My grandparents, Francisco and Antonia Hernandez immigrated to the US from Sonora, Mexico in search of a better life. However, jobs were scarce and life was difficult. Facing discrimination, they changed their last name to Grace in hopes of finding better work. My father was the second youngest of their ten children, the first generation of my family born in America.
At the time, speaking Spanish in America was less popular, so my father was taught English instead of Spanish. However, I had always heard my grandparents and godparents speaking Spanish, while growing up. I was intrigued by my Mexican heritage and learned everything I could about it. I studied Spanish in school, and graduated from Northern Arizona University with my Bachelor’s in Spanish and a Minor in Business Management.
After graduation, I received a call from a small, local publication called TV y Mas Magazine. It was independently owned by Ashland Media, which was launching a newspaper called La Voz and needed bilingual sales reps. I had no idea what a sales rep did, but I took the job as an opportunity to use my Spanish and be immersed in my Mexican community and culture.
Five years later, La Voz and TV y Mas were bought by Gannett and I began learning how to work within a large corporation. I went from knocking on the doors of mom and pop shops to working with large accounts such as T-Mobile, General Motors, Wal-Mart, Target and the US Government.
Three years after Gannett bought La Voz, I was asked to start my own company as an independent rep. Anita Grace AD Execs was launched in December of 2008. This provided the platform to share my experience with other papers and to make life easier for my agencies and advertisers by consolidating contacts for them. When I was brought on as the main Hispanic national and strategic sales rep for La Prensa and Excelsior in California, my journey as a business owner began! Also, in my spare time, I earned my MBA from Grand Canyon University with an emphasis in marketing.
I combine my grass roots, “on the street” background, with national and strategic experience to bring the right solutions to advertisers. I specialize in introducing advertisers to emerging/alternative markets.
Spanish language digital and print media is an important part of a comprehensive media campaign. We are the largest minority group in the US and make up 16% of the total population, and 40 to 95% of the population in many markets. I hope to bring knowledge, experience, creative ideas as your Hispanic Specialist. It’s nice to meet you, please come along for the ride!