On December 1, Veronica Rodriguez, a gift-wrapping guru from Richmond, Calif., was crowned Americas Most Gifted Wrapper for 2006 in a national gift-wrapping contest sponsored by 3M, the maker of Scotch brand tape Amid throngs of revelers at Rockefeller Center, Ms. Rodriguez out-wrapped seven other gift-wrapping experts in the tenth annual Scotch Brand Most Gifted Wrapper Contest to earn the ultimate holiday prize: $10,000. With bows, ribbons, and Scotch tape in hand, Ms. Rodriguez and her competitors wrapped some of todays trickiest kids toysa soccer ball (out of the box), a ride-on pedal plane, and even a life-size stuffed ponywith flair, speed, and style.
Ms. Rodriguez offers this advice to those who have trouble wrapping gifts: My top three tips are be creative, stay focused, and make really big bows.
The Spanish Broadcasting System (SBS) has appointed Greg Diaz to the position of director of sales for the companys new media division, SBS Interactive. Mr. Diaz reports directly to Cynthia Hudson-Fernandez, SBS chief creative officer and executive vice president.
Mr. Diaz is now responsible for developing the companys Internet advertising sales division. He works directly with SBS Interactives product and content teams to identify target advertisers seeking new avenues to reach the Hispanic audience basethe fastest-growing segment of the U.S. population.
Mr. Diaz has extensive Internet ad sales experience. In 1994, he led the initial online ad sales launch of NYNEX Interactive Yellow Pages. In 1997, he was recruited by IGN.com to start up and lead the companys Internet ad sales team. In 2002, he was hired by WeatherBug.com to develop the companys regional and national online ad sales initiative. Today, all of these companies operate profitable Top 25 online destination sites. Most recently, Mr. Diaz was vice president of sales for Internet start-up Hispanic Digital Network, the first Hispanic online ad network for newspapers.
Mr. Diaz has lived and worked in Miami, New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and the Greater Washington, D.C. area. He has a degree in English from Syracuse University.
Dennys has named Louis Laguardia to the new position of vice president, talent acquisition and diversity. In his role, Mr. Laguardia will provide hiring best practices and promote diversity efforts to ensure Dennys attracts and retains high-performing and diverse talent at its more than 1,500 restaurants and in support positions.
Mr. Laguardia has over 25 years of experience in human resources, diversity, and general management. Most recently, he was vice president of staffing and diversity for Frito Lay North America. He has held senior leadership positions at American Express Consumer Card Group, Blockbuster, and H.E.B. Grocery Company. He was also president and CEO of a privately-owned entity specializing in HR consulting.
A native of Cuba, Mr. Laguardia has a masters degree in industrial psychology from Stevens Institute of Technology and a doctorate in research and measurement from New York University. He is based at Dennys corporate headquarters in Spartanburg, S.C.
We are pleased to have such a results-driven executive as Louis join Dennys to help us build our internal leadership pipeline which is essential to the long-term success of our brand, says Yvonne Wolf, Dennys chief people officer. Louis is a perfect example of the importance of finding the right leaders for Dennys.