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Meet the Speakers Featured on multicultural.com

Date: Mar 29, 2024

Meet the Speakers Featured on multicultural.com

MMR’s Speakers Showcase features experts who can speak on a wide range of multicultural marketing and diversity topics, available for conferences, corporate ERG and training sessions, keynote speeches and workshops. Experts featured speak about diversity issues and best practices in marketing to consumer groups including Hispanics, African Americans, Asian Americans, Native Americans, LGBTQ, women, minority/women business owners, people with disabilities and others. Learn more about the Speakers Showcase here.
Click on each photo below to learn about each speaker featured in our Speakers Showcase or to contact them directly.
  • Karen Sinisi, Director, Sales and Marketing, Ethnic Technologies
  • Liz Castells-Heard, CEO/Chief Strategy Officer, INFUSION by Castells
  • Lauren Wesley Wilson, Founder & CEO, ColorComm Media Group and ColorComm, Inc.
  • Ashleigh Williams, Senior Research Director​, C+R Research
  • Shaili Bhatt, Senior Research Director, C+R Research
  • Jorge Martínez-Bonilla, Senior Vice President & Partner, C+R Research
  • Anna Rossi, Quantitative Research Director, C+R Research
  • Ana Villodres, Senior Qualitative Director, C+R Research
  • Laura Westraad, Senior Research Director, C+R Research
  • Alex Malhiot, Director, Online Immersion Operations, C+R Research
  • Adriana Waterston, Executive Vice President and Insights & Strategy Lead, Horowitz Research
  • Kai Fuentes, CEO/President, Ebony Marketing Systems
  • Arva R. Rice, President and CEO, New York Urban League
  • Lisa Skriloff, President, Multicultural Marketing Resources, Inc.
Karen Sinisi, Director, Sales and Marketing, Ethnic Technologies
Karen has extensive knowledge and experience in Multicultural Marketing as well as broad-based Direct Marketing. She has worked with clients at Ethnic Technologies for ten years, helping them to reach critical multicultural markets. She has also been instrumental in developing “cultural competence” strategies for those same clients.
Karen has 25 years of previous experience in marketing, client service and management. She was a member of the Board Of Directors for the West Coast Chapter of the Florida Direct Marketing Association. She also held the position of Newsletter Editor for that organization. She holds a BA in Anthropology and Sociology from Rollins College in Winter Park, FL.
Topics: Multicultural Direct Marketing, Using Name Segmentation to Identify Your Multicultural Markets, Direct Marketing
View Karen’s full Speaker profile here.
View full company profile here.
Liz Castells-Heard, CEO/Chief Strategy Officer, INFUSION by Castells
Liz Castells-Heard is CEO and Chief Strategy Officer of INFUSION by Castells, a full-service Multicultural agency that provides Fortune 500 Clients best-in-class strategic leadership and consistent results, known for their analytics, marketing strategies, first-in-kind thinking, and cultural narratives that compel ROI-Powered ideas. Liz is an industry force with a Stanford MBA, finance and psychology training, ‘tell it like it is’ magnetic style, and nearly 40 years of General market, Client, and Multicultural experience including DDB NY, Campbell’s, Oriflame, and Conill/Saatchi. Her strategic acumen and foresight has helped many companies like McDonald’s, Toyota, Charter Communications, and Safeway grow their businesses. Her inspiration and demand for excellence galvanizes her team, and creates campaigns that earn ROI, awards and her “Our Fearless Leader” moniker.
Topics: Multicultural Marketing for ROI-Powered Ideas & Business Integration, Advertising to the Multicultural Consumer in the U.S., Consumer Insights and Segmentation, TransculturationTM: Branding, Direct Marketing, Retail, & Activation, Strategic Business Consulting, Connecting Across Ages & Lifestyle, Ambi-Cultural Movement: Impact of Acculturation, Research: Data Analytics and Metrics
View Liz’s full Speaker profile here.
View full company profile here.
Lauren Wesley Wilson, Founder & CEO, ColorComm Media Group and ColorComm, Inc.
Lauren Wesley Wilson is an Award –Winning Diversity and Inclusion Strategist. Lauren currently serves as Founder and CEO of ColorComm Media Group and ColorComm, Inc. In 2011, Lauren founded ColorComm, Inc., the nation’s leading women’s platform addressing diversity and inclusion across the communications, marketing, media, advertising, and digital arena. Lauren has provided 100,000+ professionals with the tools and resources to advance, has secured 500+ jobs for ColorComm Members, and has worked with Fortune 500 companies on their D&I strategy. Lauren has been recognized by PR Week’s 50 Most Powerful in PR, Ad Age ‘Women to Watch’, PR Week’s 40 under 40 Award, The Root 100, New York Women in Communications, among many others.
Topics: Diversity & Inclusion, Gender Equality, Equal Pay, Women in the Workforce, Networking, Negotiations, Women Empowerment, Leadership, Entrepreneurship
View Lauren’s full Speaker profile here.
View full company profile here.
Ashleigh Williams, Senior Research Director​, C+R Research
Her own cultural context and expertise illuminates her research style and enables empathic connections with consumers of various backgrounds. In addition, she helps spearhead the CultureBeat PULSE ezine at C+R and holds experience working with multicultural teens, harnessing her passion to uncover the thoughts and desires of the next generation. Prior to joining C+R Research, Ashleigh worked as a Design Strategist at BrandImage Schawk Inc. She also spent 4 years collaborating with a variety of research and design firms (Kelton Global Research, Insight Product Development, and Webb de Vlam to name a few) to conduct qualitative research projects for Fortune 100 clients, Ashleigh holds her BFA in Industrial Design from the University of Illinois Chicago.
Topics: African American Lifestyle and Ritual Trends, Unlocking Codeswitching and the Impact on Moderation/Research, Consumer Insights and Segmentation, Advertising to the AA Consumer in the US, Differences Among AA Generations, Qualitative Research, Multicultural Research Best Practices, Defining Cultural Identity + Affinity
View Ashleigh’s full Speaker profile here.
View full company profiles here and here.
Shaili Bhatt, Senior Research Director, C+R Research
Shaili Bhatt has nearly 20 years of experience conducting online and in-person qualitative research for Fortune 500 companies in CPG, entertainment, travel, and retail. Shaili is Indian American, raised by her immigrant parents and grandparents who also taught her the Gujarati language. She has a specialty in understanding Asian American consumers. From 2012-2016, Shaili served on the Board of Directors for the Qualitative Research Consultants Association (QRCA), a global association promoting the excellence of qualitative research. She has presented her ideas at dozens of events, including QRCA, AQR, TMRE, and IIEX North America. She was Trends Editor for QRCA VIEWS magazine for over 10 years, is a regular contributor for CultureBeat, and she was nominated as a Qually Award finalist in 2018. Shaili has a BS in Advertising and a minor in Sociology, with an additional concentration in Asian Media/Family Studies, from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
Topics: Multicultural Movement: Celebrating Inclusion, Indian American Lifestyles and Trends, Indian Immigrants and the American Dream, Xennials: A Hybrid Generation, Exploring Jobs-to-Be-Done with Qualitative Research, Multicultural Ad Testing and Optimizations
View Shaili’s full Speaker profile here.
View full company profiles here and here.
Jorge Martínez-Bonilla, Senior Vice President & Partner, C+R Research
For more than 20 years, Jorge Martínez-Bonilla has been providing research and consulting in the U.S. and Latin America. At C+R Research, he leads the multicultural and Hispanic research divisions, CultureBeat and LatinoEyes. As a life-long language learner, Jorge’s early involvement in cultural exchange programs instilled a sense of deep curiosity that helped him develop a keen sense of cultural awareness and empathy. Beyond his work with the general population, Jorge specializes in multicultural consumer research. He has led research initiatives among all the US Hispanic groups as well as with African American and Asian American consumers. Jorge’s expertise as a researcher covers several areas of strategic focus including consumer attitudes and behaviors, new product development and innovation, consumer segmentation, brand positioning, advertising, and communications development.
Topics: The US Latino/a consumer, Multiculturalism and marketing, Marketing in a multicultural economy: understanding the intricacies of diverse cultural groups, Diversity, Inclusion and Cultural Understanding in Marketing Research, Multicultural Communications & Ad Testing, Multicultural consumers and their Shopping Journeys
View Jorge’s full Speaker profile here.
View full company profiles here and here.
Anna Rossi, Quantitative Research Director, C+R Research
Anna Rossi is a Quantitative Research Director at C+R Research. Anna manages a variety of custom research projects including segmentations, awareness & usage research, tracking studies, and concept tests. As a member of CultureBeat, C+R’s multicultural research team that brings deep cultural insights to our research projects, Anna has led research initiatives focused on understanding a variety of diverse consumer cohorts. She specializes in the LGBTQ+ community where she has over 10 years of academic and market research experience. Anna also leads C+R’s LGBTQ+ Cultural Discovery Series, which aims to ground & provide important contextual knowledge to your team, either as a standalone or prior to conducting research on the LGBTQ+ community. Anna enjoys leveraging her knowledge to uncover the impact of cultural influences on consumer behavior and to educate colleagues & brands about multicultural cohorts. Anna holds a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology and Philosophy from Illinois Wesleyan University and a Master of Arts in Sociology with a LGBTQ Studies Certificate and Graduate Teaching Certificate from Northern Illinois University. Prior to joining C+R Research, Anna’s research background was focused on the LGBTQ+ community and mass media’s impact on viewer perceptions & attitudes.
Topics: Quantitative Research, LGBTQ+ Community, Marketing to the LGBTQ+ Community, LGBTQ+ Research Best Practices, LGBTQ+ Communications & Ad Testing, Importance of LGBTQ+ Representation in Media
View Anna’s full Speaker profile here.
View full company profiles here and here.
Ana Villodres, Senior Qualitative Director, C+R Research
Ana Villodres is a Senior Qualitative Director and supports the multicultural division of C+R Research. She has 20 years of experience in consumer goods, media, and primary qualitative research, identifying consumer insights and translating insights into actionable strategies. Ana previously worked for Coca-Cola, Heineken, Miller Coors, and Univision in various marketing and consumer insights roles. She also served as the founder of Sapience Consumer Insights, an independent market research firm. Ana’s breadth of expertise includes concept, product, and ad testing, new product development, and brand positioning studies for clients across various industries, including CPG, media, and financial services, among others. Ana has a B.S in Business Administration from Los Andes University of Colombia and is a bilingual RIVA-trained moderator.
Topics: The multicultural opportunity: Dos and Donts, Where to start targeting Multicultural consumers, The US Latino/Hispanic consumer, Differences among Hispanics by acculturation level, The role of Heritage brands and their evolution over the years
View Ana’s full Speaker profile here.
View full company profiles here and here.
Laura Westraad, Senior Research Director, C+R Research
Laura Westraad is a qualitative bilingual moderator with over 10 years of advertising, marketing, and research experience. ​
Laura’s natural ability to connect with people from all walks of life, along with her strong analytical sense, has positioned her as a go-to moderator for a wide range of clients from healthcare and wellness to CPG and online marketplaces. In addition, Laura has a wide range of experience in multicultural research. ​She is known among her clients for not being afraid to have “tough” conversations and facilitating discussions that, while comfortable and organic, still bring subconscious thoughts/biases/sensitivities to light. ​Laura also brings client-side experience, having worked as an advertising analyst for Grupo Exito (Lead retailer in Colombia) where she worked in the creation and development of marketing strategies for brand positioning, product launch, loyalty programs, and customer service.​
View Laura’s full Speaker profile here.
View full company profiles here and here.
Alex Malhiot, Director, Online Immersion Operations, C+R Research
Alex Malhiot is the Director of the Online Immersion Operations team at C+R Research. With more than 10 years of experience in research, Alex has developed an expertise in recruitment and management of online market research projects, communities, and panels. Alex is also a member of CultureBeat, C+R’s multicultural research division, and regularly consults on best practices and recruitment strategies for engaging with the LGBTQ+ community. Additionally, he regularly participates in workgroups to evaluate and make recommendations on inclusive survey design. Alex previously worked in academic research, where he also contributed to studies related to improving access to healthcare for underserved communities, including the LGBTQ+ community.
View Alex’s full Speaker profile here.
View full company profiles here and here.
Adriana Waterston, Executive Vice President and Insights & Strategy Lead, Horowitz Research
As Executive Vice President and Insights & Strategy Lead for Horowitz Research, the multicultural division of M/A/R/C Research, Adriana provides research and insights to inform the development of their clients’ programming, distribution, marketing, advertising, branding, and positioning strategies to reach and resonate with America’s Hispanic/Latinx, Black, Asian, Gen Z, LGBTQIA+, and international audiences, among other diverse segments.
Adriana is passionate about research, particularly in conducting qualitative research among consumers. She has a flair for finding the story behind the statistics, teasing meaning out of metrics, and revealing the faces behind the facts. A thought leader in the diversity space, Adriana has served clients in media and entertainment, telecom and technology, travel and hospitality, beauty and personal care, CPG, retail, toys, education, not-for-profit, and more. She has managed countless multicultural research studies, moderated thousands of focus groups, visited hundreds of households as part of ethnographic research projects, and authored numerous research reports and white papers.
Topics: Multicultural Best Practices, Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion (DEI), Latinx Consumer Insights, Black Consumer Insights, Asian Consumer Insights, Media Industry Trends (TV, radio, streaming, social media), Gen Z, LGBTQIA+, Multicultural Kids, Qualitative Research, Quantitative Research, Consumer Insights, Cultural Insights
View Adriana’s full Speaker profile here.
View full company profile here.
Kai Fuentes, CEO/President, Ebony Marketing Systems
Kai Fuentes is the President and Founder of Ebony Marketing Systems, Inc. (EMS), a multilingual, multicultural market research firm. As a minority female business owner, Mrs. Fuentes saw a need as well as an opportunity to develop a niche within the marketing research arena in the area of multicultural research. She has over 20-years’ experience in qualitative and quantitative research studies which facilitates the identification of ethnic-bound perceptions and attitudes of the multicultural market. In 2021 under her leadership, EMS issued “Quick Guide: Understanding Black Americans in 2021” to assist markets and marketers in ‘authentically connecting with the Black community” and added the “Quick Guide to the Latino Community” in 2022. She is preparing an additional guide for the Asian American/Pacific Islander market. In 2022 she was named an IPC Laureate with a distinguished career marked by meaningful contributions that advance the profession. This is a lifetime recognition of distinction in the field from Insights Association.
Topics: Small business owner, Leadership, Balancing small business and life, Qualitative research methodologies, Multicultural market research tips, Current research case studies
Multicultural intersexuality, Corporate mindfulness
View Kai’s full Speaker profile here.
View full company profile here.
Arva R. Rice, President and CEO, New York Urban League
Arva Rice is a passionate community leader who has dedicated herself to creating pathways to success for young people with a focus on girls and women. Arva currently serves as President & CEO of the New York Urban League. The New York Urban League is leading the way underserved African-Americans are educated, employed and empowered across the 5 boroughs. For the past 100 years we’ve inspired, influenced and ignited over 1 million black people to achieve their highest aspirations. Arva is a member of the Women’s Forum, Greater New York Chapter of The Links Incorporated, a Commissioner for the NYC Equal Employment Practices Commission and Trustee at First Corinthians Baptist Church. Arva is a 2013-2014 Annie Casey Fellow, a national fellowship for government and nonprofit leaders focused on supporting innovation solutions for children. Arva graduated from the Northwestern University. She currently lives in Harlem.
Topics: Women and Leadership – Strategies for Professional Advancement, Women and Leadership – Overcoming Setbacks, Importance of Diversity & Inclusion – Strategies to Create Inclusive Workplace, Importance of Diversity & Inclusion – Developing Partnerships to Further Recruitment and Retention Goals, Leading While Black – Finding Voice and Developing Strategy to further Professional Goals
View Arva’s full Speaker profile here.
View full company profile here.
Lisa Skriloff, President, Multicultural Marketing Resources, Inc.
Following successful positions as Director of Marketing at The New York Times and Sales Rep/Editor of Hispanic Age/Caballero Spanish Radio, Lisa Skriloff founded Multicultural Marketing Resources, Inc. (MMR) in 1994 to serve as an authoritative business resource to corporations, agencies and journalists, providing information and referrals to multicultural and diversity experts. MMR is a consultancy, B2B public relations and marketing firm and editorial content supplier as publisher of The Source Book of Multicultural ExpertsMMRNews and a Speakers Showcase. The company’s latest effort is the relaunch of multicultural.com where experts can now upload their own content to the directory, job openings to the Careerpage and upcoming webinars and conferences to the Events page. Lisa is also a travel writer and founding editor of Multicultural Travel News. Multicultural Marketing Resources, Inc. is a WBENC certified woman-owned business, and also certified by New York City and New York State.
Topics: Best Practices in Multicultural Marketing in the US (for international audiences), Getting Started in Multicultural Marketing: Overview of Business Case, Getting Started in Multicultural Marketing: Resources, Organizations and Who You Need to Know, How to Establish Yourself as an Expert, The Ethnic and Niche Market Outreach Opportunity for Travel Marketers, Marketing Financial Services to Multicultural Markets (Panel)
View Lisa’s full Speaker profile here.
View full company profile here.
Expert speakers: Would you like to be listed here? Learn more here. Sign up here to be featured on multicultural.com.
For more info about participating in this newsletter email Lisa@multicultural.com. To see upcoming newsletters view our 2024 Editorial Calendar. Weekly and monthly banner sponsorships of the newsletter and stand-alone eblasts to our subscriber list are available. To learn more about newsletter advertising visit here and for all advertising opportunities visit here. Need more info? Visit here or email Lisa@multicultural.com or call 212-242-3351.
About This Newsletter 
Multicultural Marketing News (MMRNews), is a free e-mail newsletter published by Multicultural Marketing Resources, Inc. (MMR) and sent to approx. 8,000 subscribers. For a free subscription, sign up here.
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