By: Mark Meltzer
July 1 is a big day for Hope-Beckham.
Two years ago, on July 1, 2021, we merged GPR Global into Hope-Beckham, with Gina Espinosa-Meltzer joining Bob Hope as a managing partner and co-owner of the company and me joining as executive vice president.
Gina is an expert on the Hispanic market, named as one of the 50 Most Influential Hispanics in Georgia by the Georgia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. And one of our goals has been to make Hope-Beckham a truly multicultural firm, while still serving our non-Hispanic clients with excellence.
I say it often, but there are 62.5 million Hispanics in the U.S., or nearly one in five Americans. They are by far the largest ethnic or racial group in this country.
There are more than 1 million Hispanics in Georgia and more than 700,000 in metro Atlanta, and that number isn’t going down.
As David Lewis recently told the Atlanta Rotary Club, people and companies in Atlanta have for decades seen the city through a binary framework — black and white. But as Lewis said, that viewpoint is out of date. The population of the city is changing rapidly, no longer just black and white, but increasingly brown. In 2015, the city’s population was 48% white, 33% black and 12% Latino. By 2050, it will be 39% white, 28% black and 21% Latino.
Since we signed on, Hope-Beckham has been the only one of Atlanta’s Top 20 PR firms with Hispanic expertise. For several years, we’ve represented the Latin American Association, the 100 Black Men of Atlanta and the Hispanic-owned construction company P2K.
This year, we added the large and fast-growing Hispanic nonprofit Ser Familia, which provides much-needed mental health services to the Hispanic community, and we are working to put on their annual chef-driven fundraiser, Saborea.
We recently added as a client Park Place, one of the largest privately owned and operated parking companies in the country. It’s a 49-year-old, Hispanic-owned company with operations in 18 cities in 11 states. Its executive vice president, Susana Chavez, is a board member and former chair of the Latin American Association.
And we’re working with the Atlanta-based auto insurance company AssuranceAmerica, to help grow their number of Hispanic policyholders. To do this, Gina created a corporate social responsibility program — a driving education workshop that provides important information to Hispanic drivers. The program has been praised by Georgia Insurance Commissioner John King, the only Hispanic statewide elected official in Georgia.
We’ve also added our first Latina staffer, Mariana Lopez, who hails from Caracas, Venezuela, and is fluent in both English and Spanish. She joins Manny Portillo, who is Mexican-American.
Building our multicultural business doesn’t mean our other clients are any less important. We’re incredibly proud to work with Google, Norfolk Southern, Greenberg Traurig and others. For them, our expertise in the Hispanic market is a nice addition to the other work we do.
Bob, Gina and I are very excited for what the future will bring.
If we can help you, please let us know.