Category Archives: Profiles

Profiles: Jessica Perilla

Jessica Perilla is the second of our featured speakers in our next event Apps, Activism and the Latino Community, on Thursday, September 6th. At the helm of JPD Studio is Jessica Perilla, an award-winning multidisciplinary artist, entrepreneur and designer in New York City. She founded JPD Studio in January 2007.

With a background in both web technology and design – she holds degrees in multi-media development and management and graphic design – Jessica has worked in the field of web design since 2000.

In addition to making her clients’ visions come alive through her passion for design, Jessica also serves on the Advisory Board at the College of Westchester, where she helps guide digital media curriculum for the school. Jessica has been published in the Web Index Book and donates murals through her organization, The Mural Project.


To meet Jessica and our other speakers – Julissa Gutierrez and Jazmin Chavez – on September 6th, RSVP HERE.

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Profiles: Layla Revis

Layla Revis began her career in marketing in the Literary Department of Creative Artists Agency (CAA) and in feature film production at Warner Brothers Studios.

She has served as the Vice-President of Big Picture Group, a Hollywood-based entertainment marketing agency specializing in feature film and television and has written and conceptualized advertising campaigns for high-profile clients including: E! Entertainment, Bravo, BabyFirst TV, Discovery Networks, Miramax, and Sony. As a journalist, she was a Columnist and Contributing Editor at several publications including: Los Angeles Confidential Magazine, GenArt, Teen Vogue, Town + Country, and Surface Magazine. In 2007, she founded two online travel blogs, and, to cover luxury travel and stylish, eco-friendly goods for the modern adventurer.

She has led grassroots social media marketing initiatives for the non-profit sector as NGO’s transitioned from traditional marketing to the social media space. Currently, she manages social media for the Government of Mexico and clients like Pfizer and The State Department. Her specialties include: multi-cultural marketing, international affairs, and social media. She brings her understanding and passion for media to Ogilvy Public Relations Worldwide because she believes that “innovation is the last refuge of the revolutionary.”

Revis was awarded a Distinction from The London School of Economics where she achieved a Masters of Science in New Media and Development and holds a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Pennsylvania in English Literature.

She is an avid traveler, a women’s rights advocate, and a member of The Society of Professional Journalists.

Find out more about Layla and our other speakers at our next event, Latinos in Social Media.

Profiles: Jazmin Chavez

Jazmin is a highly motivated, energetic, dedicated and a passionate social media strategist and social innovator in New York City.

Born in Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua, Mexico,  Jazmin has lived a trans-national and bi-cultural experience. As an immigrant herself, Jazmin’s identity and ideological foundation stems from the experience of comprehending and navigating the U.S. legal system. From this foundation (with over 10 years of legal experience), she serves as a passionate advocate and strategist for immigrant rights and has dedicated her professional life to becoming an effective justice innovator and movement entrepreneur for communities in need.  She is a featured writer for Being Latino, Ms. JD, Fox News Latino and currently serves as the social media strategists for Being Latino Online Magazine, East Willy B: An Original Web Series and the American Bar Associations’ Commission on Women.

She is the founder of Justicia Hoy, a site that utilizes innovative lawyering to monitor, comment and report on news, laws and events that have an impact on the Latino and immigrant community across the nation; co-founder of Pinxe Cards, a Spanglish greeting card company; and co-founder of (we)Build Mexico, a non-profit that partners with Non-governmental organizations in Mexico and the United States to create socially, economically and environmentally sustainable economies for Mexican communities ravaged by NAFTA and the current drug war.

Creatively, she utilizes her skills as a graphic designer and social media strategist to create brand, identity, relationship and conversation for social movements, individual artists, non-profits and online businesses.  She has a tremendous  passion for blogging, micro-blogging and community participation leadership. She is an amazing note-taker (thanks to law school) and has served as a graphic scribe for state and federal agencies and non-profit organizations.  Her work focuses on utilizing critical race theory, marketing in the Latino community, social justice and legal theory to examine new tactics for communication and social movements through social media platforms, community participation leadership and narrative power analysis.  Additionally, she assists law firms, government organizations, businesses and non-profit organizations in evaluating the ethical obligations and responsibilities of social media use in their daily interaction, outreach and practice.

Jazmin has over ten years of experience in community organizing and strategic online educational outreach in underrepresented communities with an emphasis in immigration law, international law, human rights and humanitarian law.  She has collaborated with state and federal agencies and non-profits to assess, create and implement social media strategies that provide educational, post-secondary and legal options for low-income, at risk, and undocumented communities.  Through her efforts, she has established relationships between agencies and organizations to build community partnerships that increased community awareness of legal and educational opportunities in Colorado and New York.

In her free time, she enjoys being a foodie with her husband, and you can often find her at Joe’s Shanghai eating her favorite soup dumplings or preparing for hot dog and dumpling eating competitions in New York. Meet Jazmin at our next event, where she will be presenting on Latinos is Social Media.

Profiles: Nando Rodriguez

Nando Rodriguez is the Senior Social Media Recruiter for Ogilvy & Mather’s Digital Influence Division. He is also a blogger, video content producer and an avid social media user (@NandoRecruit). More recently, Nando’s been facilitating/moderating social media talks/bootcamps with various groups/agencies looking to explore the social media landscape.

In one of his videos Nando talks of Djordje Teofilovic and his missing family shortly after the earthquake in Haiti.  It was used by the BBC in a news story on how using social media can be effectively used during a crisis.

Join Nando and our social media experts on January 10th, 7 pm, at our next panel, Latinos in Social Media.

Profiles: Elizabeth Pastor

Born in Madrid, Elizabeth Pastor is co-founder of Humantific and director of its UnderstandingLab. She is an innovation consultant, facilitator and trainer with a unique expertise in Visual SenseMaking and Strategic Co-Creation. Her passion lies in helping people learn, understand and make sense of complex situations in new and inclusive ways. She is also co-founder of NextDesign Leadership Institute, where she teaches Visual SenseMaking and Strategic CoCreation as part of NextD’s Complexity Navigation Program. Prior to founding Humantific, Elizabeth co-founded Scient’s Innovation Acceleration Labs, with GK VanPatter. She holds a master’s degree from Art Center College of Design in California, where she focused on the power of information design to enhance the learning process. Her present research involves SenseMaking for ChangeMaking in social and organizational contexts. Elizabeth is a frequent speaker at conferences in the U.S. and Europe.

Q: Do you find that a different sensibility is required when communicating visually to a bilingual community?

A: You should always know who you are communicating to (or collaborating with) to create exceptional experiences that speak to them and engage them. If you are communicating to a bilingual community this is something that you must take into consideration. It’s the same way as when I speak with a friend who is bilingual… I probably say things differently. Don’t you?

Q: As a creative professional, how do you find that this affects your practice?

A: I would say it enhances my practice, because being culturally bilingual is multi-faceted, and that is usually an advantage in business. Being able to understand and connect with several cultures in a deep way is not only enriching and fun, but it gives you an extra edge. Who doesn’t want an extra edge?


Elizabeth will be one of the four speakers at our upcoming event on October 5th.  For more details on the panel and to RSVP, click here.

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Profiles: Javier Fuentes

Javier Fuentes, Vice President and Creative Director at Vidal Partnership, began his career as a copywriter in Madrid at Publicis Grupo K. Previous to working at Vidal Partnership, Fuentes was at Lapiz—the Hispanic Division of Leo Burnett—to work on the Coca-Cola account. He has served as a judge at FIAP (Festival Iberoamericano de Publicidad), The ADDY Awards and the Radio Mercury Awards. His work has been recognized in advertising festivals such as: FIAP, Ojo de Iberoamerica, Radio Mercury Awards, Festival de San Sebastian, and AdAge/Hispanic Advertising Awards, among others. Since 2006 Fuentes is a member of the Creative Committee for the Ad Council. He’s currently enrolled in the MFA program in Creative Writing at Columbia University.

Q: In your line of work, have you found that a different sensibility is required when communicating visually to a bilingual market?

A: I don’t think that you need a different sensibility but you definitely need to understand the different cultural insights that play a role in the way you communicate with your target.

Q: We’ve been asking this question to all our panelists; what do you view as the role of the Hispanic creative professional in contemporary America?

A: I think that the role of Hispanic Advertising is changing rapidly. There’s a trend that demands more creatives that not only can navigate in both worlds, but that are also fluent in both languages. As the Latino target becomes the bigger part of the pie, we are going to see a shift in the the way brands communicate with their consumers.  Take McDonald’s, for example.


To RSVP for the panel discussion on October 5th, click here.

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Profiles: Desi Sanchez

Born and raised in New York City and educated at SVA, Desi Sanchez is a TV personality, artist and musician with credits in print, broadcast and online media. Best known for her VJ work on MTV2, Sanchez was also the 5-year host of the FOX TV show LatiNation, and is currently a Fill-In Anchor on E! News Now as well as the face of iO TV’s Optimum Insider commercials. Desi also lends her voice to national radio imaging on Sirius XM for stations such as Octane and HairNation.

Desi is the moderator for the upcoming event on October 5th, Strategizing Visibility for Latino Creative Professionals.  She has previously collaborated with SVA’s Division of Continuing Education as moderator of the inaugural panel Hispanic Professionals in the Arts.

Photo by Rod Savant

Q: As you know, we’ve been asking all our speakers this one question: what do you think is the role of the Hispanic visual professional is contemporary America?

A: As the Hispanic population grows to ever greater proportions, so does the need to communicate to this demographic in specific, targeted, multi-cultural marketing efforts. However, simultaneously, the Hispanic experience is becoming more and more universal – we’re no longer a small minority, and our participation in mainstream American media and culture has transformed the American cultural landscape. This means that even in general market campaigns, it is necessary to keep us in mind – “we” are “them” now, too.

With a natural solution to this need, comes the Hispanic creative professional. Well-versed in this bi-cultural and bi-lingual world, we are able to draw from both sides and create visual media that is universally relatable, culturally relevant, and linguistically accurate. In addition, I feel it is also our responsibility to do so in ways that uplift, respect, and promote a sense of unity.

Q: Do you think there’s a need to educate people on this niche market?

A: Here in NYC it would seem impossible that anyone could not be aware of the need to address this market, even to the point of perhaps not even considering it a “niche” at all. With the huge Hispanic population in this city, it seems practically mass-market, these days.

That said, when I watch national commercials, take a look at print campaigns, and look at some of the product design on shelves, it often appears that some of the efforts to market to Hispanics were done with a clumsy and heavy hand – palm trees and red lipstick abound. So perhaps some educating is in order.

I think the challenges here, are the same as with any other perceived racial or cultural issue – fears, misconceptions, ignorance …as well as many of the challenges associated with teaching people in general: inertia, laziness and inflexibility are always downers. But specific to this market, sometimes the very diverse nature of the Hispanic population can cause its essence to be elusive, or over-generalized. So it’s important, I think, to always ask and not assume when it comes to what resonates with Hispanics – and accept that often, there will be conflicting responses.


For more details on the upcoming event, and to RSVP, please click here.


Profiles: Alison Meislin

Born and raised in Arizona, Alison Meislin moved to San Francisco after receiving her master’s degree in psychology, where she managed the Compass Family Shelter. Thereafter, she transitioned into the technology field, working in sales and recruiting for Yelp and Vitamin T. Currently a recruiter for Vitamin T in New York City, she helps Creative Web, Online Marketing, and Graphic Designers find exciting positions in the city.

Q: What do you view as the role of the Hispanic creative professional in Contemporary America?

A: The role of the Creative Professional in Contemporary America is trending to be one of much importance, and the demand for bilingual talent is very high. In the vast majority of cases, if I were to place two creative candidates who looked identical on paper in front of my clients, and one was bilingual and the other not, the bilingual candidate would get chosen.

As language tends to vary by dialect, and culture by region, the bilingual and bi-cultural creative becomes invaluable, helping to bridge the communication gap. This is beneficial to our clients because it means everything from content to actual web development is effectively reaching all intended audiences, and thus driving in more revenue.

As the Latino population continues to increase in America, the bi-cultural creative professional will only continue to become more in demand.

Q: Do you think there is a need to educate others on this niche market and, if so, what do you think the challenges are in doing so?

A: Considering all of the above listed attributes Latinos offer in the professional workplace, I believe educating people on their market is important but not nearly as prevalent as it should be.

In my opinion, the biggest challenge is a lack of recognition. The nature of being a minority means less of an overall presence. While there are many notably successful Latino professionals in today’s business world, such as Samuel A. Ramirez, Sr. and Nina Tassler, they do not have as strong of a voice.

Therefore, demographics are not mirrored from the top of companies down to the bottom. Until there is more diversity, there will be less of an understanding. And with less of an understanding, there is less of an urgency to educate on how beneficial hiring from the Latino Market can be.


Alison is one of the four panelists speaking at our next panel Strategizing Visibility for Latino Creative Professionals.  For more information on the event and to RSVP please click here.

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Profiles: Luigi Laguna

Born in Mexico, designer Luigi Laguna’s entrepreneurship began in 1987 when he helped open his family’s electronics business. After a successful career as an actor in both the United States and his native Mexico, he started BéBU Leather Accessories. Inspired by Mexico’s ancient Aztec and Mayan heritage, his designs are sold through high-end boutiques and retailers including Saks Fifth Avenue, Barneys and Anthropologie. His designs have been featured in publications such as the Italian magazine Inscena and the U.S. magazine Latina, and have been worn by celebrities including Michelle Pfeiffer, Ricky Martin, and Shakira. He holds a bachelor’s degree in communication sciences from UNAM (Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México) and an acting degree from the Centro de Educación Artística (Mexico).

Q: Do you find that a different sensibility is required when communicating visually to a bilingual community?

A: Yes.  You must bring distinctive sensibilities that connect to cultural and linguistic differences.

Q: What do you view as the role of the Hispanic creative professional in contemporary America?

A: There is an openness and newness to Latin designs and Latin professionals currently in America.  I think Latinos can establish and shape positive history and a powerful future by demonstrating innovation, leadership, and creativity while maintaining a sense of Latin sensibility.


Luigi is one of the four panelists speaking at our next panel Strategizing Visibility for Latino Creative Professionals.  For more information on the event and to RSVP please click here.

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