Alex López Negrete Inducted into the CMC 2019 Hall of Fame Inductees

The Culture Marketing Council: The Voice of Hispanic Marketing (CMC) announced the 2019 inductees of the CMC Hall of Fame, which recognizes a select group of visionaries, leaders and luminaries who have made significant contributions to the development and advancement of the Hispanic advertising and marketing field. Sponsored by State Farm, the CMC Hall of Fame welcomes agency pioneers and creative mavens Al Aguilar, Tony Dieste, Alex Lopez Negrete, Luis Miguel Messianu, and Ingrid Otero-Smart. All inductees will be recognized during an awards gala at the 2019 CMC Annual Summit, taking place on Tuesday, June 11, at the Statler Hotel in Dallas, Texas.

“The CMC Hall of Fame honors the architects of the multicultural marketing industry—this year’s inductees paved the way for culture marketing specialists everywhere, and they continue to raise the bar with their dedication to excellence, groundbreaking work and creative ideas,” said CMC chair Isaac Mizrahi, co-president and COO of Alma.CMC

Al Aguilar

Advertising and marketing visionary Al Aguilar was inspired at an early age by David Ogilvy’s Confessions of an Advertising Man, leading him to pursue his dream of becoming a Latino Mad Man. Today, Al and his extensive advertising work are immortalized in an exhibition at the Smithsonian Museum of American History, alongside the legendary Ogilvy and other iconic marketers.

Al Aguilar is the CEO and Chief Creative Officer at Creative Civilization, an agency he and his wife and partner, Gisela Girard founded in 1999, after serving as a principal in the legendary agency Sosa, Bromley, Aguilar & Associates, which was recognized as the largest Hispanic advertising agency in the U.S. Al’s pioneering career was shaped through his role as part of the first Hispanic marketing department at the Coca-Cola Company, and he is credited with establishing San Antonio as the Hispanic Madison Avenue during the robust era of Hispanic advertising industry growth with corporate America.
A past chair of the CMC, Al led the creation of a national Latino voter registration campaign, VOTO, which inspired and grew Hispanic voter registration and participation in national elections. He has been recognized with numerous awards, including being named the first recipient of the Advertising Executive of the Year award by Hispanic, and in 2017 the American Advertising Federation (AAF), bestowed the prestigious Silver Medal Award to Aguilar for his lifetime achievements and contributions to the advertising industry.

Tony Dieste

A pioneer and recognized authority on connecting brands with cultures, Tony is the co-founder of Dieste, Inc. A creative problem solver, a powerful communicator, and a champion of extraordinary people and culture that have endured throughout his entrepreneurial career, Tony built Dieste, Inc. into one of the most successful and revered agencies in the business and helped cement Dallas’ reputation as a business-friendly city with creative firepower.

From 2008 to 2011, Tony served as an executive and private equity investor in the technology space, where he managed and invested in transformational communications platforms, but his entrepreneurial spark began in college when he launched a successful retail company that grew to 13 locations before it was acquired. A self-proclaimed “techie,” he has received dozens of industry awards, including the coveted Cannes Lions. He was named to the AAF “Hall of Achievement” and was named as one of the 100 Most Influential Latinos in the U.S.

Tony volunteers with underprivileged kids from Mi Escuelita Preschool and Cristo Rey Dallas College Prep and has launched the Dieste Scholarship for Innovation & Creativity at The University of Texas. He serves on multiple boards and is a founding member of the Dallas Latino Cultural Center—and even found time to start a successful grass-fed beef company. Tony enjoys kicking back at his ranch with family and friends and telling stories around the firepit.

Alex Lopez Negrete

With the conviction that thoughtful, relevant, fully integrated, in-language and in-culture communications is the best way to reach the exceedingly important Hispanic market, Alex is a master architect of the Hispanic marketing industry. In 1985, he co-founded Lopez Negrete Communications, Inc. with his wife and partner Cathy and has led the company to become one of the country’s most influential, independent, Hispanic owned and operated omnicultural® marketing agencies. In his role as company president and CEO, Alex is intricately involved in providing invaluable strategic counsel and creative direction to agency clients. Alex credits the agency’s success to its team of multicultural, multinational communications professionals.

During the agency’s 34-year history, Alex has been honored with many awards, including  Entrepreneur Award from PROSPANICA (formally known as the National Society of Hispanic MBAs); a Lifetime Achievement Award (the first of several) from the Association of Women in Radio and Television; a Silver Medal from the American Advertising Federation, the highest honor given by the organization; the coveted Agency Executive of the Year Award from in 2008 and 2012; the Ohtli Award from the government of Mexico in 2015, the highest honor bestowed on civilians of Mexican descent living abroad; and the Governor’s Award from the AAF Tenth District’s Southwest Advertising Hall of Fame in 2016. Recently, the Houston Minority Supplier Development Council honored both Alex and Cathy with the President’s Award for their significant support during and after Hurricane Harvey in Houston.

Alex is committed to the future of the Hispanic marketing industry. That’s why he and Cathy collaborated with the Advertising Education Foundation of Houston to establish the Lopez Negrete Hispanic Marketing Education Fund. The fund offers scholarships to students interested specifically in Hispanic marketing or advertising. Born in Houston and raised in Mexico City, Alex resides in Houston. He and Cathy have two children, Michelle and Patrick, and two granddaughters, Mia Marie and Catherine Josephine.

Luis Miguel Messianu

An influencer in the most important developments in the U.S. Hispanic market during an advertising career that spans three decades, Luis Miguel Messianu has built a professional trajectory defined by a conscious effort to help pioneer the melding of marketing niches into a nuanced and evolving total market.

Twenty-five years ago, when advertising to U.S. Hispanics was an afterthought in a business plan, Luis Miguel had the foresight to target this vast and untapped market. In 1994 he started his own Hispanic agency—today, Alma is one of the largest Multicultural agencies in the country, with a team of over 150 people hailing from 31 different nationalities, and still growing. The agency has appeared on Ad Age’s “A-List” six times since 2010, including three as Multicultural Agency of the Year. Under Luis Miguel’s leadership, Alma has been awarded at every international festival in the industry. The agency set a new record for the U.S. Multicultural market by earning 22 coveted Cannes Lions since 2013. Alma has been named “Agency of the Year” at the Mosaic Awards, which recognizes multicultural excellence.

In 2001, DDB partnered with Alma, and in fact, Luis Miguel currently sits on DDB’s Global and DDB Latina’s Creative Councils and their Executive committee. In 2015, ADCOLOR named Luis Miguel Legend Honoree in celebration of his achievements in diversity through his career, and in 2016 he was selected as juror for the Radio Category at the Cannes Lions Advertising festival.

Luis Miguel has always been passionate about mentoring and educating a new generation of multicultural advertising professionals and has been a member of the Miami Ad School Board and faculty since the school’s inception. He also was one of the founders of the U.S. Hispanic Creative Circle twenty years ago and was elected its first president—he is now co-chairman. He is currently the chairman of the Advisory Board at the newest Miami Ad School in Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic.

Ingrid Otero-Smart

President and CEO of Casanova//McCann, Ingrid Otero-Smart holds over 30 years of experience in the advertising industry. She joined Casanova Pendrill in August of 2008 before its re-brand as Casanova//McCann in 2016, leading the agency’s operations in Costa Mesa, New York, Detroit and Dallas. Under her leadership, the agency has more than doubled in size, doubled its revenue, and expanded to the Midwest.

Ingrid began her career in her native Puerto Rico at McCann Erickson. She later moved to California to join Mendoza Dillon & Asociados as account director and left 18 years later as President and COO. Following her time there, she spent three years as President of Anita Santiago Advertising.

A founding member and past-chair of the CMC, Ingrid has served on the board of directors of CPI Corp, Orange County Chamber of Commerce and U.S. Hispanic Family of the Year. She currently serves on the Dean’s Advisory Board of the School of Communications, at California State University Fullerton, Agency Advisory Board for the School’s Practical Advantage Agency, and is on the Board of Governors of the institution. She is also a founding member of the Latino Communications Institute.

Ingrid’s numerous accolades include Hispanic Ad Executive of the Year, 100 Most Influential Hispanics by Hispanic Magazine, Executive of Excellence by Hispanic Lifestyle, the Hispanic Marketing Achievement Award, Ad Color Rock Star Award, Advertising Women of NY Mother of the Year, among many others. Ingrid’s biggest achievement is her son, Jordan, who has recently graduated with a degree in Communications and is following in his mother’s footsteps.

For more information, visit and follow the CMC on Facebook and Twitter at @cmchispanic using the conference hashtag #culturedriven.

About CMC: Founded in 1996, CMC: The Voice of Hispanic Marketing is the national trade organization of all marketing, communications and media firms with trusted Hispanic expertise.

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