Houston's Time-Honored Hispanic Ad Man
Story By: Diana Alter
The United States and its workforce have become increasingly diverse over the last several decades. As a result, businesses that embrace diversity have a more solid footprint in the marketplace than their rivals. A diverse workforce combining workers from different backgrounds and experiences spawns a more creative, innovative, and productive staff. Without question, diversity is a key ingredient to growing a strong and inclusive business that is built to thrive and endure. Alex Lopez Negrete has been helping businesses tap into the Latino community via advertising for more than 30 years.
Lopez Negrete founded Lopez Negrete Communications in 1985 with his wife and partner, Cathy. An independent, Hispanic owned and operated full-service agency specializing in Hispanic marketing, the firm was established with the belief that the Hispanic market is a viable and powerful consumer segment. Lopez Negrete knows that thoughtful, relevant, fully integrated, in-language and in-culture communications are the best way to reach this far-reaching and important market. His well-planned and determined approach has produced unparalleled results.
Today, Lopez Negrete’s eponymous advertising agency is headquartered in Houston, with a second office in Los Angeles. With a workforce of more than 160, Lopez Negrete Communications is a proven leader in providing fully integrated national Hispanic marketing and communications services. The company serves an assorted and enviable list of clients that includes global giants and marquee names. Banking behemoth Bank of America, oil goliath Philips 66, tech titan Microsoft Corp., and retailing powerhouse Walmart are among Lopez Negrete’s clients.
Before Lopez Negrete Communications was a highly recognized, frequently honored, and widely respected name in the ad community, the man behind the firm was a spirited child growing up in Mexico City. His dream was to come to the United States and make it big in the music industry.
“My Mexican roots made me the person I am today,” Lopez Negrete told Latino Leaders. “My mother was American and my father Mexican. Right after I was born in Houston, we moved back to Mexico. My upbringing allowed me to have a balanced interest in all things Mexican. I set out to be a good Mexican, and truly appreciated where I grew up and what I grew up with. I took nothing for granted and relished the little things like riding my bike to the market. It was an amazing culture to be raised in.
“When I moved to the States at the age of 18 to attend the University of Houston, the transition was not easy. But Houston’s Mexican-American community involved me, influenced me, and paved the way for me. They made me feel like I belonged. I soon recognized that I did. My community lifted me. That is where my earliest opportunities came from. They provided me with an extra set of tools that was, and continues to be, an invaluable business asset.”
While Lopez Negrete had hopes of making a name for himself in music, he knew that was not going to be easy, nor was it going to provide for him. So he studied business at the University of Houston. Midway through his college term, Lopez Negrete changed all of his day classes to nighttime so he could start his career. During this time, he married Cathy, and the two of them watched as Houston underwent a period of radical change.
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