Jorge A. Plasencia is co-founder, chairman & CEO of Republica Havas Group, a global communications company providing culture-forward marketing solutions to Fortune 500 and blue-chip brands through its award-winning Creative, Media, Health & Wellness, and Experiences divisions. Founded in 2006 in Miami, Florida, the minority-certified Group is the lead global multicultural partner of Havas, one of the world’s largest communications groups with over 700 agencies in 100 countries.
Previously, Plasencia was corporate vice president and operating manager of Univision Radio. Earlier, he was vice president of marketing, corporate communications, and public affairs. Prior to Univision, he was vice president at Estefan Enterprises, leading marketing, business strategy, and communications, and serving on the management team of major recording artists, including Gloria Estefan and Shakira. Before Estefan Enterprises, he was the first director of Hispanic marketing for the Florida Marlins. The team won its first World Series championship and was selected Hispanic Marketer of the Year during his tenure.
Named one of the most influential U.S. Hispanics by Poder magazine and one of the most influential Floridians by Florida Trend magazine, Plasencia served as board chair of UnidosUS, the nation’s largest, non-partisan Latino organization.
A member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the Florida Council of 100, he was nominated by President George W. Bush — and confirmed by the U.S. Senate — to serve on the advisory board of the Broadcasting Board of Governors’ OCB. He is currently vice chair of the Miami Dade College Foundation, and serves on the boards of PBS, the Friends of the National Museum of the American Latino, and the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts.
At age 17, he co-founded Amigos For Kids, a Miami-based nonprofit organization serving under-resourced children and families and an institution he has helped nurture to national prominence over three decades. This lifelong volunteer work earned him the March of Dimes Humanitarian of the Year Award, among others.
Plasencia has received numerous accolades, including the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award, CEO of the Year Award from the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce, the Silicon Valley Latino Visionary Leadership Award, the Hispanic Public Relations Association (HPRA) Pioneer of the Year Award, and he was named Ultimate CEO by the South Florida Business Journal. A Miami Dade College Hall of Fame inductee, he earned a bachelor’s degree with honors from Barry University and completed the Advanced Management Executive Program at the Kellogg School of Management.
Luis Casamayor has more than 20 years experience in integrated marketing, advertising, and design, and has led Republica Havas to earn numerous national and international creative awards.
Before co-founding our agency in 2006, Luis was the president of Cosmyk, a design and creative agency he first started in 1994 as a graphic design studio. By 2001, the company had evolved into a full-service marketing agency offering additional services such as broadcast advertising, media and interactive. He built Cosmyk into one of the premier Miami-based creative agencies, acclaimed for its breakthrough campaigns.
Over the years, Luis has provided clients with fresh thinking, dedication and a true understanding of business objectives. His deep relationships with creative partners in all relevant areas, including multimedia production, film, printing, and photography as well as event marketing allow the agency’s award-winning campaigns to be executed at the highest level.
Named a Global Agency Innovator by The Internationalist, Luis’ passion for his clients comes to life in Republica Havas’ award-winning work for many brands, including Walmart, Toyota, Google, Baptist Health, Universal Orlando Resort, BankUnited, NBCUniversal and the Gates Foundation, to name a few.
Luis has served as a judge for numerous creative competitions, including the Media Mind Rich Media Awards in New York City. He serves as the advisory board member of the Florida International University (FIU) College of Communication, Architecture + The Arts, and also as a member of Civic Nation’s Creative Alliance, the Art Directors Club, and the American Institute of Graphic Arts (AIGA).
Anthony has held leadership roles at several of Madison Avenue’s top marketing and communications agencies. Before Republica Havas, Anthony was Managing Partner of New York City’s Naked Communications, where he worked with major brands, including ABSOLUT, Virgin Atlantic, eBay, and Mount Gay Rum.
Previously, Anthony was Managing Director of Berlin Cameron, a WPP agency. He held several management roles there during his 14-year tenure, and his clients included Coca-Cola, Reebok, LVMH, Comcast, ING Direct, Condé Nast, Boost Mobile, Heineken Light, Stolichnaya Vodka, Samsung, and Vitaminwater, among others.
Before Berlin Cameron, he was also in New York with Kirshenbaum Bond Senecal & Partners, where he worked on key clients, including Target, Tommy Hilfiger, Citi, Dom Pérignon, and Moët. He began his career as an art director for The Magellan Group, a direct marketing firm based in Rowayton, Connecticut.
A graduate of Keene State College, Anthony became the youngest member of the North American World Cup Snowboard Team in 1989 — sponsored simultaneously by Oakley, Life’s A Beach brand, and LOOK snowboards.
Tony leads the agency’s creative organization with an emphasis on clarity and focus to develop work that impacts the cultural zeitgeist. He most recently was CCO LatAm at HOY by Havas, a leading creative agency in Latin America with offices in Argentina, Colombia, and Mexico.
Tony initially studied industrial design to pursue a passion for working in the CAR industry. His interest in theater led to a deep understanding of the entertainment industry and advertising, the latter inspiring him to shift careers. One year later, he worked at an ad agency and laid the foundation for Underground, the school for creatives he founded in 2001 and directed for 18 years. Underground was one of Latin America’s most recognized creative schools, with branches in Argentina, Uruguay, Colombia, Peru, and Mexico.
Tony’s work has been recognized with numerous awards, including Cannes Lions, Clio, New York Festivals, London International Awards, El Sol, El Ojo de Iberoamérica, etc. He has been named one of the 100 Most Influential Creatives in the World by Creativepool, selected as one of the 10 Best Creative Directors in Latin America, and the Best Creative in Argentina according to El Ojo de Iberoameerica in 2022.
Catarina brings 15 years of experience in handling brand and creative strategy as well as research and planning for a host of blue-chip brands. Most recently, she was Director of Strategy for Media.Monks, an S4 digital-first agency in Los Angeles where she drove strategy for accounts including California Lottery, Mitsubishi, Northgate G. Market, Havaianas, Ring Central, YouTube, and NYX, among others.
Prior to Media.Monks, Catarina was Director of Strategic Planning for Gallegos United, an independent multicultural ad agency in Los Angeles, where she spearheaded the strategy for clients such as Got Milk?, Comcast, JCPenney, Chick-fil-A, KIA, Carnival Cruises.
Catarina holds a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and a Master’s degree in Social and Organizational Psychology from the University of Lisbon, Portugal. She worked in Lisbon, Madrid, Miami, and Los Angeles and is an avid student of global consumer behavior, emotion, and culture, which she analyzes and translates into insights that guide and inspire compelling communication strategies.
As Managing Director, Marcela leads account management across the Republica Havas consumer practice. A senior-level advertising and marketing executive, Marcela has worked at agencies such as Ogilvy and Grey. Her experience also spans the client side, leading marketing initiatives at StarMedia Network and Meredith Corporation in New York City.
Since joining us in 2021, Marcela has done an extraordinary job leading our Baptist Health team and longstanding client partnership.
A native of Buenos Aires, she received her BS in Communications from Boston University.
Vanessa brings over 15 years of multicultural consumer brand marketing experience to her role as Managing Director of Republica Havas Health, Havas Health & You’s NMSDC minority-certified health equity and cross-cultural health & wellness marketing partner in the U.S. Vanessa, a boomerang, rejoined Republica Havas Group in 2019 to lead our growing health and wellness team.
Her passion for health is fueled by creating true impact in underserved communities while supporting brands focus on reducing healthcare disparities within culturally diverse and underserved communities.
Throughout her career, she has been a strategic business partner to numerous Fortune 500 brands in the U.S., Europe, Latin America, and the Caribbean. She was the global and national business consumer lead for clients such as KFC, General Mills, the Miami Marlins, Nestlé, COPA Airlines, Florida Blue and PepsiCo.
She brings a proven track record of business growth through cross-cultural strategic partnerships with healthcare clients like, Boehringer Ingelheim, Lilly, Amgen, Biogen, Sanofi, Regeneron, AbbVie and Pfizer, to name a few.
Vanessa earned her bachelor’s in Advertising Communications in Universidad IberoAmericana in the Dominican Republic where she was born. She continued to earn her master’s degree in Global brand communications from the Istituto Europeo di Design in Milan, Italy, where she lived for five years.
With ten years of experience, Alexis is charged with integration across RH Group and will help build partnerships and growth opportunities within the Havas Villages and offices in North America and beyond.
With more than six years at Republica Havas, she has been integral in developing and growing key clients, including Azamara, White Claw Hard Seltzer, and AARP, to name a few. Throughout her career, Alexis has worked with top brands such as Walgreens, Dunkin’, and Royal Caribbean Group.
A lifelong Miamian, Alexis earned a bachelor’s degree in Editing, Writing, and Media with a concentration in Mass Media Communications and International Business at Florida State University.
Lori Sundermier is a hands-on leader with two decades of experience in finance, accounting, and administrative operations. She is a downright wizard at creating efficient financial infrastructure and her energetic personality is almost as legendary as her problem-solving skills.
After graduating from FSU, she began her career in finance at Estefan Enterprises where she excelled through the ranks in the fast-paced world of entertainment and hospitality – all while earning her MBA at Florida Atlantic University. She then took her skills to the electric arena of Event Entertainment where she oversaw finance, budgeting, and risk management for world-renown events such as the Ultra Music Festival.
Most recently, Lori was VP of Finance & Administration for Innovative Group, where she used her mega talent to build their in-house accounting department, overseeing everything from payroll and HR to policies and procedures. Her skills were also used onsite at events including the Riptide Music Festival (2016-2019) and Super Bowl Live 2020 – to name a few.
Gustavo has more than 20 years experience in the areas of broadcast, print, events, and experiential production. As Vice President, Production & Operations, he is responsible for all agency operations, including project management, traffic and studio, as well as managing and executing all production initiatives.
Prior to joining our team in 2012 as production director, Gus was Print Production Manager at SapientNitro, where he helped execute successful internal events including the company’s presence at SXSW, IEX and Cannes Lions. In addition to events, he oversaw print production and project management for Sapient globally, working with numerous clients such as Celebrity Cruises, Citi, Burger King, Network Solutions, ConAgra Foods, Kaplan College, and HondaJet.
With more than 20 years career experience, Bello’s background in media, marketing, and communications is deep and varied across a broad range of industries – corporate, consumer, health and wellness, retail, technology, automotive, and financial – throughout North America, Latin America, and Europe.
Bello has worked on both the agency and client sides, with stints at Mediacom, Omnicom Media Group, and Burger King Corporation, to name a few. Over the years, his clients have included Procter & Gamble (P&G), Kraft, The Coca-Cola Company, Novartis, AB InBev, MARS, Volkswagen, Subway, Revlon, and Dell. At OMG’s Hearts & Science, he led P&G’s U.S. multicultural media business and coordinated the brand’s commitments to minority-owned media partners. Bello was also part of the team that spearheaded P&G’s “The Talk” campaign, which was created for the Black community and earned the company numerous industry awards.
Laura Socorro-Santoni joined Republica Havas in 2008 after relocating to Miami from her native Puerto Rico. During her 13-year tenure, Laura has successfully led several key agency-client partnerships, including Baptist Health, Keurig, Google and most recently, Ocean Bank.
In addition to spearheading several award-winning campaigns, she is known for her ability to effectively lead and motivate her team. Prior to Republica Havas, Laura held account management and market research roles at agencies in San Juan, including Lopito, Ileana & Howie, and Veintinueve de febrero.
She earned her BA in Public Communications from the Universidad de Puerto Rico, and her MBA from the Universidad Interamericana de Puerto Rico.
Maria Rosa Collazo is an integrated communications and CSR expert who leads and implements impactful initiatives using a multidisciplinary 360 approach that prioritizes the most effective touch-points of the audience and the brand, as well as the importance of KPIs and ROI considerations. Working with both nonprofits and corporate organizations, she specializes in creating and developing strategic partnerships and efforts consistent with the social mission and/or business purpose.
In her leadership roles, she has been known for consistently leading high-effective teams to meet and excel goals. Her client portfolio includes Toyota, AARP, and NBCUniversal Telemundo, among others. Standing out for her expertise in multicultural initiatives, Collazo has gained recognition for maximizing growth and identifying key market opportunities for clients. Several campaigns that she conceptualized and spearheaded have won accolades in the industry, including Gold Stevie Awards for Multicultural Communications/PR Campaign of the Year, a Silver Stevie Award for Corporate Responsibility, PR Week Awards Best in Multicultural Marketing, and a Bronze Anvil Award for Best Sponsorship Activations and Strategic Partnerships.
A native of Puerto Rico, Collazo earned a master’s degree in global strategic communications from Florida International University and a bachelor’s degree in communications from the University of Puerto Rico. She has also co-authored academic research in communications.
As Senior Director, Talent Recruitment, Christina brings more than 20 years of knowledge and experience in Human Resources. She instrumentally supports Republica Havas’ success by managing employee relations, engaging in training and development, promoting the strong values of our work culture, and overseeing recruitment of new talent.
A native of South Florida, Christina grew up on Key Biscayne and then went on to South Carolina where she graduated from Clemson University with a bachelor’s degree in English with a minor in Business Administration. After graduation, Christina moved to New York City where she began her career in Human Resources at several agencies, including EURO RSG and D’Arcy Advertising. She later returned home to Miami, where she most recently worked at JMS, and previously with Eileen Haubenstock & Associates, a top advertising and marketing recruitment firm.
Stephanie Betances joined Republica Havas as director of people and engagement in August 2022. With more than 15 years of experience in human resources and organizational development, she brings a deep understanding of employee relations, learning and development, benefits, team engagement, and more.
Stephanie has previously worked for reputable companies in New York and South Florida, including Cablevision, Sonnedix, and The Coca-Cola Company.
Born in New York, Stephanie earned a bachelor’s degree in forensic psychology from the John Jay College of Criminal Justice at City University of New York (CUNY). She later received her master’s degree in human resource management from Florida International University and a certificate in human resource management from Pace University.
Natalie was born in Miami and raised on cafecitos. After graduating from Florida State University, she moved to the concrete jungle of New York where she worked at several agencies, including BBDO, BBH, and Droga5. Her clients have included Visa, Sprint, Uber, Sony, AB-InBev, and Brighthouse Financial, to name a few.
Among her proudest accomplishments is helping plan and execute BBH’s annual Griffin Farley’s Beautiful Minds – a hybrid planning boot camp and networking event. At BBH, she also dipped her toes into new biz – a role with many late nights and many successes that quickly became one of her passions.
After a decade, she finds herself back in sunny Miami as Director of Marketing and Business Development at Republica Havas, helping shape culture and growth.
Yadira Santana-Dowling joined Republica Havas in 2018 as associate director of strategy and later began overseeing the agency’s diversity, equity and inclusion program, The Greater Good, in 2020. Well-versed in the areas of branding and strategic communications, Yadira has led strategies for almost 20 years in the advertising industry. She has provided expert analysis and consultation for various national and international brands.
Passionate about building meaningful relationships between brands and people, Yadira has extensive expertise in the U.S. Hispanic and Urban markets. Yadira is the author of “The Four Day Creative Brief.” She is an effective communicator with an affinity for training and developing talent.
Yadira earned a bachelor of science in organizational behavior management from the Miami University of Ohio and a master’s degree in strategic planning from the Virginia Commonwealth University Brandcenter. In 2016, she began teaching at the Miami Ad School and, in 2021, at the school’s Punta Cana campus in Dominican Republic.
Jamie started with Republica Havas in early 2019 and has ascended the social media ladder with results-driven gumption. In her various roles, she has led progress-oriented initiatives across multiple industry verticals, including tech, food, travel & tourism, and consumer products for brands like Santa Margherita Wines, National Pork Board, NBCUniversal Telemundo, Florida Blue, Ocean Bank, and Logitech.
Her experience includes building integrated campaigns, social media, engagement, influencer outreach, digital advertising, and analysis of all measurements tied to the above strategies. The results she achieves have earned accolades for our agency and our clients.
Before joining Republica Havas, Jamie worked at THR33FOLD as the lead social strategist, where she spearheaded the agency’s directional growth in social media, both for clients and internal social media education programs. She received her BS in Advertising Management from the University of Miami.
Desiree has been a champion of people, relationships, and workflows for over 20 years, giving her a deep understanding of project management methodology. As our Director of Project Management, she provides leadership, strategic planning, and oversight to a team of project managers responsible for multiple clients. Her team-oriented, put-people-first approach and keen oversight enable us to deliver timely work and optimal results for our clients.
Prior to joining our family in 2018, Desiree was a product marketer for Royal Caribbean International. In this position, she elevated destination marketing and increased demand for their shore excursions product. She also has robust agency experience that spans many industries, from travel and tourism to spirits, hospitality, financial, automotive, electronics, confectionery, and retail.
Desiree earned her BA in Communications from Barry University and her MBA from Nova Southeastern University. But aside from her marketing expertise, what she’s most proud of are her three young boys, who she is raising to be gentlemen.
Abe has been a master facilitator for work, communication, and team members for more than 20 years, giving him a deep understanding of digital project management and technology. He has shared his guidance with clients such as Dell, Colgate, Baptist Health, Santa Margherita Wines, and Plasencia Cigars. Abe’s ability to understand all levels of digital workflow and production allows him to translate and communicate to clients and team members alike ensuring understanding of a project’s requirements.
Abe’s experience has spanned from agency work in print and digital platforms to managing teams of developers for tech startups (Boatsetter.com) and large digital publishing companies (ePublishing.com).