Latina Business Leader Spotlight: Ad Exec Daisy Expósito-Ulla 

Daisy Expósito-Ulla

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LBT: Daisy please tell us about the factors that shaped your career and business aspirations.

With Alicia and Rafael Conill. My  rst advertising agency job. In the 70’s.I’m not exaggerating when I put a lot of “the blame” on my early attraction to television.

I was hooked on the early comedy series like “I Love Lucy” and the talk-shows of the time. The TV screen was, in fact, like an additional classroom where I could polish my English… while doing my actual homework! Television was like a window to the world for me.

Broadcasting and advertising

Somehow, I started to get tickets for some of those shows in Manhattan and the gravitational process started to happen on its own.

Meanwhile, my uncle Pepe, a sculptor and graphic artist, had a small graphic studio where I joined him and my father, and would soon learn some basics of message construction and advertising. I went to the New York Institute of Technology, which was little known then, and where I graduated with high honors in the discipline of Communications.

I was avid and hungry for knowledge. I looked up special broadcast courses, hands-on production opportunities, advertising talks, connections and seminars―all over New York City and, in some cases, in some safety-challenged areas not exactly recommended for a young woman at night―especially in the NYC of those days.

You don’t find the job; the job finds you.

I landed a first opportunity with PBS where a very smart Latina producer, Raquel Ortiz, treated me with the care and responsibility of a mentor. The PBS experience was enormously helpful as it opened my eyes to film and television production―and the Latino experience of America.

Advertising would find itself in my path

Early years of The Bravo Group/Y&R (early 80’s). Standing: Olga Ho man, Maggie Diaz, Cristina de Cordoba, Jim Alexander, Margo Silva. Sitting: Daisy, Jorge Gestoso & Cristina SchwartzIn short time, though, advertising would find itself in my path signaling where my destiny would take me.

A filmmaker friend, Orlando Jimenez-Leal, who was already shooting some of the first spots for brands trying to reach Hispanic consumers, suggested to contact a pioneering ad agency, Conill Advertising. Owned by Alicia and Rafael Conill, they had the strength of their Havana-earned pedigree and were introducing important clients like McDonald’s to the incipient U.S. Hispanic Market of the 1970’s.

I was hired as a producer and learned a lot from Alicia who taught me key lessons of leadership while allowing me to become a copywriter―indeed, a full-fledge publicitaria.

Stars had an interesting alignment

Picture shot by our friend, the late Oscar-winning cinematographer, Nestor Almendros.By the end of that decade, the stars had an interesting alignment and a concurrence of factors moved my life in a different direction.

I met Jorge Ulla, the man who would become my life and business partner to this day, did a brief stunt, again, with PBS and, in a swift twist of fate, was offered a job at a tiny, barely-started ad division at the legendary Madison Avenue advertising giant, Young & Rubicam.

This is where most writers would write, “…and the rest is history.” I was lucky to be given the opportunity and to see the growth of The Bravo Group from six employees to nearly 400 and from a million in billings to close to 500 million in billings. We helped create the blueprint for Madison Avenue to address the growing U.S. Hispanic Market.

We ushered the entrance of giant brands such as AT&T. We helped introduce product categories, strengthen the media outlets and gradually produce the media explosion that now services 60 plus million Hispanic-Americans.

In part two Daisy will share: 

How she started her business, People that influened her business, Work-Life balabce challenges and a bit of advice for Latino starting a business

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A Latina’s Start-up and Business Execution

Latina Entrepreneur on Business Growth and Work-Life Balance

Latina Entrepreneur Turns a Crisis Into a New Career Catalyst

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