“I was never a feminist in the traditional sense,” says Daisy Expósito-Ulla (B.F.A. ’75). “Though my father was a very traditional Latin male when it came to his daughters, he was always empowering us. He brought us up to be independent, get an education, and succeed professionally.”
Expósito-Ulla has heeded her father’s advice. After serving as the founder and former chair and CEO of Young & Rubicam’s The Bravo Group and building the largest Hispanic agency in the industry, Expósito-Ulla struck out on her own in 2004.
Today, the NYIT graduate is chair and CEO of d expósito & Partners LLC, which provides strategic planning, public relations, event and promotion, customer relationship management, media, marketing, and interactive services. Her firm helps clients market to America’s growing multicultural population, with a particular focus on Hispanic audiences.
Expósito-Ulla came to the United States from Cuba when she was 10 and grew up in Queens, N.Y. “As a young person, I was very Latin at home but tried to fit in with the rest of the kids outside,” she says.
At NYIT, she met other Latin-American students and began to appreciate her heritage. “I realized it was okay to be a Latina in America and I didn’t have to be like everybody else.” Expósito-Ulla says that NYIT provided excellent professors, hands-on experience, and taught her how to co-exist in a traditionally male-dominated setting, which paved the way for her success.
Today, d exposito & Partners just celebrated its fifth anniversary. With more than 40 employees, its clients include Census 2010, McDonalds, PepsiCo, Amway, Mazda, and ConAgra Foods. “We are building an agency where digital is at the core,” says Expósito-Ulla.
In addition, she is a member of the New America Alliance, a group of business leaders who promote the Hispanic community; is chair of Latino initiatives for the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy; and serves on the board of the Advertising Education Foundation. She also co-founded, served as president, and is on the board of the Association of Hispanic Advertising Agencies. Her awards include the NYWIC Matrix Award and New York International Center’s Award of Excellence, given to foreign-born U.S. citizens for their contributions to America, in addition to numerous creative and business awards in her industry. And, she is the proud mom of a college-age son, to whom she passes along her own words of empowerment.
“Develop the confidence to chart your own path,” Expósito-Ulla says. “That’s part of what made me successful—the fact that I was building something and paving the way.”