NEW YORK, NY – Porter Novelli announced today it has strengthened its Hispanic efforts and expanded its depth in the diversity marketplace by naming Sonia Sroka senior vice president, U.S. Hispanic practice leader. Sroka represents a renewed and vigorous effort by the agency to fully integrate Hispanic offerings for the agency’s clients.

Sroka is based in the agency’s headquarters office in New York. In her prior post as a  vice president, she delivered counsel and expertise on the Hispanic market across a comprehensive range of industries, including consumer products, health care, food and beverage, retail, corporate and financial services. She has led programs for clients including Gillette, The Almond Board of California and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, among others.

Sroka is also deeply engaged in several diversity initiatives. She is the lead of Porter Novelli’s Diversity Council, a member of the Omnicom Diversity Development Advisory Committee and the national chair of the Public Relations Society of America’s (PRSA) Diversity Committee. Sroka reports to Julie Winskie, Porter Novelli’s president, global clients, in her client work and Anthony Viceroy, president, chief financial officer, in her diversity initiatives.

“Sonia’s appointment reflects our view that we cannot responsibly conduct a so-called ‘mainstream’ effort in the U.S. market without Hispanic expertise embedded at the strategic level,” said Winskie. “The digital revolution, combined with economic forces, means smart clients no longer separate U.S. Hispanic markets from all other efforts. It is simply not reflective of the reality of our population.”

Sroka joined Porter Novelli’s Los Angeles office in 2006, and relocated to the New York office three years ago. Before joining Porter Novelli, Sroka was instrumental in the development of Weber Shandwick’s multicultural agency, Axis. During her tenure she developed and managed integrated marketing initiatives for Coca-Cola, American Airlines and SC Johnson, among others.

“I am very excited to take our Hispanic marketing offering to a new level,” said Sroka. “With the Hispanic population growing at a record pace in the U.S., now more than ever clients need to develop communications programs for this audience at the strategic level in order to connect with and establish loyalty among Hispanic consumers.”

Porter Novelli also announced that Guillermo (Willy) Villarreal has joined the agency as an account manager in the U.S. Hispanic practice and will be based in its Los Angeles office. Villarreal comes to Porter Novelli from Edelman, where he was a member of its Hispanic group since 2008, working on clients including Microsoft Corp., National Geographic and Starbucks. Prior to that, he worked in Weber Shandwick’s Axis multicultural practice on clients including Nintendo of America, Absolut Vodka and the Latin Grammy’s. He earned a B.S. in communications from the University of Texas at Austin.

“I am delighted to congratulate Sonia on her appointment as practice leader and welcome Willy to our team in Los Angeles,” said Bill Kolberg, managing director of Porter Novelli’s Los Angeles office. “Both Sonia and Willy offer a wealth of experience with top global brands that will serve this growing practice and the agency. Having a strong presence in both New York and Los Angeles – top markets for the Hispanic community – has never been more relevant than now.”