Presenters Biographies & Topics

Bessie Ramirez
Santiago Solutions
Los Angeles, CA

Bessie Ramírez, Principal, is an expert in the development and implementation of multicultural strategies and tactics. She leverages her unique background in management consulting, brand management and communications in the distribution, pricing and implementation arena. She ensures strategies can be operationalized, promoting change management, integrating new capabilities and aligning efforts to deliver results and generate overall business growth. After four years as management and systems consultant for manufacturing and distribution companies, Bessie began her marketing career at Nestlé USA. Aside from having full P&L responsibility, she specialized on new product development and seasonal executions. In 2001 she chose to focus on the Hispanic market and has since worked for various agencies including Casanova Pendril Publicidad, leading account teams for clients such as The Home Depot, Wells Fargo, Ferrero Rocher and Foster Farms. Since 2003 Bessie has been with SSG, playing an instrumental role in the development and implementation of growth strategies for Quaker, J&J, Papa Johns, Health Net and Swiss Colony Companies, among others. Bessie holds an MBA with concentrations in Marketing and Finance from the Kennan Flagler Business School at the University of North Carolina.

S-M-A-R-T Growth

Over a decade of strategy consulting among hundreds of clients and tens of categories, we have found that business managers are hungry for making solid, well informed “go or no-go” decisions, setting realistic objectives that the organization can realistically undertake, and determining where and how much to invest for optimal growth and reasonable ROI. One of the biggest obstacles in growing Hispanic market share is accurately sizing the prize of the market opportunity for products and services. This session will help you prevent common pitfalls in right-sizing the Hispanic market opportunity as a gateway to S-M-A-R-T business growth. You will be armed with insights on how to achieve incremental growth, including tips on securing internal buy-in across ranks and planning for a successful implementation; all practical applications to ensure success in capturing the Hispanic market opportunity for your business.

Al Aguilar
Co-Founder, Chairman/CEO
Creative Civilization

Al Aguilar is an advertising and marketing leader at the forefront of America’s changing consumer landscape. As the head of San Antonio-based Creative Civilization, his philosophy and mantra “Inspiration is All Around Us,” helps drive his team to create innovative solutions impacting the diverse population of the country.

Creative Civilization is a new breed of agency uniquely qualified in the general market, Hispanic market and business to business market. His agency’s national client roster of Sam’s Club, Más Club, Guitar Center, United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, along with an impressive list of regional clients, including University Health System, San Antonio Economic Development Foundation and VIA Transit Authority, are reflective of the Total Market assignments and responsibilities that are proving to be the way of the future.

Aguilar created the Aguilar Strategy Model™ (ASM), a disciplined process designed to develop effective communications platforms that are true to the brand and relevant to the consumer. Leading brands across the country utilize his ASM™ model in creating communications success.

Topic: Survive or Thrive? Confessions of a Hispanic Ad Man

Hear from advertising and marketing leader Al Aguilar about the transformative dynamics affecting the advertising industry from his unique perspective and insights in the evolution of Hispanic marketing.

From his pioneering days leading Hispanic marketing for Coca-Cola, Anheuser Busch, American Airlines and others, to today with his holistic, total market solutions approach, Aguilar’s confessions will include his view of the new leadership role of Hispanic marketers.

In today’s competitive world, and economic crunch, it’s time for Hispanic agencies to evolve from defending their turf, to redefining the playing field.

Raul Lopez
Phoenix Multicultural
Miami, FL

Mr. Lopez is President of Phoenix Multicultural and has complete P&L responsibilities including all aspects of the company’s research, marketing, field operations and proposal development.

During his 11 year tenure at Phoenix Multicultural the company has grown to be one of the largest multicultural research firms in the US, specializing in the key U.S. multicultural segments: African Americans, Asian Americans and Hispanics. PMC has led the way in creating models to measure Acculturation and Brand Loyalty among these multicultural segments, and designed several innovative approaches to multicultural segmentation. In 2006 and again in 2010, Mr. Lopez and Phoenix Multicultural were awarded the Research Partner of the Year award by the Asian American Advertising Federation for their ground breaking Asian American Market Report.

Mr. Lopez has been working in Marketing research for over 32 years and has designed, implemented and written reports for hundreds of custom research projects, and moderated several hundred focus groups across all major multicultural segments.

Luis Fitch
Founder/Creative Director
Uno Branding
Minneapolis, MN

Luis Fitch Founder and Creative Director - UNO Branding In 1999 Luis Fitch founded UNO Branding as an independent company to be a new kind of Hispanic branding and creativity company partnering with clients and other agencies in all communications disciplines. Luis Fitch's career has spanned more than 32 years of branding with a unique focus on Hispanic strategy and design. At UNO Branding, he is deeply engaged at every step of a project and has led award-winning branding efforts for top Fortune 500 companies. His no-nonsense approach and deep appreciation for the creative process and final product have helped him become one of the most sought-after Hispanic creative consultants. Fitch’s work includes brand and corporate identity and design development for leading retail companies such as Target, Best Buy, Macy’s, Nike and Nash-Finch. His understanding of how design and culture affects consumer attitudes has led to many ideas executed in design as well as advertising.

Topic: Uno Branding

Luis Fitch will present the award winning posters he has created from UNO Branding as seen in his new
book “Hecho in Minnesota”

Ederick Lokpez
Minneapolis, MN

Ederick Lokpez is a native from Venezuela with more than 17 years of marketing experience. He began his career in the consultancy world servicing Fortune 500 clients in Latin & South America creating and executing CRM (Customer Relationship Management) programs for Trans-national companies. In 2003, Ederick immigrated to the United States where he quickly identified the need to better serve multicultural segment.
His professional background and personal experience as an immigrant provide him with the required blend of marketing expertise and knowledge of Hispanic drivers to create and implement strategies designed to succeed in the U.S. Hispanic market. Since his arrival in the United States, Ederick has worked with Fortune 500 companies such as UnitedHealth Group, Wells Fargo and Staples, creating and executing multicultural initiatives.

Topic: Hispanic marketing starts at home. Are you ready?

Most companies that start marketing to Hispanics fail in their infancy because they are not ready. They start with disjointed activities without realizing that it requires a cultural understanding, operational support, diversity in the workforce and most importantly middle management buy-in.

Senior executives understand it is important. However, only a few managers will drive it all the way. When budgets are tight and fast gains are needed, Hispanic marketing initiatives tend to be sidelined. It is understandable marketers need to hit their goals; these goals are the fuel that keep companies running. However, this short term vision plays a pivotal role in the failure of long term Hispanic objectives.

During Mr. Lokpez' presentation, we will explore some of the most common problems organizations encounter when launching a Hispanic strategy and why it can drive your to failure.
1. Hey you! You speak Spanish! Congratulations on your new job!
2. Spanish has legal implications… Are you discriminating your customers?
3. Diversity in the workplace? What is that?
4. Middle management, what is in it for me?
5. No strategic alignment… Making up your own goals won’t help!
So, are you ready to reach the Hispanic segment?

Cynthia C. Messer
Extension Professor
University of Minnesota Tourism Center
St Paul, MN

Cynthia Messer is an Extension Professor with the University of Minnesota Tourism Center. She has more than 30 years of experience in tourism as an educator and practitioner. She has worked as an international consultant, tour operations specialist, convention planner and as the executive director of a regional convention & visitor bureau. This diverse background gives Cynthia a pragmatic approach to multicultural customer service as a critical component of marketing. She works with multinational organizations and is a respected speaker and consultant on issues related to customer service and tourism development.

Cynthia is the author of numerous educational materials including the acclaimed At Your Service: working with multicultural customers training curriculum, the award-winning Weaving Tourism into Community film, and the Community Tourism Development manual which is now in its third edition.

Topic: Multicultural Customer Service in the Marketing Mix


© Aguilar Productions - All Rights Reserved

16th Annual Hispanic Marketing Conference & Awards Luncheon


For More Information, Call Aguilar Productions

7:30 a.m. - 9 a.m. Breakfast & Registration
9 a.m. Opening Remarks
Rick Aguilar
President, Aguilar Productions

9:05 am- 9:45 am Multicultural Customer Service in the Marketing Mix
Cynthia Messer, U of MN Tourism Center

10:00 – 11:00 am S-M-A-R-T Business Growth - Right Sizing the Hispanic Market Opportunity
Bessie Ramirez, Santiago Solutions

11:00 am- 11:15 a.m. COFFEE BREAK

11: 15 am – Noon Survive or Thrive, Confessions of an Hispanic Ad Man.
Al Aguilar , Creative Civilization

12:15 PM – 1: OO PM Hispanic Marketing Starts at Home: Are You Ready?
Ederick Lokpez, DotBin

Keynote Luis Fitch, UNO Branding

2:30 PM to 3:00 pm PANEL DISCUSSION

Closing Remarks Rick Aguilar, Aguilar Productions

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