This week’s Hispanic PR Leader profile is with Hector Galvan, director of public relations for Sprint.  

HPRB: What was your childhood ambition?

HECTOR GALVAN: My childhood ambition was to become an architect.  That field intrigued me, I guess because of the construction things my dad did at home. I also wanted (a career) that could make an impact in my community and society.

HPRB: Tell us about three people you admire and why?

HG: I most admire my dad because although he had a 6th grade education he taught me every principle I have today.  Honesty, value, trust, responsibility… He taught me right from wrong and he knew how to educate all his children.  He not only demonstrated the attributes of what it means to be a father – and character – but most importantly he  also showed me how to be a man and friend!  

St. Thomas Aquinas, my future patron saint who as a youngster was just like me.  He saw life without a care in the world and through a life-changing ordeal he changed his path.  As the saying goes, “As you travel and follow the stars for something better, you should never forget that those same stars can and will bring you back home…”

HPRB: What is your favorite life or business quote?

HG: You’re are the architect of your own destiny.

Past, Present, Future, the past is gone and you cannot change, the future is too far ahead to plan, but the present is here, live it.   That is why it is called a present. (That’s from “Kung Fu Panda”)

HPRB: What are you really passionate about outside of work?

HG: I have practiced martial arts all my life.  Tranquility in times of peril, happiness in times of sadness, family.

HPRB: Tell us about your educational background.

HG: I have a degree in Economics from UC Berkeley and an Executive MBA from the USC School of Business.

HPRB: What is one of the best lessons your parents taught you about life?

HG: Never give up and always do the best you can.

HPRB: What is the most important business habit you have?

HG: Punctuality. Being on time and showing respect to everyone I meet.

HPRB: What is the best book you’ve recently read and why?

HG: You will laugh, but I just re-read the Cat in the Hat with my boys.  I never really paid attention, but the message I got was that when life give you lemons you make a mojito.

HPRB: How did you start your career in PR and where has that taken you?

HG: After being laid off from Sprint on 8-8-08 (during the Summer Olympics) I was rehired to develop Hispanic PR for Boost Mobile.  Stumbling along the way, I developed something incredible that brought a whole different perspective into PR and the opportunities created.  My manager at the time saw something in me that helped us create Hispanic PR for Boost Mobile.

HPRB: What advice would you have for young people exploring Hispanic or multicultural PR careers?

HG: Don’t ever let anyone tell you that you cannot do something. Listen and then react.  Wear very thick skin because if you don’t, you shouldn’t be a part of it.  Remember your roots and how you got there, pay it forward.

HPRB: Tell us something about you that would surprise even many of your closest friends.

HG: At the ripe young age of 39 I became a grandfather. I’m also a faithful addict of the martial arts for over 30 years.

HPRB: Describe the most effective Hispanic marketing campaign you’ve worked on and what made it special?

HG: Our sponsorship of the Mexican rock band MANA in the U.S. was the most effective Hispanic marketing campaign I’ve worked on. That marketing campaign lifted Sprint’s overall brand in the Hispanic community.  The overall most positive thing I took from it was the personal relationship that I still have with the band.

HPRB: What’s in the works at your company to continue to grow its Hispanic market-related business?

HB: We have a new technology that will change how you see and use wireless.  The other is our prepaid service adding more options.

HPRB: What is the biggest Hispanic marketing cliché that you would love to see go away?

HG: That Latinos lack in technology.

HPRB: What are the top dos and don’ts about marketing through Hispanic social media?

HG: Do be honest.  Don’t lie.

HPRB: What are your three favorite sources to find out what is going on in the US Hispanic world and what do you look for in these resources?

HG: HPRA/PR WEEKLY Magazine/Linked In.  I look for best practices, networking opportunities, ideas that I can use for reaching Hispanic media.