CS Team

Sebastian PuenteSebastian Puente, CEO

Sebastian co-founded Cultural Strategies and serves as its managing partner. His experience spans 16 years crafting, producing, and managing communications and media strategies for clients. As the chief operations officer for Hispanic Radio Network (currently Hispanic Communications Network), Sebastian oversaw the production and distribution of daily and weekly cause-oriented radio and print campaigns, reaching millions of Spanish-speakers across the Western Hemisphere on over 160 radio stations, 60 newspapers, and 4 satellite radio channels. Among its clients were the National Science Foundation, US Department of Labor, and Robert Woods Johnson Foundation. Sebastian co-founded an print and online media company that served thousands of Spanish-speaking homes with local search services and re-launched a weekly sports newspaper recognized nationally in 2008 with two José Martí Publishing Awards.  His insights contribute to the development of brand strategy, custom media publishing, stakeholder outreach and advocacy marketing.

 

Juan Tornoe, CMO

Juan has been working for more than 16 years on the media, agency and client sides of the marketing and advertising industry. At LatinWorks Marketing, Juan’s strategic planning and consumer research informed marketing programs for ESPN Deportes and Domino’s Pizza, among others. His unique media buying tactics were developed during his tenure at the Wizard of Ads and the Wizard Academy where he purchased more than $10 million annually in media for a variety of retail clients across the U.S. and Canada.

He has judged the AAF’s ADDY Awards and his blog, Hispanic Trending, is the leading Latino marketing and advertising blog. In addition to being an international public speaker, Juan has been published in several industry publications and newspapers, among them CNN’s AC360, Marketing y Medios, LatPro. com, Latino Magazine, The Dallas Morning News, and FutureNow’s GrokDotCom. Juan is frequently quoted in the news regarding his area of expertise and his insights appearing in The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, USA Today, Reuters, The Associated Press, CNN, Los Angeles Times, NPR, BBC, and Univision.

Juan earned a master’s degree in business administration, with emphasis in marketing and total productivity management, from Universidad Francisco Marroquin in Guatemala. He oversees the firm’s planning, development, execution of client marketing and media buying activities.

Juan Arango, Creative Director & Operations Manager

For more than 25 years, Juan Arango has provided inspiration and design thinking to start and help build successful advertising and publishing organizations in the United States and Colombia. He brings an extensive background in interactive and print media, coupled with a unique vision for best practices in branding, content development and social marketing. His passionate drive, leadership and forwardthinking skills enable organizations of all sizes to use innovation to engage diverse audiences through multiple medias, generating sound business results. He has lent his experiences to organizations such as the American Red Cross of Greater New York and Habitat for Humanity of Gwinnett County, where he served as board member. He has been SVP-Executive Editor of Hoy Newspapers in New York, Chicago and Los Angeles, Business Development Director of Studiocom-WPP, Sr. Political Consultant of 1990 Presidential Campaign for César Gaviria, and Creative Director and Editorial Consultant at Revista Dinero, the latter two in Colombia.

Elizabeth Johnson, Account Director

Elizabeth Johnson is a bilingual marketing and advertising professional and has worked on national integrated campaigns for brands such as Continental Airlines, U.S. Army, Nestlé Pure Life, Stouffer’s, EMD Serono, and Merck. With over eight years of account management experience in consumer targeted communications, Elizabeth has overseen total market and significant Spanish-language outreach in the following formats: TV, radio, email, direct mail, mobile, print, out-of-home, web, and CRM programs. She partners with clients closely to assure all communications are on-strategy, seamlessly executed, and meeting deadlines and budgets. She is a graduate of the University of the Incarnate Word in San Antonio, Texas with a Bachelor’s in Mass Communication and a minor in English.

Victoria (Vicky) Garza, Communications Manager

Vicky has over 10 years of journalism, public relations/marketing, and technical communications experience. Prior to working with Cultural Strategies, Vicky worked as a staff writer for the American City Business Journals in Austin, where she covered the health care, legal, and creative industries, as well as city, county, and state government. She has also written for the Texas State Senate and various multicultural media outlets. In a marketing and public relations capacity, Vicky has written and edited content and helped produce events for clients ranging from nonprofit and advocacy organizations such as the anti-tobacco Truth campaign to Fortune 500 companies. Additionally, she worked at Freescale Semiconductor for three years writing and editing technical documentation while earning an MBA in International Business from St. Edward’s University in Austin, which allowed her to travel to Belize, Germany, Ireland, and the Czech Republic on consultancy projects. 

Octavio A. Hinojosa Mier, Government Relations Consultant

Octavio brings national leadership and public sector experience to CS’s client work.  As the former Executive Director of the Congressional Hispanic Leadership Institute (CHLI) in Washington, DC, Octavio led the non-partisan organization to help broaden awareness of the diversity of thought, heritage, interests and views of millions of Americans of Hispanic and Portuguese descent.  Octavio also served as the inaugural Executive Director of the Congressional Hispanic Conference (CHC), a Congressional member organization committed to promoting the best interests and policies of more than 40 million Americans of Hispanic and Portuguese descent. During his tenure, congressional membership of the organization grew from its original seven founding members to include sixteen distinguished members.

Octavio has over five years work experience with the U.S. Department of State. From 1996 to 2001, he was assigned to the Bureau of Diplomatic Security where he served as a Security Analyst for U.S. embassies and consulates in the Western Hemisphere, Europe and Africa. In 2002, the Assistant Secretary of State for Bureau of Resource Management appointed Octavio to serve as Special Advisor and Executive Secretary of the Critical Infrastructure Protection Governance Board where he coordinated high-level meetings with Senior State Department officials on a handful of Post-9/11 initiatives In 2004, he was also selected by the Embassy of Spain in Washington, D.C., and the US-Spain Council as one of the “Young Hispanic Leaders” representing the United States at a business, cultural and political leadership program in Madrid and Santander, Spain.  In addition to serving as the Executive Director of CHLI, Octavio also served on a number of non-profit Boards, including the Creyentes Council, Líderes Hispanos, Liberty’s Promise, Trekking for Kids, and the Washington Catholic Forum, Octavio holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science and Latin American Studies from the University of Kansas and a Master of Public Administration degree from the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University, the nation’s top public affairs school.   Bilingual in English and Spanish, he is also conversant in French and Portuguese.