Sandra Alfaro is moving to Lopez Negrete Communications, the fourth-biggest U.S. Hispanic agency, after a year running KBS&P's effort to create a Hispanic unit within the general-market shop.
Ms. Alfaro started at Lopez Negrete this week as managing director-brand leadership as part of a restructuring of its account management. She left KBS&P's Ramona in December, shortly before Ramona lost its main client, Tecate, when the beer marketer decided to use its Mexican agency, Olabuenaga Chemistri, for U.S. advertising for U.S. advertising for Tecate and Tecate Light.
In the restructuring, Lopez Negrete created two managing director-brand leadership posts, hiring Ms. Alfaro for one and promoting Julio Arrieta, who ran the agency's Verizon Communications account, to the other. Ms. Alfaro's group will be responsible for the agency's Walmart Stores, Dr Pepper Snapple Group, Miller Coors, Kraft Foods and Sonic business. Mr. Arrieta's group will handle Verizon , Bank of America, AARP and Microsoft.
During almost 14 years at the Vidal Partnership, Ms. Alfaro rose through the account-services ranks to managing partner and director-account management. She was named one of Ad Age 's Women to Watch in 2005. She left in November 2010 to become general manager-multicultural at KBS&P.
Ms. Alfaro, who is relocating to Houston from New York for the job, is happy to be back at a close-knit Hispanic agency. She especially likes that CEO Alex Lopez Negrete starts each week with a Monday-morning meeting with all 200 employees. "I was missing that emotional connection," she said.
At KBS&P, Ramona's fate is unclear. The unit began in 2007 as a Hispanic agency, Adrenalina, that was formed to handle the Tecate account. The agency was backed by MDC Partners and in 2010 was absorbed by MDC sibling KBS&P after the last of Adrenalina's three founders left. It was renamed Ramona under Ms. Alfaro. Ramona, with about 22 people, tried to win additional clients. Despite a few other assignments for KBS&P clients, however, it remained dependent on Tecate, where management changes were under way.
"Currently KBS&P Ramona is a team of a dozen," said a KBS&P spokeswoman. "The team will continue to report to our CMO, Bill Grogan, as is the same case for our other account teams. Ramona is our multicultural capability but is fully integrated into the larger agency. Ramona continues to deliver multicultural work for [KBS&P clients] BMW, Church's and the KAO brands."