HISPANIC MARKETING COUNCIL BOARD OF DIRECTORS BIOGRAPHIES
Vice President of Media Integration, Zubi Advertising
As Vice President of Media Integration, Isabella oversees all Hispanic strategic media planning and execution for Zubi’s clients, as well as new business development efforts.
She has over 30 years of Hispanic media experience working with many of the largest marketers in the U.S. Hispanic market.
Her passion for marketing to diverse audiences is evidenced in her commitment to always elevating the industry profile, while helping marketers understand and capitalize on the biggest growth opportunity in the U.S.
Her mantra of “in constant pursuit of the perfect balance between art and science” demonstrates her passion for cultural connections, creative innovation and applying the latest technology to measure and optimize performance.
Isabella is considered a thought-leader in the Hispanic marketing industry and is often called upon to share her insights and experiences in industry conferences and trade publications.
She currently serves as Executive Board Member and Treasurer for the Hispanic Marketing Council, Advisory Board member for Texas Tech University’s Institute for Hispanic and International Communication and serves on the South Florida March of Dimes Board.
President of GroupM Multicultural, GroupM
As President of GroupM Multicultural, Gonzalo plays a key role in all aspects of the multicultural media and marketing efforts initiated by all WPP media agencies: Wavemaker, Mediacom, Mindshare and Essence. The goal of the division is to provide clients with a truly relevant and informative point of view of multicultural markets and audiences across the US, resulting in tailored communications strategies based on in-depth knowledge of consumers.
Under Gonzalo’s leadership, GroupM Multicultural handles $1B in billings from clients such as Nestle, Unilever, Target, L’Oréal, General Mills, Walgreens, Church & Dwight, IKEA, AARP, Kimberly Clark, Universal Pictures and Bayer. Gonzalo first joined the GroupM family in 2003 as Managing Director of MEC Argentina. During his three year tenure he developed a reputation for creative media thinking and activation. In 2006, he moved to New York to launch MEC Bravo and in 2010 he was instrumental in combining all the agencies under the GroupM Multicultural banner. In 2014 Gonzalo was awarded Media Maven of the Year, in 2016 he was nominated for the Crain’s Visionary Award and in 2017 he received the Executive Leadership Award.
Gonzalo started his professional career at American Express Argentina and prior to joining GroupM he worked for BBVA, Hachette Filipacchi and Editorial Televisa.
Vice President, Network Sales, Telemundo Group
In this role, he oversees all of the Southeast’s advertising sales for Telemundo Network, Telemundo.com and Universo Cable. Additionally, he manages the strategy, commercial innovation and integrated monetization of all tent poles for Telemundo Enterprises.
He is an experienced and versatile media executive with 25+ years of network, spot TV, interactive sales and branded entertainment experience. Prior to joining Telemundo, Gian Pablo was Regional Sales Manager for Spanish Broadcasting System Radio where he managed sales for its four largest stations in South Florida.
Having attended Florida International’s School of Marketing, as well as Wharton’s School of Business and IAB trained, Gian Pablo has a strong grasp on research, cultural insights, strategic planning and their respective impacts on marketers’ “Key Performance Indicators”. His experience, business acumen and certifications in “Building Essential Leadership Skills” and General Electric’s Green Belt Training have earned him speaking appearances for fortune 500 Companies, and Universities such as Florida International University and University of Miami.
Executive Director, Multicultural Strategy, Collage Group
Victor is a successful marketing and advertising executive with proven experience in building practices that drive brand equity, sales, traffic, and qualified leads. His marketing experience spans sectors such as entertainment, hospitality, healthcare, consumer packaged goods, and direct-to-consumer services. Throughout his career, Victor has led multidisciplinary teams of strategy, digital, media, promotions and public relations experts in building effective integrated marketing platforms.
Prior to Collage Group, he was the Executive Director of Account Planning at Lopez Negrete Communications. Paredes was responsible for leading a team that applies cultural intelligence to inspire work that matters and work that engages today’s Latino consumer. And previously he was VP Creative Strategy at UWG.
His passion for marketing and branding began in the music industry, propelling artists like Marc Anthony and extending into marketing communications. His professional career has been a rewarding journey of connecting iconic brands with myriad diverse audiences including Latinx, black, and LGBTQ. Paredes excels at empowering brands with cultural relevance to succeed in a diverse America and a global economy.
Victor has had the privilege of fostering enduring success for iconic global brands including Target, Heineken, MasterCard, Nestlé, McDonald’s, Kleenex, Sprint, and Walgreens. His healthcare experience also includes Pfizer OTC, GSK pharmaceuticals, and Humana Vitality. Today, he has vast experience across many categories including wellness, automotive, beverages, financial services, beauty, and fashion.
Victor earned his MBA at the University of Texas McCombs School of Business, and his undergraduate degree at CUNY’s Herbert Lehman College.
President & Founder, BODEN
Natalie is the founder & president of BODEN. Named one of PRWeek’s 2014 “Top 40 under 40” Heavy Hitters and recipient of the 2017 ColorComm Circle Award and the 2017 PR News Game Changer award, Natalie has succeeded in building BODEN into an award-winning communications agency and winner of PR News’ Best Places to
Work. An advocate for diversity & inclusion, Natalie serves on the Latina advisory board of Girls Inc., the board of ColorComm and the Cultural Marketing Council, as well as on the Latin Grammy Cultural Foundation committee.
She is a graduate of Florida International University and a recipient of the university’s Alumni Torch Award, for outstanding leadership in the profession and in the community.
Acting Head of North America Google Play Partnerships, Apps & Monetization, Google
Sarah is the Head of US Multicultural Strategy & Sales for Google based out of New York. Her team of digital multicultural marketing consultants are focused on embedding their subject matter expertise into marketing strategy to achieve better business results with language & culturally-relevant solutions across Google ad platforms. Her career has evolved from 20 years of trusted partnerships with Fortune 500 companies via previous leadership roles at Grey, Turner Sales, Univision. During her 14 year tenure at Google, Sarah has had the privilege to lead teams across both the U.S. and Latin America.
Sarah heralds from The Pennsylvania State University with a Bachelor of Arts in Advertising/ PR from the College of Communications and a Minor in Spanish at The University of Salamanca, Spain. In her spare time, Sarah enjoys spending time with her husband, Rob, and their two boys, James and Michael. She is an avid yogi and indulges in a choreographed dance classes in her spare time. Sarah is committed to the advancement of young girls having served on the non-profit board of Step Up Women’s Network in New York.
VP DEI, Diversity Insights, Intelligence & Initiatives, Nielsen
She is an inclusion & identity researcher, consumer behaviorist, and subject matter expert on diverse communities. Specializing in data at the intersection of community, advocacy & entertainment, she is responsible for producing inclusive thought leadership and new research initiatives on diverse consumers and audiences.
She joined Nielsen in 1998 and has served in many roles related to multicultural marketing. She sits on the Hispanic Marketing Council Board of Directors as well as Google’s 21st Century Multicultural Marketing Council and has been the recipient of industry honors for her work in diversity marketing.
Stacie is an adjunct professor of qualitative research at California State University Los Angeles and California State University Northridge. She received her Master’s degree in Business Administration with a focus on marketing from Texas A & M. Stacie is a first-generation Cubana and lives in Los Angeles with her two children.
Executive Group Account Director, Lopez Negrete Communications
Simon is an innovative and insightful marketing and advertising executive who is committed to building and growing relationships with key stakeholders, clients and partner organizations. As head of the Brand Leadership team for Lopez Negrete Communications, he provides best-in-class brand strategy and marketing execution for companies including Bank of America, Hyundai, Motiva, Phillips 66, United Airlines, Sazerac and the City of Houston’s Health Department.
Formerly the Chief Strategy Officer for the CrossCultural Marketing Group, El Hage has also provided senior leadership for Casanova McCann and DRAFTFCB, where he worked on with top companies such as Walmart, the U.S. Army and a wide array of global pharmaceutical and healthcare organizations. He is fluent in English, Spanish, French and Arabic.
As CEO, Marina drives both business strategy and day-to-day operations for multicultural initiatives at Orci, develops engaging, effective campaigns for brands like Honda, Acura, Dole, VCA, Anheuser Busch and Chevron ExtraMile, and helps global organizations build meaningful relationships with diverse targets in the U.S. and Latin American markets.
With roots in Mexico and Argentina, Filippelli has been passionate about communicating with the Latinx community since she launched her career at Orci years ago, ultimately returning after leading the multicultural division of Heat and client management teams at Zubi Advertising and Conexión. She also spent a few years in the film world working on award-winning, multimillion-dollar productions as well as independent and Oscar-winning box-office successes. A current member of the National Advertising Review Board Panel, Filippelli is dedicated to supporting efforts related to diversity, inclusion, education and the arts, volunteering as a mentor and activist with various non-profits in the Los Angeles area, like P.S. Arts.
Director of Cross Platform Sales, CNN en Español U.S.
Izzy is a veteran in the media industry. He currently serves as head of Cross Platform Sales for CNN en Espanol, US. Prior to CNN he served as Director of Sales for La Musica.com, a Spanish Broadcasting System division.
In 2003, Izzy was part of the team that engineered the re-launch of an OTC public company Connected Media Technologies through the acquisition of NewsPronet from NBC Universal. At Connected Media Technologies (CMT) he served as CEO/President and board member during his 5-year tenure.
From 1997 to 2000 he served as Director of Sales for SONY Entertainment Television (SET), prior to SET Izzy was part of the launch team for The Weather Channel Latin American (TWC) where he was also Director of Ad Sales.
Prior to TWC he served as Local Sales Manager and head of New Business Development for the CBS O&O WFOR in South Florida. Gonzalez began his media career as Producer of Product Integration during the Network launch of the Univision hit show Sabado Gigante.
Izzy holds a degree in Business with a focus in Information Systems. He is an avid sports fan and participated in scholastic team sports, has coached little league baseball and football wining various County Championships. Izzy has served on the LAMAC Board, the IAA Board, and the IAB Multicultural Council
Greg joined Dieste as CEO in late 2010. Greg has spent the past twenty years marketing to US Hispanics. First, as a client of Dieste while leading the initial Hispanic marketing efforts of Frito Lay, then leading agency start up, Cultura, and at LatinWorks where he was Managing Director.
Prior to his time at Frito Lay and within Omnicom, Greg spent eight years at Leo Burnett in both media and account management roles across the US and Latin America.
Greg graduated from the University of Kansas with a BS in Advertising and Mass Communications in 1989 and received his MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University in 1996. Greg has a wife and two boys (13 and 11). When not working or watching his sons play soccer, basketball, baseball or rowing, he enjoys golf and tennis.
CEO & Founder
Pedro has a vision. He sees a world where all people and all cultures are valued and embraced, and he believes in the power of cross-cultural communications, marketing and branding to reshape it. But Pedro is more than a visionary; he’s an architect and a builder.
LERMA/, the agency he conceived and founded in 2009, is a testament to his commitment to creating an omnicultural agency that is not only a beacon for advertising today but long into the future. Pedro knows the importance of being culturally fluent. Raised by immigrant parents in West Texas, Pedro has lived the omnicultural life. It’s in his DNA.
Combining his life experiences with his vast expertise in general, digital, and Hispanic marketing, Pedro is uniquely qualified to guide a growing and impressive list of clients through today’s everchanging and ever-challenging world. Brands like Dr Pepper, Avocados From Mexico, The Salvation Army and The Home Depot rely on Pedro and his team at LERMA/ for leadership, perspective and business results.
Pedro’s passion for caring continues outside of the office. He’s deeply involved in the community serving on the boards of the United Way of Metropolitan Dallas, Booker T. Washington High School for the Visual and Performing Arts, Big Brothers & Big Sisters International and the Culture Marketing Council. He also chairs the annual Latino fundraiser for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and serves on the Refugee Services Task Force for Catholic Charities.
Despite being very busy, Pedro isn’t all work. After hours and on weekends, you’ll either find him riffing on a six-string, launching off the wake behind his boat or chilling with family.
Chief Revenue & Local Media Officer, Estrella Media
As Chief Revenue and Local Media Officer for Estrella Media, Steve Mandala leads Estrella’s network of national and local sales teams, driving growth across the company’s multiple platforms and increasing brand value for each of Estrella’s partners.
Previously, Mandala served as President, Ad Sales & Marketing at Univision, where he was pivotal in growing Univision’s valuation before its sale. Before that, he was at NBCUniversal, where he led sales throughout the cable group, and Telemundo where he drove double-digit sales growth. In addition, he played a key leadership role in integrating cable and broadcast channels following Comcast’s acquisition of NBCU. Mandala has been recognized as “Media Executive of the Year” by both CableFax and HispanicAd and is a featured speaker at many industry events, including ANA Multicultural, Advertising Week and HMC.
Luis Miguel has played an influential role in the most important developments in the U.S. multicultural market during an advertising career that spans three decades. Born to Romanian parents and raised in Mexico City, he has worked in both the Latin American and U.S. Hispanic markets. His professional trajectory is defined by a conscious effort to help pioneer the melding of marketing niches into a nuanced and evolving market. His award-winning work for multinationals such as McDonald’s, State Farm Insurance, Clorox, MolsonCoors, Sprint, Pepsi, among others, is a testament to that effort.
An innovator and a mentor, Messianu has been recognized as a Legend Honoree by ADCOLOR, has served as a juror for the Radio Category at the Cannes Lions Advertising festival, and was inducted into the HMC Advertising Hall of Fame, one of the highest recognitions in the multicultural marketing industry. In April 2022, DDB named him Global Chief Creative Officer for the McDonald’s account. Messianu will oversee the creative output of the McDonald’s brand across 46 markets, where the DDB network is responsible for the account. He will split his time between his role as Founder and Chairman of alma and the new global position within DDB for McDonald’s.
Born and raised in Puerto Rico, Ingrid Otero-Smart has over 30 years of advertising experience in the U.S Hispanic Market and Puerto Rico. She joined Casanova Pendrill in August of ’08 as President/CEO. The Agency re-branded as Casanova//McCann in 2016 and she acquired the majority stake from Interpublic Group in 2020, making Casanova a minority-owned Agency once again.
At Casanova, she leads the agency operations, managing offices in Costa Mesa, New York, Detroit, and field teams in Dallas, South Florida, and Chicago. Account experience includes Nestlé USA, US Army, US Postal Service, Diageo, Cigna, Coca-Cola, Chevrolet, U.S. Bank and Ford Division, among many others.
Ingrid started her career at McCann in PR, and joined Mendoza Dillon & Asociados in California in 1987. She worked there as an Account Director, and left 18 years later as President/COO. In 2005, she joined Anita Santiago Advertising as President.
Ingrid currently serves in the Dean’s Advisory Board of the School of Communications, at California State University Fullerton (CSUF), Agency Advisory Board for the School’s Practical Advantage Agency, and on the Board of Governors of this institution. She is also a founding member of the Latino Communications Institute and currently serves as its Chair.
Managing Director, DE&I Investment, Omnicom Media Group
As Managing Director of DE&I Investment 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), and the advisory council of the Hispanic Scholarship Fund.
Michael resides in America’s most vibrant and eclectic city, Miami, with his wife and their three children.
President/COO, Spanish Broadcasting System
Albert is the President and Chief Operating Officer of Spanish Broadcasting System, managing all aspects of SBS’ operations and overseeing the future growth and financial performance of the Company’s radio, TV, digital and experiential businesses, and market-leading brands. Mr. Rodriguez joined the company in 1999 and has been President since June 16th, 2021.
Previously, Mr. Rodriguez was the Chief Revenue Officer of the television segment and General Manager of the Miami television market from October 12, 2010 to January 6, 2011, General Manager of the Miami television market from January 21, 2010 through October 11, 2010, and General Sales Manager for the Miami radio market from November 1999 through January 2010. Prior to joining the Company’s television segment, from November 1999 through January 2010, Mr. Rodriguez was the General Sales Manager for the Company’s radio properties in Miami – WCMQ-FM 92.3 “Clásica 92”, WRMA-FM 106.7 “Romance”, and WXDJ-FM 95.7 “El Zol 95.” In 2005, Mr. Rodriguez set the record for El Zol 95.7 being the highest billing station in Florida’s history. With over 20 years’ experience as a versatile and highly respected media executive, Mr. Rodriguez’s background spans broadcast sales management, reporting, and operational leadership.
President Advertising Sales & Marketing, TelevisaUnivision, Inc.
In her role, Speciale oversees TelevisaUnivision’s go-to-market ad sales strategy for the Company’s multiplatform portfolio. A trailblazer known for transforming advertising and a pioneering leader in the early days of advanced television advertising.
Speciale has served as an industry leader in the evolution of television advertising with an extensive knowledge of sales optimization for over two decades. Prior to joining TelevisaUnivision, she served as President of Advertising Sales at WarnerMedia where she helped establish the groundbreaking launch of OpenAP, the first open platform for TV advertisers to reach audiences across publishers. Prior to joining WarnerMedia, she was president of investment, activation and agency operations at MediaVest Worldwide, overseeing the agency’s integrated digital, broadcast, print and out-of-home practice. Earlier in her career she held senior roles at WPP’s Mediacom.
She was named one of Adweek’s Top 50 Most Indispensable Executives for several consecutive years and inducted into Broadcasting & Cable’s Hall of Fame in 2015. Speciale has been named to Variety’s New York Impact Report and is recognized regularly by leading publications including AdAge, Multichannel News and Adweek. Speciale has also been honored by Advertising Women of New York as an “Advertising Woman of the Year” and received both its “Impact Award” and “Working Woman Award.”
President, Multicultural Practice, Publicis Media
As President of Publicis Media’s Multicultural Practice, Cultural Quotient, Lisa Torres has created a more modern, data-centric way to approach the multicultural marketplace, collectively leading over 140 multicultural experts at the largest targeted cultural digital investor in the U.S. Utilizing a research and data-driven approach to help clients better understand their diverse consumer segments, Torres and her team push the marketplace forward with the latest insights, inclusionary marketing strategies and thought leadership. A co-founder of Publicis Media’s Once & For All Coalition, a multi-year, industrywide initiative that aims to remove industry barriers to equitable financial opportunity and representation of underserved and ethnically diverse suppliers, Torres is passionate about talent engagement and inclusion and leads several initiatives across the Publicis Groupe network.
In 2021, Torres was honored with the T. Howard Foundation’s Executive Trailblazer Award and was shortlisted in the Campaign US Power of Purpose awards. She was named a Multichannel News Women to Watch honoree in 2019 and received the Executive Leadership in Hispanic TV and Video award at the 2018 Hispanic TV Summit. She has served on the steering committee for the ARF’s Cultural Effectiveness Council and the ANA AIMM Committee. With more than 25 years of experience, Torres has held positions across agencies including ZenithOptimedia Multicultural, MPG (Havas Media) and Carat (Dentsu).
Chief Strategy Officer; Co-Founder
Lee Vann co-founded Hispanic Digital Agency, Captura Group in 2001 with a vision for helping brands and organizations connect with Hispanics through digital channels. Lee is a recognized leader in the area of Hispanic digital strategy, bringing forth Hispanic + Digital innovation to Captura Group’s clients. Lee has led the agency on the cutting edge of Hispanic digital strategy for over 15 years and is responsible for the Strategy and Insights teams at Captura Group, working external stakeholders to develop holistic digital strategies that accomplish business objectives and deliver consumer value.
Lee has played a critical role in creating and shaping the Hispanic online marketing industry. He is a contributor to Media Post’s Engage Hispanics blog, wrote the chapter on Hispanic digital marketing in M. Isabel Valdés book, Win! The Hispanic Market. He was named a Hispanic Interactive Advertising Pioneer by the Interactive Advertising Bureau.
Prior to founding Captura Group, Lee launched and served as VP of L90 Latino, the Hispanic division of the publicly traded Internet advertising company L90. Earlier in his career, Lee was Country Manager for Quidel Corporation, a US-based medical diagnostics company, in Madrid, Spain.
Lee holds a B.A. in Economics from the University of California Berkeley and a M.B.A. from the University of Southern California with a concentration E-Commerce. Born in Mexico City, Mexico, Lee is bilingual and bicultural.
Co-Founder and Chief Strategy Officer, We Believers
Passionate serial entrepreneur with a robust business backbone, be it leading a manufacturing line at P&G, consulting for the top global corporations with McKinsey & Co., starting a courier & parcel venture for the underserved Hispanic consumer to compete with Fedex, or leading and empowering creative in Advertising Agencies.
Marco has always believed work can only be meaningful when you’ve identified the toughest business challenge that needs to be addressed, and are bold enough to transform the context around it.
He is recognized as one of the sharpest strategic thinkers in the industry, with a focus on creating innovation and effective communication solutions that help a brand’s business thrive and grow. He has earned recognition from festivals such as USH Idea Awards, FIAP, the CLIO Awards, the ADDYs, and Advertising Age.
He holds an MBA from the University of Virginia’s Darden School, and co-authored the book Angel Investing in Latin America.
José is the founder and President and Chief Strategy Officer of Sensis, an integrated cross-cultural marketing agency. Jose founded Sensis as a Web development firm in 1998, and one of the first agencies focused on the multicultural digital market. Under José’s direction, Sensis has grown into the largest independent multicultural agency in the U.S. José has more than 24 years of experience in advertising and multicultural marketing across a variety of industries. José has a unique professional background that combines digital technology and advertising with economics, market research and strategy consulting. He has pioneered a new “cross-cultural” approach to reaching the diverse American mainstream.
His thought-provoking analyses of advertising at the intersection of technology and culture are published regularly on MediaPost, AdAge, and numerous industry trade publications. Jose is also a regular speaker at advertising and digital conferences such as RAB OneShow, SXSW, MediaPost, and Hispanicize. A thought leader in cross-cultural and modern advertising, Jose has co-authored multiple studies including the “Hispanic Millennial Project”, the “We are Gen Z” Report” and the “Boomer Cultures Report.”
Jose has an Economics degree from Harvard University and an MBA in Marketing from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.