Natasha Pongonis of Nativa named “Entrepreneur of the Year” by Latina Style
“Land of the free, home of the brave,” will forever define immigrants who move our country forward. Yet freedom means nothing without brave people willing to put everything on the line for an idea, a belief and a dream. In today’s transforming American landscape, much like early in our country’s formation, the brave surface by their ability to lead. Leadership, now more than ever, is shaping the new America.
Natasha, a native Argentinean along with her business partner Eric Diaz, a second-generation Peruvian, are leading an agency that has become a great influencer and leader in the digital media multicultural marketing space.
“The key to staying relevant in this business is to be able to evolve with the market and to seize these new growth opportunities.” Pongonis said in a recent interview for the Columbus CEO magazine.
“Understanding how the Hispanic demographic advances and realizing how these changes affect digital conversations and the use of the many different platforms are key factors to ensure our success and that of our clients.”
Pongonis’ role in the Latino Startup Alliance and Hispanicize 2014: Latino Startup of the Year
One of the biggest honors for Pongonis came earlier this year for a technology company she cofounded, OYE! Business Intelligence.
In April this year OYE! was named a finalist for the Latino Startup of the Year 2014, the only team out of four that was not from Palo Alto, California and the only one led by a Latina.
Pongonis, who is an active leader in multiple Columbus businesses, women entrepreneur groups, and by her involvement on the board of directors for organizations such as the Girl Scouts of Ohio Heartland and the National Society of Hispanics MBAs, knows the value of collaboration and engaging her community. She says that staying active locally, as well as nationally through conferences, helps her be a better leader.
“I’ve learned to evolve with our clients and digital trends,” she says. “An important lesson learned from my work at Nativa.”
Partnering with Government Agencies to Reach and Serve Latinos
Pongonis and her team at Nativa have worked with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for the past four years in a multitude of health topic awareness projects, from HIV/AIDS prevention, to flu campaigns and engaging national social influencers to promote various health campaigns.
“Our team was assigned with a Hispanic health conversation topic analysis project to determine current, relevant health trends found within online Spanish conversations.” Pongonis said. “The objective was to monitor live social media conversations over a period of 90 days and provide recommendations for social media content creation for the CDC based on these observations.”
Pongonis says that results for that kick-off project were so outstanding that it turned into a 12-month campaign based around their findings. And, within six months, they had surpassed all their goals in reaching social media followers and user engagement.
Most recently, the team has worked on other national campaigns with prominent brands and organizations including Arizona State University, Castrol Motor Oil, and Fox Broadcasting. Additionally, Nativa is regarded as the Hispanic Center of Excellence for Henkel, a global leader in consumer goods managing strategic and culturally relevant content for Dial Soap, Tone Skincare and Renuzit.
What seemed like a dream just a few years ago has become more of a reality for Pongonis and the whole Nativa team.
Bringing their business partners success has always been their main focus, but their activation and influence in multicultural marketing is quite clear. A small agency started in Columbus, OH is quickly turning into an international leader, opening a Phoenix office in 2011 and even an office in Guadalajara, Mexico this past summer.
Companies like Nativa, with leaders like Pongonis and Diaz, are great examples of how the American dream is alive and well. These brave innovators, entrepreneurs and risk takers are developing how we communicate and connect with each other. It will be exciting to observe how Nativa will expand in the next decade, especially as leaders like Pongonis, as well as the businesses Nativa serves, redefine the country.
ABOUT NATASHA PONGONIS
Natasha Pongonis is the co-owner of Nativa, a digital communications agency and the CEO of OYE! Business Intelligence. Natasha is a business communications expert with extensive marketing experience; she has developed key digital strategies for many organizations and governmental agencies engaging the diverse Hispanic audiences through her understanding of communication between cultures, traditions, and regional variations of Spanish.
Nativa is a multicultural communications agency that focuses on the Hispanic market through digital communications, online advertising and culturally relevant content creation. Nativa also provides traditional marketing services through strategic partnerships with specialized agencies.
ABOUT THE LATINA STYLE BUSINESS SERIES
The LATINA Style Business Series is an interactive business development program that brings together Latina business owners with key corporations and government agencies that provide the goods and services needed by these outstanding entrepreneurs. Over 31,000 Latina entrepreneurs in over 110 cities have participated in the Series since its inception in 1998 and for the first time ever they have selected a participant from Ohio.