HPRA
HPRA Members of the Month

HPRAHispanic Public Relations Association congratulates Sheila Ilundain of the Axis Agency and Alessandra Perez Silva of The Salvation Army, So. Calif. Division for being the August 2011 Members of the Month! Here is what they had to share with us:

Sheila Ilundain, Account Director – Axis Agency, NY Chapter

What do you enjoy about PR in your line of work?
I am in this field because it gives me the opportunity to work with my community.  I thrive on working with other professional Latinos in the industry, creating relevant stories with the media, and helping the Hispanic community balance a new culture while honoring old traditions.  Working together on all these components to create a movement, or improve and educate Hispanics is what makes this job fulfilling.  

What is something not many people know about you?
That I’m a Sunday school teacher….except I do it on Saturdays.  For the past ten years, I’ve been teaching neighborhood kids life lessons, how to be a better person, and other meaningful values.  The children are mostly Hispanic, and it’s another rewarding way to give back to my community.  Many times, they teach me, and I simply love it.   

What is the best advice you have ever received in your professional career?
Before my first boss left to another job, she told me “Keep on doing what you’re doing.  You’re going to go far.”  I really didn’t know what I was doing, all I knew was that I was dedicated and enjoying my work. If you do things with passion, the results will show.

What advice can you provide to the incoming generation of Hispanic PR professionals?
Public relations is glamorous, exciting and full of different opportunities.  But it’s not all about meeting celebrities or “writing”.  It also requires long hours and diverse skills.  Do an internship to make sure you’re aware of all the different areas available in this field. Surround yourself with positive colleagues and move away from those that don’t help you move forward. Also realize that you can’t do EVERYTHING, and that’s ok.

Alessandra Perez Silva –  Communications Associate, The Salvation Army, So. Calif. Division – L.A. Chapter

What do you enjoy about PR in your line of work?
Working for a non-profit is very rewarding because you leave every day knowing that you made a difference in many people’s lives. We work with the homeless and hungry in the Los Angeles and Orange County area, and I feel accomplished that due to my work, more goods may be donated to The Salvation Army. The more goods the Corps receives, the more families that will be helped.

What is something not many people know about you?
If I wasn’t in the PR industry, I would be a professional singer. I have been singing for my entire life and I would love to make a career out of it. Something else that not many people know is that I come from a large Cuban family.

What is the best advice you have ever received in your professional career?
The best advice I’ve been given is that from hard work comes big rewards and that the harder you try, the more you will get out of it.

What advice can you provide to the incoming generation of Hispanic PR professionals?
Experience is everything. I learned very fast that you can have all the education available, but to succeed in the PR industry, you need to have experience.

If you would like to be considered as a member of the month or would like to nominate a member, please contact Veronica Potes   (New York) or Cynthia Viramontes (Los Angeles).