JESSICA MARIE GUTIERREZ
Creator of thehispanicblog.com and Director of Public Relations for FHI HEAT
Raised in a low-income neighborhood in Houston, Texas, Gutierrez is a young Latina, whose resilience and drive propelled her from humble beginnings to prominence in the business world. At the age of 21, she earned a Bachelor’s degree in International Business from the University of Houston. Upon graduation, she relocated to Miami Beach where her career in Marketing/Public Relations unfolded. While working at a Magic Johnson event, she connected with Farouk Systems, Inc. (FSI), owners of the CHI and BioSilk brands by Founder Farouk Shami.
As fate would have it, FSI became the platform Gutierrez would showcase her talents and remarkable work ethic. A quick learner and entrepreneur, she became the company’s youngest executive, CHI Magazine’s Managing Editor and Shami’s right hand. Fierce and unstoppable, Gutierrez designed and executed a publicity strategy that exposed the brands to over one hundred trade and consumer publications. She introduced CHI/BioSilk products to Hollywood A-list celebrities, like Jessica Alba, Miley Cyrus and even Michael Jackson. Gutierrez also directed commercials and photo shoots for CHI Magazine and FSI. She galvanized incredible media coverage and had the founder of this billion dollar company showcased in segments on every local TV station in addition to FOX Business, CNN Money and on the front pages of both the WSJ and USA Today’s Money sections.
In 2009, Shami announced his candidacy for Texas state governor. Gutierrez switched roles and spearheaded his Hispanic vote. Despite his loss, she celebrated, after sources revealed that over 85% of his votes came from Hispanics. This accomplishment upheld her belief that she could succeed in any arena as long as she had passion. Gutierrez bounced back from the campaign and partnered up with the Harvard Kennedy School’s Latino Leadership Initiative which brings Latino students from colleges across the USA and teaches them to be leaders in their communities. Gutierrez also met with the US Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor in her chambers, and two years later, she received a personal letter from her. She negotiated and secured an exclusive sponsorship with the Miss Universe Organization along with a two-hour episode on Celebrity Apprentice.
Gutierrez was on top of the world when her brother was diagnosed with a very aggressive Stage 4 Lymphoma cancer. Everything came to an utter halt, unwilling to leave her brother’s side, she no longer had a job and her new residence was with him at Methodist Hospital. She relied on her deep faith in Christ, and refused to allow any negativity to be spoken in his room or presence. Within six months of aggressive chemo therapy, her brother was healed and only 15 pounds lighter! This dramatic event was the catalyst to a new direction in her life. Gutierrez chose not to return to FSI and created thehispanicblog.com that focuses on Hispanic events, culture and people. Less than two months after its inception, her blog was nominated for an award by South by Southwest’s Social Revolución (sponsored by Univision) and a few months after that, she was shaking hands with President Obama.
Known for her cutting-edge skills in Marketing/PR, it was not long before FSI’s competition drew her to take on Los Angeles to become FHI Heat’s Director of Public Relations, an international hair tool company. Her first month, she spearheaded a nationwide awareness campaign for Children’s Cancer with the help of celebrities, organizations and sit coms like Magic Johnson, Mario Lopez, Modern Family, CSI NY, Gene Simmons, Ryan Seacrest, Romeo Santos, World Boxing Council, and many more. Since August, the FHI Heat brand has been featured in countless publications, Ricki Lake, The Talk and 5 spots on NBC’s EXTRA. Gutierrez continues to use her voice in the community to help Hispanics in their run for political office. Currently, she is volunteering for her friend Emanuel Pleitez who is running for mayor of Los Angeles. When asked about her success Gutierrez replied, “Try not to become a man of success but rather to become a man of value.” –Albert Einstein