the brand to preference among the target consumer, and leading the team to win numerous Hispanic Marketing awards. Nicole owns the relationship with brand spokesperson, Eugenio Derbez, and directs all brand strategy, creative production, and integrated marketing campaigns and execution across brand, acquisition and retention. Beginning in 2021, Nicole’s role expanded to lead Latino-focused efforts across all brands at DISH Network, including Latino and International brands on Sling TV, and Hispanic communication strategy for Boost Mobile. Nicole spearheaded and launched Boost Mobile’s inaugural partnership and campaign with Eugenio Derbez in 2023, and will lead its refresh in 2024.

Prior to DISH Network, Nicole worked at Nestlé USA in the Emerging Markets Division/International Brands Division on both the NIDO and Nescafé brands. As a bilingual and bicultural Colorado native of Colombian descent, Nicole hails from Littleton, Colorado, and currently resides in Denver, CO (after a 12-year journey living across California, including the Bay Area, San Diego and Los Angeles). Nicole enjoys spending time with her family and friends, traveling internationally, listening to Latino music, cooking, and being outdoors in beautiful Colorado as much as possible.

 

Head of Multicultural Marketing & Corporate Branding at Genesis Motor America

Joz, in her role as the Head of Multicultural Marketing and Corporate Branding for Genesis Motor America, leverages her extensive expertise to drive initiatives targeting diverse audiences and enhance the overall corporate brand strategy. She plays a pivotal role in growing the Genesis brand in a dynamic and inclusive manner. Joz’s leadership reflects a commitment to fostering connections with a wide range of communities in the luxury automotive space. Her prior experience includes various roles with brands such as Nissan, INFINITI, Nielsen, and The Walt Disney Company.

Vice President, Head of Cultural Intelligence at The Community

Angel lead Publicis Groupe’s Cultural Intelligence Hub for Walmart, an advisory center that provides always-on research & insights to inform brand strategy, creative campaigns, experiential marketing, merchant strategy, store experience, DE&I initiatives and associate engagement programs.

As a hybrid cultural anthropologist + strategist, Angel has spent his 15+ year career as a transformational change agent advising the Fortune 500 on how to create culture-forward advertising & marketing communications at organizations like Paramount Global and VaynerMedia to name a few.

Being both Hispanic and a member of the LGBTQ+ community, Angel believes in ‘paying it forward’ to inspire the next generation of professionals and making the industry a more equitable one. He has shared his insights at ANA’s Multicultural Marketing & Diversity Conference, ANA’s Alliance for Inclusive & Multicultural Marketing, The United Nations, The Department of Defense and several other industry conferences, panels and podcasts.

Angel holds a Master’s in Media Studies from The New School and is a frequent guest lecturer at The University of Southern California (USC).

Vice President of Strategy at Remezcla

Jemilly is a seasoned brand strategist with a background in consumer, cultural, media, shopper, experiential and multicultural strategy. Approaching life with continuous curiosity, asking why has become second nature to her, and understanding human behavior as a hobby.

Throughout her 22-year career in marketing, she has developed Media and Brand Strategy plans for State Farm, Ford, American Airlines, SCJ, Smucker’s, Chevy, Anheuser-Busch, Capital One, Target, Marriott, Oscar Mayer, Coca-Cola & Beam Suntory brands.
Passionate about creating empathy-driven brand experiences, using analytics, consumer insights, cultural knowledge & trends to drive resonance, innovation, and engagement for a brand and its target audience.

Born and raised in Puerto Rico, she left immediately after her High School graduation to explore and live in places different from her upbringing. First to Milwaukee, then Miami, Austin, and now to Chicago, where winter tests her resolve yearly.

Partner, Managing Director at d expósito & partners

Louis is an accomplished marketing strategist and communications professional that specializes in Hispanic and multicultural marketing, advertising, content creation and communications. At d expósito & Partners, Louis leads cross-functional teams for several key client accounts, leveraging his deep expertise in branding, insights and strategy, public relations and grassroots outreach to develop breakthrough campaigns that effectively connect with the increasingly diverse multicultural communities across the U.S.

His work has been recognized with several awards in marketing, advertising and content creation circles, including the North American Effie, David Ogilvy Award, the Emmy, the Hispanic Marketing Council Strategic Excellence Awards, among others. Louis holds an MBA from Indiana University, and he has served as guest lecturer at reputable universities, including NYU, Columbia, Fordham, Duke and others.

Senior Vice President, Client Strategy & Growth at Loud And Live

As the Senior Vice President of Client Strategy and Growth at Loud And Live, a marketing and entertainment company, Cristina manages relationships with existing clients while leading the expansion and fostering of strategic partnerships.

With over 20 years of experience in experiential marketing, Cristina is skilled and experienced in all facets.  Cristina has been involved in the conception, planning, production, execution and evaluation of high-profile marketing programs and events for regional and national clients such as McDonald’s, Amazon, Walmart, Major League Baseball, and Telemundo for both multicultural and general market audiences.

At Loud And Live, Cristina manages a team of over 20 marketing professionals that help clients and brand partners thrive in the experiential world. 

 

Senior Brand Manager, North America, Multicultural Media at Procter & Gamble

Lupe is considered an expert in Multicultural Marketing with over 25 years of experience working in the US Hispanic Marketing space. He currently helps lead Procter and Gamble’s US Hispanic and Asian American Pacific Islander marketing efforts in areas such as media planning and buying, creative, influencer marketing, shopper marketing and other areas for P&G brands like Pampers, Old Spice, Secret, Swiffer, etc.

In addition to his “day job”, he served on the Board of Directors of a non-profit organization that provides free legal immigration & housing services in Northern CA called “Centro Legal de la Raza” which he still supports today and is actively involved in Procter and Gamble’s US Hispanic Citizenship platform called Capitanes del Futuro whose goal is to create career opportunities for Latino youth.

Throughout his career, he has been recognized within the industry for his work by publications such as Brand Week & Promo Magazine. He was recognized by Brand Innovators as a “40 under 40” top brand marketer and has proven himself as a great “connector” in the industry. He is “THE” go to go guy when it comes to anything dealing with Multicultural Marketing. If he can’t help you get the job done, he is bound to know someone who can.

Senior Director of Multicultural Commercial Strategy at Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits

Having spent the last 20 years developing multicultural business strategies and plans with Fortune 500 brands such as The Home Depot, JCPenney, Darden Brands, DISH, to name a few, Talia recognizes the importance and value of culture as a strategy for connecting to diverse consumers.

As the Senior Director of Multicultural Strategy of the Multicultural Center of Excellence, she educates on population shifts, consumption trends, and cultural influences within the adult beverage category to drive business development for suppliers and retailers. Talia also runs the Diverse-owned Brands Program at Southern Glazer’s, offering a platform to champion awareness and acquisition of Hispanic, Black, AAPI, Woman, and Veteran-owned brands.

Before joining Southern Glazer’s in 2019, Talia held various Marketing and Advertising positions with a diverse portfolio of clients, across many industries, all focused on reaching multicultural consumers.  Talia holds various positions on Southern Glazer’s business resource groups. She is honored to be a founding member and Marketing Director of Caregivers’ CAN and CHEERS to Las Raices, where she’s committed to DEI efforts, further guiding people on the value of culture in everything we do.

When Talia isn’t helping to educate peers and suppliers on the multicultural opportunity, she’s educating her two children on the importance of passion, discipline, and team spirit on the fields, cooking her favorite Puerto Rican and Ecuadorian dishes, and dancing Waltz, Tango, Foxtrot, Rumba, Swing and Cha-cha in national competitions!

Chief Marketing Officer at Adsmovil

Maria (Lopez) Twena serves as Chief Marketing Officer of Adsmovil, a Hispanic first, digital media company.

An award-winning marketer with extensive expertise in technology, digital media, and branding, Twena has over thirty years of marketing acumen. Prior to joining Adsmovil she served as CMO of Entravision Communications and as CMO of Pulpo Media.

Widely recognized for her expertise in branding, positioning, and multicultural consumer segments, Twena’s accolades include receiving the ADCOLOR Award (2009) for her groundbreaking achievement in identifying, segmenting, and targeting bilingual/bicultural Hispanics while at MRM (McCann Worldgroup). There, she founded a discipline that developed Best Practices for advertising to the Hispanic bilingual/bicultural cohort.

She has served as a Board Member of the Association of Hispanic Advertising Agencies and as a faculty member of the Association of National Advertisers (ANA). Twena holds a B.A. Psychology and an M.A. in Mass Communications, with a specialty in Film and Television.

She has also authored a children’s book and video series: MariVi, the Master Navigator, which follows its heroine, MariVi, a bilingual/bicultural character, and her family, the Abascals, as they adapt to life in the U.S. The first episode of the MariVi television series can be seen  on Nuestra.TV.

 

Product Manager, Inclusion Analytics at Nielsen

Veronica is a product leader and founder of Gracenote’s Inclusion Analytics (GIA) which measures representation within content. As a DEIA leader at Gracenote, she supports the company’s inclusion strategy.

Before joining Nielsen, Veronica was a researcher at the Geena Davis Institute, a leading non-profit and advocacy group focusing on increasing representation in media. She was named one of the Imagen Foundation’s Most Powerful and Influential Latinos in Entertainment in 2022 and the 2021 ARF Young Pro of the Year. She is a UC Berkeley PPIA Fellow and holds an Urban and Environmental Policy degree from Occidental College. Veronica was born and raised in South East Los Angeles.

Executive Director of ELEVATE at Omnicom Media Group

As Executive Director of ELEVATE at Omnicom Media Group, Michael Roca advocates for a more equitable media and marketing ecosystem by highlighting the business imperative of engaging diverse segments.  He has also helped marketers such as Diageo, Google, and P&G diversify the mix of their media partnerships by shining a light on the capabilities of diverse owned, operated, and targeted media.  He has a proven track record of success in building culturally relevant and effective media strategies that drive brand growth and loyalty among diverse segments.

He holds a BA in Communications from St. John’s University and an MBA from Nova Southeastern University.  Michael also advances DE&I causes on the corporate front as the executive sponsor of OMG’s Hispanic/Latin BRG while also sitting on the board of directors of the Hispanic Alliance for Career Enhancement (HACE), Hispanic Marketing Council (HMC), and the advisory councils of the Hispanic Scholarship Fund (HSF), and the Center for Hispanic Marketing Communication at Florida State Univiersity.

Michael resides in America’s most vibrant and eclectic city, Miami, with his wife and their three children.

Director of Brand & Digital Marketing at Buff City Soap

Filmmaker, Author and Creator at Immigrant Archive Project (IAP)

Tony Hernandez is a filmmaker, author and the creator of the Immigrant Archive Project (IAP) – the nation’s leading oral history project on the modern immigrant experience. Established in 2008, the IAP has documented thousands of stories, received a number of national awards and most recently it was added to the archives of the U.S. Library of Congress.

Tony is also the President and CEO of Latino Broadcasting Company, a leading multiplatform content provider specializing in Latino targeted programming. Prior to launching LBC in 1996, Mr. Hernandez served as Vice President and General Manager of ESPN Latin America and Vice President of CBS Radio Networks.

Tony was born in Havana, Cuba. His personal immigrant experience began on November 17th, 1967 when together with his parents he immigrated to the United States.

 

Director of Content & Influencer Marketing, Amplification at Sensis

As the Director of Content & Influencer Marketing at Sensis, the largest independently minority owned multicultural agency in the United States, Laura is responsible for the strategy and execution of influencer campaigns across all offices and clients. In addition, she oversees content, social media and digital efforts for all clients to ensure an integrated digital presence. She launched the COVID-19 State Awareness influencer campaign with the California Department of Public Health in the fall of 2020 which wrapped up in 2023 and resulted in over 400 influencer partnerships and1,500 pieces of engaging content across all platforms.

Some of her clients during her three years at Sensis include PAMA Liqueur, USC Credit Union, California Community Colleges, Reading Partners, Chef Merito, CA Recycle, California DMV, UnidosUS, California Realtors Association, and more.

Prior to Sensis, she worked at various national public relations firms, managing all influencer and celebrity partnerships and national public relations campaigns for hospitality, consumer lifestyle brands, and events including Colgate, Casper, AWAY Lugagge, This Bar Saves Lives, Colourpop, Cameo, Art of Elysium Gala, Gold Meets Golden, Patrick Ta Beauty, 1 Hotels, The Sixty Hotels, and more. She has over 7 years of experience and her expertise lies in targeted celebrity wrangling, product seeding, event management, and brand recognition through focused talent and media outreach.

Laura holds a bachelor’s degree in Communication Studies and Public Relations from California State University, Northridge.

Senior Vice President & Executive Creative Director at 305 Worldwide

Nicky is a Senior Vice President, Executive Creative Director and writer currently sharing her leadership at 305Worldwide, NY. With over 19 years of experience in the ad agency world, she enjoys working on global campaigns where ideas transcend language and tap into human truths. Nicky has flexed her creativity on iconic brands such as Pfizer, L’oreal, SC Johnson, IKEA, Lenovo, Verizon, Wendy’s, Guinness, & AIG, to name a few. She’s multi-cultural, multi-faceted, and genuinely a lover of all things marketing.

Executive Creative Director at CREYENTES

Lucas is the Executive Creative Director of CREYENTES, the latino sister agency of We Believers. Previously, he held the same role at We Believers.

He has over 20 years of experience leading teams at top creative agencies. A native of Argentina, Lucas carved a name for himself in the industry, laying the foundations for a career that brought him to NYC in 2015. His expertise extends to global campaigns, LaTam, and both US and Hispanic markets.

His vast experience provides him with a unique lens, enabling smooth transitions across diverse markets. His work has been recognized at every major industry festival.

Campaign Director at Ad Council

Tania is a seasoned marketing and advertising professional with more than 15 years of experience in the general, US Hispanic and Latin America markets. Currently she is a Campaign Director at the Ad Council working alongside a cross-functional team to bring national and multicultural mental health PSA campaigns to life as part of the Ad Council’s unprecedented multiyear initiative to address the mental health crisis in the U.S.

In previous roles, she led the creative development of the Ad Council’s COVID-19 Vaccine Education Initiative, “It’s Up To You”, one of the largest public education efforts in U.S. history. In that role, Tania led development and production of a suite of PSAs in a historical partnership with the Vatican, featuring Pope Francis and leaders from the Catholic Church in Latin America and the US. During her time at Alma DDB, she supervised the McDonald’s US Hispanic business, leading countless national ad campaigns targeted to the Hispanic audience, including the renowned HACER Scholarship. She’s also had experience with multicultural campaigns for brands like Diageo, Marriott International, BBVA Compass, Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals USA, Nationwide Insurance, Pizza Hut, Levi’s and Frito-Lay, among others.

Tania was born in Puerto Rico and grew up in Venezuela before moving to the USA twenty-five years ago. Her lived experiences as a Latina living in the US and her professional background, give her a profound understanding of the US Hispanic market.

NHCI Lead Portfolio Advisor at American Heart Association

Chenier H. Taylor has spent 15+ years holding various Marketing & Communications and Portfolio Management roles within local government, non-profit, for profit and agencies for national and global clients. During this time, she has had the ability to work on consumer-packaged goods, equity and healthcare initiatives and more. Chenier also leads an experiential events company focused on creating memories for groups and showcasing brands during key moments. While majoring in Spanish at Emory University, Chenier interned at a local publication in the Atlanta area.

Currently, Chenier serves as the National Sr. Portfolio Lead for the American Heart Association’s National Hypertension Control Initiative. Outside of the office, Chenier stays active in her local community by serving on the board of the New Orleans City Park Conservancy Board, the Make Your Move Board and the WYES-TV Board.

Activist/Co-Founder at CHANGE THE REF

Manuel is an Artist, Creative Director, a recognizable mentor for the Advertising Industry, a Global Activist, and an International Advertising Speaker.

Manuel Immigrated to Parkland, Florida, from Venezuela before dedicating himself to a brand of not-so-subtle activism. He co-founded a nonprofit advocacy group called “Change the Ref,” which seeks to vote out politicians who take NRA money and vote in politicians with gun-safety agendas. He uses his artist training and guerilla advertising instincts to keep the focus on Guac” and the more than 45K victims/year of gun violence in the US. Manuel has painted over 60 murals around the country and overseas, partnered with very qualified firms from the advertising industry, received invitations from international events to share creative solutions regarding gun violence, and received over 50 international creative festival awards for his disruptive campaigns.

His nonprofit has developed sympathy for the youth by showing a rebellious response to the gun lobby and generating music projects along with recognized musicians. In addition, since 2018, he has promoted and supported several documentaries that show the reality behind gun violence. 

In 2019, Manny wrote his One-Man Show “Guac,” with support from recognized talents from Broadway. Manuel got arrested after climbing a crane across the White House during the fourth anniversary of the Parkland Shooting. That day, he displayed a banner with the face of Joaquin demanding a meeting with President Joe Biden and asking for gun law regulations.  On April 12, 2022, the president received Manuel and Patricia Oliver at the Oval Office.