‘Mis Pioneros’

  By Isabella Sanchez / Zubi Advertising

 I was so happy and touched to see Hispanicad.com’s recognition of “Los Pioneros” at this week’s AHAA conference in Miami.  Unfortunately, I was not there in person, but if I were, I would have been the first one standing in applause (and probably in tears) to honor all those that made such an impactful contribution to our industry.

Their contributions in this business go so much beyond advertising; they all served as role models, they gave back to their communities, and influenced thousands.  If we think our jobs are hard now, we must remember that those who started this business began with no research and no ‘scientific’ way to prove the business opportunity.  But yet, they built a business on their passion and integrity; results followed, and the businesses flourished.

I was truly fortunate to have personally worked with some of the pioneers in our business.  I often find myself thinking about and quoting things that came directly from my mentors.  I strive to live by their examples.

Meg Bernot-Rodriguez gave me my first break in this business, and I was fortunate to work under her leadership for over 15 years. I then proceed to be blessed by the mentorship of Carlos Delgado, Gloria Constanza, Daisy Exposito, Mary Miqueli and Monica Gadsby.  The lessons they taught me were invaluable, and I know that without them, not only would we as an industry not be here today, but I personally would not be where I am.

Many others continue to make a tremendous impact on me.  Eduardo Caballero and I have had endless conversations about advertising, radio and the future of the industry.

I was also privileged to become great friends with Raul Toraño. His impact on me, and so many others in this business, is remarkable. If you were lucky enough to have worked with him, you have never forgotten his laugh, his joy for life, his love for his team, and his true partnership with clients and agencies.

Years ago I had the opportunity of working with Tere Zubizarreta through AHAA initiatives, and I now have the distinct privilege of working at the agency she built, and that Michelle and Joe are continuing to build.  The first thing I see everyday when I step off the elevator is a portrait of Tere, a wonderful daily reminder of her contribution and love for this business.  I see her smiling down at the agency, and at Michelle and Joe, with pride and admiration.

To all the others pioneers that left too soon, I know you are also looking down on us; smiling, laughing, and hopefully all gathered together, gossiping and raising a glass to the industry today!

Gene, thank you for reminding all of us about the importance of recognizing nuestros pioneros. Just like the strong Hispanic heritage that we all share; “if we don’t know where we’ve been, we won’t know where we are going.”

Ps:  Many in this business have talked about writing “the book”. I hope someone does it soon!


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