I didn’t even speak English. Since then, I have been an active participant and fan of the world of creativity, art and expression. It followed me to the states in ’70 and on to Southeast Asia and even Africa through the years… just a young child taking the world all in. Today, it seems quite fitting that advertising follows – choir, theatre, fútbol, rock & roll, family and life – as my passions.
I love the business we are in. It is a garden filled with opportunities to face challenges, to grow, to fail, to win, to think, to learn, to collaborate, to manage, to inspire and to evolve. I have worked with and for some amazing people. I have served members of Fortune 100 companies and also the local dreamers (God love ‘em). I always think… I am one of the lucky ones.
To my teammates: I will always work my hardest FOR you! To my clients: I will always work and think harder than I ever thought possible. And to my contemporaries: let’s keep changing the rules. And, don’t forget, smile. Gracias!
Today, it is advertising that holds most sway with me. I love the combination of creative and analytical thinking, the fast pace and the people I work with. I’m privileged to have worked with great brands, particularly Excel Communications, Procter & Gamble, Wendy’s International, The Washington Post, NIH and the Ad Council among many. And I have been incredibly blessed to have been involved with some of “Hispanic America’s” most important political races of our time.
Well, that’s my life in 200 words or less. If there is a challenge out there, just give me a call.
Eventually I landed on my college campus and decided to look up Communications in the course catalogue. That’s when I discovered that it really did encompass everything I loved: writing, art, creativity, persuasion, expression, media and more! So I stuck with it. . . and with that lifelong friend, Jimmy Learned, who ended up founding Elevation. I credit him not only with putting me on the exact right professional path, but also with playing cupid for my husband and me.
I am honored to have been part of the Elevation family since the beginning and to have opportunities every single day to crunch words and craft sentences.
After I moved to the U.S. in my early 20s I felt the same creative drive, so I fueled my passion at the Corcoran Institute and fell in love with the newly burgeoning field of digital design. After several years of freelancing and working in the photography industry I found my second home with the Elevation family.
Working with this international cast of creative pros is an inspiration every day, one that pushes me to strive for precision and passion in everything we deliver to our clients. In my spare time, I plot to completely turn my two-car garage into a fully functioning wood shop to feed my woodworking habit.
Elevation has helped me grow as an individual ever since I started back in 2014. The experience I have gained in government contracting, budgeting, forecasting and many other aspects of accounting have only strengthened my passion for my field.
Einstein said “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results” which is something I try to implement in my day to day life. Always innovate, grow and learn from every success as well as any failures.
I’m proud of the collaborative spirit, the laughs, the long nights, the brainstormings in which we replace the words “I” and “no” with “we” and “what if”. I’m proud of the results that we achieve together with our clients (yes, I’m a creative director and I’m actually saying that).
I’m proud of always pushing for the best ideas, of mentoring junior talent, of generating a positive atmosphere where teamwork is more than a methodology, it’s a way of life. I’m also proud of being, hands down, the absolute best grill master of the western hemisphere. Hey, I told you I’m Argentinian. So it’s normal for me to grill beef like a boss. And to be, humm, overtly confident.
I’m a family man, and therefore it goes without saying that I’m extremely proud of mine. They are the most important people in my life, and that includes Coco, our dog. Finally, I’m proud of slowly but steadily learning how to carry a couple of tunes on my guitar. But since this is just a picture, you’re gonna have to trust me on that one.
Ben is a Fellow in the Central America and Mexico Policy Initiative at the Robert Strauss Center for International Security and Law at the University of Texas-Austin and an instructor in homeland security at the Naval Postgraduate School. He is the author of More or Less Afraid of Nearly Everything: Homeland Security, Borders, and Disasters in the Twenty First Century, published by the University of Michigan Press in 2020.
Ben was previously a Senior Advisor in the Department of Homeland Security Office of Policy. From 2014 to 2016, he served as the Director for Enforcement and Border Security at the National Security Council in the White House, where he coordinated policy on Central American migration, border management with Mexico and Canada, supply chain security, and cross-border infrastructure.
Previously he worked as a Senior Advisor to the Commissioner of Customs and Border Protection, where he handled engagement on customs, migration, and security cooperation with the Government of Mexico and negotiated the first entirely privately financed border crossing. Prior to this, Ben was Counselor to the Special Representative for Border Affairs at the Department of Homeland Security, where he focused on border management, cross-border infrastructure, and communications interoperability. He also served as the Director for National Security within the White House Office of Presidential Personnel, where he was responsible for political appointments within the Departments of Homeland Security, State, and Defense, and international development organizations.
I believe great creative work is simple, catches you by surprise and evokes an emotional response. My work has helped clients significantly grow their market share as well as winning its fair share of awards along the way.
I grew up in the small town of Winder, Georgia, but spent much of my career in Los Angeles, making me equally as comfortable in the aisle of a Piggly Wiggly grocery as the lobby of the Beverly Wilshire hotel. My favorite band is REM and my favorite golf shot is 52-degree wedge from 105 yards – with just a little backspin.
As a member of the Elevation family, I love seeing the energy and the impact of the work we do. It’s inspiring and humbling at the same time.
As a curiosity-driven person who is certain that work should be mostly about enjoyment, I find amusement in the lines between copywriting and digital marketing. With both a passion for witty writing and an interest in all-things-tech, I usually find myself fighting for environmental and social causes, encouraging brands to transform their go-to-market approaches to deliver benefits for the company, the environment, and for society.
Fluent in Google Ads, Social Media, Content SEO, English, and Spanish.
Having worked on communications across business and non-profit organizations, I’m always up for actions that challenge perspectives and change behaviors. Need teamwork for one of those? Reach out!
And please, call me Gaby.
Throughout my life I have always preferred to watch and listen before speaking or acting, which has given me an understanding of how people operate, what motivates them, and what connects with them. As someone who always had trouble staying awake and paying attention in math class, I enjoy being around creative people and feel lucky to be in a position that provides new challenges everyday while being surrounded by people who inspire me.
In my free time I enjoy cheering on the South Carolina Gamecocks in sports, listening to Dua Lipa to get my day started instead of drinking coffee, and giving Jimmy lessons in golf whenever the weather allows it.
Pop culture, Taylor Swift, people, and interpersonal relationships are four of my great passions—with the fifth focused on choosing my annual Halloween costume! While I’m relatively new to Elevation, it already feels like home. I thrive in fast-paced creative environments and, as an Account Executive, appreciate the chance to cultivate deep connections with clients, partners and colleagues. I’m learning a tremendous amount in my role, but am also excited to lead Elevation’s efforts to reboot and expand its social media presence. Few tasks are as fun (or as satisfying) as getting Elevation memes drafted, approved, and posted
I have pursued an eclectic mix of educational and professional interests, all of which have paved the way for some diverse and meaningful experiences―from majoring in Spanish, Psychology and Neuroscience during undergrad at Ohio Wesleyan University to conducting research on suicide prevention among substance-addicted Veterans, to completing my Master’s in Applied Intelligence at Georgetown.
All of these seemingly unrelated steps led me to policy work, and then to Elevation and my role as an account executive for the Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security’s front office, where I facilitate a variety of projects related to national security.
I also bleed purple as a rabid Ravens fan.