Alyssa Rizzo, President, NLBWA LA

Alyssa started her career with New York Life as an Advisor in 2011 after graduating from the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA).  During her first year as an Advisor she found her passion working closely with the Latino community by educating them about financial literacy.  In her first year qualified for Council—a recognition given to the top ten percent of agents in the company.  She was promoted to Senior Associate for the Latino

 Market where she concentrated on identifying and developing Latino leaders within the Los Angeles General Office. Alyssa led the Los Angeles Latino Market team to take two national awards for recruiting and production growth and later she qualified for Gathering of Eagles—a recognition for the top four percent of partners and associates in the company.  She was then promoted to the Pacific Region Marketing and Recruiting manager for the Latino market.  In this role she oversaw and helped implement marking strategies for the Latino community in seven states throughout the Pacific Northwest.  In 2016, Alyssa transitioned to Commercial Bank of California as Vice President Relationship Manager where she focused on serving the small to middle business market.  In 2019, she rejoined New York Life as an Advisor.  

In her commitment to build communities, Alyssa is the current President of the National Latina Business Women Association – Los Angeles Chapter, Treasurer for the Latina Public Service Academy and is on USC’s Civic Engagement Economic Advisory Committee.

Alyssa received her Bachelors from the University of Southern California, Los Angeles (UCLA) and her Master’s in Communication Management from the University of Southern California (USC). 

Alyssa finds her passion in working with minority communities and is dedicated to building multigenerational wealth.  




Ingrid Otero-Smart, President & CEO, Casanova McCann

Born and raised in Puerto Rico, Ingrid Otero-Smart has over 30 years of advertising experience in the U.S Hispanic Market and Puerto Rico. She joined Casanova Pendrill in August of ’08 as President/CEO. The Agency re-branded as Casanova//McCann in 2016 and she acquired the majority stake from Interpublic Group in 2020, making Casanova a minority-owned Agency once again.

At Casanova, she leads the agency operations, managing offices in Costa Mesa, New York, Detroit, and field teams in Dallas and Chicago.  Account experience includes Nestlé USA, US Army, Carl’s Jr, US Postal Service, Cigna, Coca-Cola, Chevrolet, California Lottery, US Bank and Janssen, among others. Under her leadership, the Agency doubled in size, opened the Detroit office, expanded the Nestlé relationship from one brand assignment to 18, and doubled its revenue.

Ingrid started her career at McCann in PR, and joined Mendoza Dillon & Asociados in California in 1987. She worked there as an Account Director, and left 18 years later as President/COO.  In 2005, she joined Anita Santiago Advertising as President.

Ingrid is a past member of the Board of Directors of the Association of Hispanic Advertising Agencies (currently known as CMC). She is a founding member of this organization and has served as the Treasurer, head of its Marketing Communications Committee, chair of the Media Committee, and is a Past-President.

She is a former member of the Board of Directors of CPI Corp.; a former member of the Board of the Orange County Chamber of Commerce; former member of the Board of the U.S. Hispanic Family of the Year.

Ingrid currently serves in the Dean’s Advisory Board of the School of Communications, at California State University Fullerton (CSUF), Agency Advisory Board for the School’s Practical Advantage Agency, and on the Board of Governors of this institution. She is also a founding member of the Latino Communications Institute and currently serves as its Vice-Chair.


Awards and Recognitions:

  • 2009 Hispanic Ad Executive of the Year
  • 2011 OC Business Journal Business Person of the Year (Marketing)
  • 2013 OC Business Journal 50 Most Influentials in Orange County
  • Earlier in her career, Hispanic Business Magazine recognized her as one of the 100 Most Influential Hispanics, two years in a row.
  • 2013 Hispanic Marketing Achievement Award for her contributions to the US Hispanic marketing industry
  • 2013 Girl Scouts of Orange County Celebrate Leadership Award
  • 2014, Hispanic Lifestyle Executive of Excellence
  • 2014 OC Business Journal 50 Most Influentials in Orange County
  • 2015 Ad Color Rock Star Award
  • 2016 AWNY Advertising Women of NY Mother of the Year
  • 2016 NY Puerto Rican Day Parade Corporate Executive of the Year

2017 California State University Fullerton’s Practical Advantage (the school’s student-run advertising agency) recognized her with its first Excellence Award

  • 2019 School of Communications at California State Fullerton Distinguished Communicator Award
  • 2019 Oasis Partnership Award
  • 2019 Inducted into the Hispanic Advertising Hall of Fame

Ingrid is a magna cum laude graduate of the School of Communications of the University of Puerto Rico. She has a son, Jordan, who has a degree in Communications and is pursuing a career as an actor.





Economic Development center




Albuquerque Hispano Chamber