Read biographies of feature guests of the 2016 Marketing, Media and PR Networking Forum

Read biographies of the feature guests for the 2016 Marketing, Media and PR Networking Forum being held this Tuesday, May 24th at ESTATE Yacht Club and Ultrabar Chicago. 


Alfonso Gutiérrez, News Anchor, Telemundo Chicago/WSNS

Alfonso Gutiérrez works as a news anchor for Noticiero Telemundo Chicago, which airs Monday through Friday at 4:30 PM, 5:00 PM, and 10:00 PM on Telemundo Chicago/WSNS, the local station which serves the Spanish speaking community of Chicago.

As part of Noticiero Telemundo Chicago, Gutiérrez reports the latest and most important news for Chicago area viewers. Gutiérrez first joined Telemundo Chicago in 2003, when he worked in the creative services department as an intern.
Gutiérrez has received two Emmy Awards for his journalistic work in a series of special investigations for Telemundo Chicago. He has been nominated an additional 6 times to the Emmy for his work as reporter and producer. Gutiérrez received his Bachelor’s degree in Video and Film Production from Columbia College Chicago.

Originally from Jalisco, Mexico, Gutiérrez advocates for the success of young students, inspiring them to become future leaders. To learn more about Alfonso Gutiérrez, please visit his Facebook page at and follow him on Twitter @alfonsoreporta.

Discussion Panelists

Henry Alegria, Author/Speaker/Marketing Expert, Co-Host, Chicago Latino TV on Telemundo

Henry Alegria was doing well for himself until the economy crashed in 2008. He lost everything, including 12 properties - his business and even his marriage. There came a point when he hit rock bottom and couldn’t even afford to buy his children Christmas gifts.
Henry stayed positive and made the decision to change his story. Since then, Henry built a successful business, launched a speaking and coaching career, wrote a book, “Gana La Guerra Contra Tu Banco” (Win the War Against Your Bank), launched his fan page to motívate and inspire Latinos which now has over 1 million fans and became co-host and President of Chicago Latino TV on Telemundo.

Vanessa Ferniza, Senior Project Manager, Havas Worldwide

Vanessa Ferniza is currently a Senior Project Manager at Havas Worldwide Chicago. She specializes in large-scale integrated campaigns that include broadcast, web, mobile, display, email, direct mail and social media. She is known for her agile creative process and management style.

Vanessa transitioned to Havas following work with Arc Worldwide Chicago and at Edelman where she oversaw digital executions for a variety of consumer packaged goods, luxury, health and non-profit clients.

She began her career as a Strategic Positioning Planner with Thinkinc. Strategy, a public affairs and political consulting firm. From branding to communications planning, she helped amplify and elevate her clients’ public profile. Passionate about emerging technology, Vanessa also serves as a Marketing Consultant for app start-ups and is actively pursuing consulting and collaboration opportunities.

Vanessa attended the University of Wisconsin-Madison as a Posse Foundation Scholar and graduated with a Liberal Arts Degree in Political Science and Sociology.

Vanessa Figueroa, President, Figueroa Strategic Communications

Vanessa Figueroa is a versatile professional with 15 years experience advising clients. A recognized leader in media relations, strategic communications, reputation management, events management, community engagement and crisis communications, she understands how to navigate the public relations landscape and a diverse array of public affairs challenges.

Vanessa Figueroa has provided consultation and in-house representation of corporate, government, and non-profit clients such as Comcast, Sinai Health System, Sinai Community Institute, Sinai Children’s Hospital, Chicago Metropolitan Breast Cancer Task Force, ComEd, Dove, Wrigley, Butterball Turkey, U.S. Cellular, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois, Pfizer, World Business Chicago, Latino Policy Forum, Chicago Community Trust, Year Up Chicago, various elected officials and the Chicago White Sox.

Prior to launching the Figueroa Strategic Communications consulting firm in 2014, Vanessa Figueroa served as a director or manager at multiple, reputable Chicago public affairs firms. She has also worked as an in-house public affairs manager at a global media corporation where she worked with community and business leaders, elected officials, and non-profit organizations to promote the company’s education, government and public affairs initiatives.

Vanessa Figueroa graduated from Northwestern University with a bachelor’s degree in Sociology and has a master’s degree in Public Service Management (Public Policy and Public Administration) from DePaul University.

Mark Flores, Vice President, Olson Engage

Mark Anthony Flores joined Olson in early 2011 coming from one of the largest Hispanic based non-profits in the Midwest where he served as their communications director. He was responsible for their cause marketing, public relations, content development and branding initiatives. He also served as Commissioner of Latino Affairs for the City of Chicago’s Human Relations Council from 2005-2010.

Before UNO, Mark worked for the Chicago Tribune’s first Daily Hispanic Newspaper HOY as well and after receiving his Bachelors in Communications and minor in Latino studies from the University of Illinois, he began his career at Extra Bilingual Newspaper, one of Chicago’s first Hispanic owned print media outlets as a reporter and community engagement director.

Flores brought with him deep rooted experience and knowledge of multi-ethnic communities which has helped expand Olson’s base in the multicultural marketing field in both the advertising and PR spaces.
Mark believes that the best brands are not singular in how they go to market. The most successful marketing strategies understand the need to be inclusive of multi-ethnic communities. They must reflect insights that are born from these communities in order to succeed in the increasingly diverse society that we live in. He and his team employ a deep seated cultural understanding to ensure a brand and its communities are best served with a cultural gap that is bridged and not divided. The team accomplishes this goal by assuring that all of their executions are culturally relevant, language appropriate, in-culture, while maintaining the interests of the community in mind and ensuring commitment on behalf of the client to go all-in by using the most strategic vehicles to support the brand’s message.

Lorena Nuñez, Associate Multicultural Marketing Manager, Allstate

Lorena is an Associate Marketing Manager at Allstate Insurance in Northbrook, IL. She has been with Allstate Insurance for three years as a part of the Multicultural Marketing team. She works on all things Hispanic from national brand campaigns to sponsorships, soccer and social media programs.

Previously, Lorena was at Bravo Advertising, Young & Rubicam’s Hispanic sister agency, where she worked for three years as Account Supervisor. There she led various national and local campaigns for a broad range of clients including Wrigley’s Gum, Tampico Beverages, BMO Harris and Wendy’s.

Lorena holds a bachelor’s degree in marketing and MBA both from Dominican University. She was born and raised in Melrose Park, IL. She loves dancing, hanging out with friends and family, chocolate, Don Draper, tequila and of course, novelas.

Christopher Rivera, Associate Director, Brand Marketing - Multicultural, Kellogg's Company

Christopher is currently Associate Marketing Director of Multicultural at Kellogg Company. He was named as one of the top Hispanic Thought Leaders profiled in Hispanic CMO special report by and has been a featured speaker at ANA Multicultural, Portada Media & Advertising, & AHAA conferences. Christopher has over 18 years of marketing leadership experience across CPG categories (Tobacco, Beer, Soft Drinks, Cereal, Snacks, & Frozen). He holds an MBA from Southern Methodist University and undergraduate degree from Texas A&M University.

Time is running out to register! Connect with marketing, Media and PR professionals on Tuesday. Register via Eventbrite >>

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