First award to honor Hispanic marketing professionals under 35

Fairfax, Va. (June 13, 2017) – AHAA: The Voice of Hispanic Marketing announced the winners of the Rising Stars Recognition, the Hispanic marketing industry’s first-ever award for outstanding marketing professionals ages 35 and under, at an awards ceremony at the 2017 AHAA Annual Conference in Chicago. Four young executives, Beatríz Torres Marín, associate creative director, Alma; Alfredo Piña, brand management, Richards/Lerma; Ana Rosella Ibarra, public relations managing supervisor, d expósito & Partners; and Sonny Villarreal III, account director, Lopez Negrete Communications, were inducted as the Rising Stars Class of 2017.

“This is a way for our industry to recognize young professionals who are making a significant impact on our industry through their leadership, career achievements and personal qualities – these leaders of tomorrow also will inspire others to excel,” said AHAA Chair Linda Lane Gonzalez. “A huge thanks to State Farm for providing a three-year sponsorship supporting both our Rising Stars Recognition and Hall of Fame, which allows us to tell our rich history, invest in our future and strengthen the Hispanic marketing industry of today.”

To be considered for the Rising Star Recognition, Hispanic professionals must be 35 years old or younger and employed in the Hispanic marketing industry. Nominated by their peers, they had to demonstrate passion for the Hispanic advertising and marketing industry with measurable results. 2017 winners represented a diverse cross section with expertise in creative, public relations and brand management.

Beatríz Torres Marín, associate creative director, Alma
Beatríz started her career as a copywriter in 2007 at EURO RSCG, Barcelona. After a year, a creative boutique named Shackleton came calling, and she joined them as part of the new business team. In 2009, she started working as a creative at DDB Barcelona as part of the Volkswagen team. After four years with them, Beatríz moved to Miami to join the Alma family. There, she worked for major brands such as McDonald’s, State Farm and Netflix. She has won several awards at different festivals, including The One Show, El Sol, El Ojo, and Wave. In 2017, she was part of the jury for the Addy awards in Dallas. In addition to being a creative director at Alma, she is also a travel blogger and an active volunteer in various organizations.

Alfredo Piña, brand management, Richards/Lerma
Alfredo Piña is a Dallas, Texas native and considers New York City his second home. As a graduate of NYU, he has worked at agencies such as BBDO NY, McCann Erickson NY, and now Richards/Lerma in Dallas, covering a wide spectrum of categories/clients, ranging from CPG brands to banking, fashion, automotive and more. He currently leads the Avocados from Mexico partnership at Richards/Lerma and is part of an integrated team that helped the brand dominate the digital and social space surrounding this year’s Super Bowl, generating more than 3.3 billion impressions and leading all top brands by volume of mentions. 

Ana Rosella Ibarra, public relations managing supervisor, d expósito & Partners
Ana’s passion and true understanding of the US Hispanic/multicultural market has allowed her to serve as a strategist to several brands across numerous business categories including CPG, QSR, nonprofit, entertainment, education and automotive. Born in California and raised in Mexicali, she has led award-winning brand communications campaigns involving product launches, influencer/celebrity engagement, event marketing, community-building health initiatives, and corporate responsibility. A creative and editorially savvy thinker, Ana maintains strong relationships with key national editors and media which allows her to secure top-tier features for her clients, including the front page of The New York Times.

Sonny Villarreal III, account director, Lopez Negrete Communications
Sonny says he found his true calling in 2011 when he joined Lopez Negrete. Since 2013, he has served as part of the agency’s brand leadership team, managing brands such as Chrysler, Dodge, Ram, Samsung, Southern California Edison, the Houston Astros and the Houston Dynamo. Along with his agency duties, Sonny sits on the Board of Directors at the American Advertising Federation in Houston, where he serves as chairman of the Multicultural & Diversity Committee. He also lends his time to the Valenti School of Communication at the University of Houston, where he frequently speaks and helps mentor advertising students on all facets of the industry. In 2009, Villarreal and his wife founded The One Goal Project, an organization aimed at raising awareness for child hunger in the US through the game of soccer, while also providing food donations to local ministries across Houston.

To learn more about AHAA, please visit http://ahaa.org and follow all conference chatter on Twitter using the @ahaa handle and hashtag #ahaanextgen.