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25 Years of Serving Latino PR Pros

Hispanic Public Relations Association adds new leadership, expands in new markets, and innovates for the profession

Published on LatinoLA: March 10, 2009


25 Years of Serving Latino PR Pros


The Hispanic Public Relations Association (HPRA), the country's largest organization of ethnic PR practitioners, is celebrating its 25th anniversary of serving the needs of professionals and students in the field.

"As HPRA enters a major milestone with its 25th year celebration, the organization continues to serve public relations professionals and students by offering innovative thought leadership, professional development, and career advancement opportunities for individuals in the public relations, marketing, and advertising fields," said Ivette Zurita of Edelman Public Relations, who is serving her second term as organization president.

HPRA was established in 1984 by a group of Hispanic practitioners who believed the creation of an organization dedicated to serving their specific needs and interests was the most effective way to promote professional advancement in the field. The organization was formed at a time when Hispanics were beginning to fill many corporate, non-profit and government PR positions in the Los Angeles area. Today, as the nation's largest ethnic group, Hispanic communication professionals continue to be in high demand, and HPRA is the only organization that has fostered talent and exposed students to this industry.

"Throughout the past 25 years HPRA, has been a resource and set the standard for new and seasoned practitioners to foster their talent and gain real life experiences," said John Echeveste, partner with VPE Public Relations and HPRA Senior Advisor and founding member. "I'm proud to see the organization reach this landmark and look forward to the new generation of leadership."

Joining Zurita as board officers are Lourdes Rodriguez, VPE Public Relations, as Vice President; Albert Proctor, U.S Department of Housing and Urban Development, as Secretary; and Mario Flores, co-founder and managing director of Sportivo, as Treasurer.

In 2008 the association successfully executed events, increased membership, and advanced the structure internally to expand HPRA into new markets. It also initiated the HPRA PRemios Campaign of Year Awards to recognize outstanding achievements in Hispanic public relations.

Since its inception in 1988, the HPRA Scholarship Program has awarded $210,000 to students pursuing communications careers.

"HPRA has a solid record of achievement and a committed membership," said Zurita. "The organization is well positioned to serve the needs of Hispanic communication professionals and students for another 25 years."

In addition to the executive board, the following board committee chairs have been added to lead the organization's activities:

Board Committee Chairs
Digital Alfonso Ramirez, Dragon Fly Digital
Membership Julie Baez, La Opini??n
Fundraising Heather Spilsbury, Edelman Public Relations
Professional Development Delia Lopez, Consultant
Marketing Mariluz Gonzalez Vesper Public Relations & SourPop Records
Scholarship/College Outreach: Anai Ibarra, Latino Media and Community Liaison, Governor Schwarzenegger's Council on Physical Fitness and Exercise and Denisse Montalvan, Consultant
Programs Willy Villarreal, Edelman Public Relations
National Chapters Sandra Beranardo, Bernardo PR
PRemios Oralia Michel, Om?gen Marketing & Public Relations

For additional information regarding scholarships and membership please visit http://www.hpra-usa.org.

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