John Echeveste brings cultural awareness to PR

The University of La Verne’s Cultural and Natural History Collections hosted speaker John Echeveste, co-founder of VPE Communications and former CEO of La Plaza De Cultura Y Artist, recently. 

Echevste spoke Nov. 17 to an audience of about 15 in the Quay Davis Executive Board Room.

Echeveste has an extensive history of accomplishments such as various advances in the Plaza De Cultura Y Artist, focusing on culture. He also specializes in public relations and is involved with the Hispanic Public Relations Association. 

Felicia Beardsley, director of the Cultural and Natural History Collections and professor of anthropology, introduced Echeveste. Then the conversation was led by Anne Collier, curator of the Cultural and National History Collections.

Echeveste earned a bachelor’s degree in news communications and then found himself in the world of the arts. 

“I wanted to (be) hands-on and be more active rather than be on the sidelines reporting on things,” Echeveste said. “That’s when I began to look into a public relation degree.”

He shared his journey through the world of public relations, including working with a partner to co-found a business along with the Hispanic Public Relations Association. With the goal of bringing more cultural awareness, Echeveste felt the need to create this organization to be more inclusive. 

“We didn’t feel like the public relations industry was being very inclusive when it came to Hispanics,” Echeveste said. 

Since then, the organization has established a scholarship program and expanded with active chapters all around the country. Though Echeveste is not deeply involved in the organization as much anymore, he continues to show his support for all the successes that it has brought to the public relations students. 

—Edith Gomez

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