January 27, 2021

The Hispanic Public Relations Association (HPRA) announced that Sonia V. Diaz of Balsera Communications will serve as president of the HPRA Executive Board for its 2021-2022 term. Diaz, who has been part of the organization for seven years, previously served as president of HPRA's Miami chapter from 2014-2016. Jaime Rojas of Los Angeles-based Rojas Communications Group will serve as president-elect for 2022.

"As an organization of professionals that has been greatly impacted by a series of economic and social crises within the past year, we believe it is more important than ever to engage our industry in a way that will ensure its continued growth and development in 2021," said Diaz.

According to a 2018 report from the Harvard Business Review, Latinos makeup only 5.7% of the industry while representing 17% of the workforce nationwide. The gender gap at the executive level is much wider with 70% of the industry's workforce being female while only holding 30% of its executive positions.

"Our new executive board is comprised of a diverse set of communications leaders who are eager to share their best practices for addressing critical issues that are affecting our industry across all sectors, such as the fast rise of disinformation online, organization diversity, equity and inclusion, and fundraising in a virtual world, among others," she added.

In addition to Diaz and Rojas, the HPRA 2021-2022 Executive Board includes:

  •     Treasurer: Elia Verduzco, OCTA
  •     Secretary: Maggie Santos, City of Doral
  •     Directors at large: Darcy Brito, AFLAC, Mario Flores, Sportivo, Maggie Hernandez, Cision, Mayra Ramos Miró, Red Heels PR, Jennifer Morales, Amazon, Carla Santiago, Edelman, Oscar Suris, Zeno Group
  •     BRAVO Committee Co-chairs: Andy Checo, Havas FORMULATIN, Brenda Mendoza, Guardian Life
  •     Past Presidents: Stephen Chavez, Chavez PR, Andy Checo, Havas FORMULATIN, Yvonne Lorie, ReFresh PR

HPRA's professional development and leadership opportunities, including presence at key industry conferences, are also supported by the organization's local and regional chapters, which offer in-market professional development initiatives and exclusive networking activities with top journalists and industry thought leaders.

HPRA Chapter Presidents include:

  •     Los Angeles – Jaime Rojas, Rojas Communications Group
  •     Miami – Erika Cruz, Edelman
  •     New York – Erika Sanchez, Braid Communications
  •     Texas – Audrey Ponzio, APC Collective
  •     The Carolinas - Natalia Flores, APR, Inspire PR
  •     HPRA Collegiate - Catalina Santana, University of Florida

Additionally, every year, HPRA's Annual ¡BRAVO! Awards recognizes the most innovative, creative, and cultural campaigns across several categories including technology, food & beverage, healthcare & nutrition, sports, automotive, digital, non-profit and integrated marketing, honoring individuals who are pioneers in their industry. The 2021 ¡BRAVO! Awards are currently slated to take place in New York City in September.


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