Published: Dec 8, 2008
In an industry where downsizing and changing customer demands make
competition increasingly difficult, University of Tampa graduate student
Giovanni Gutierrez has taken just a few short years to find his niche.
the sales and marketing manager of CENTRO Grupo de Communicación,
Gutierrez has been able to tap into the Tampa’s sizable Hispanic
marketplace to spearhead the creation of two successful regional
publications. His success recently earned him the honor of being named
one of the top 20 young newspaper professionals by PRESSTIME magazine.
“It just goes to show you that hard work pays off,” Gutierrez said.
from Nicaragua, Gutierrez used his own knowledge of the local Hispanic
marketplace to launch CENTRO Mi Diario, a weekly Spanish-language
publication, along with its Web site, www.CENTROtampa.com
in 2005. Since then, CENTRO has become one of the Tampa area’s premiere
Spanish-language products, the print publication boasting a
distribution of 55,000. The publication is a part of Florida
Communications Group, which also produces the Tampa Tribune.
think the beauty of what we do here is CENTRO is a niche product,”
Gutierrez said. "The Hispanic audience is different; newcomers are used
to a different way of life and read the newspaper primarily, they're not
Internet savvy yet. But at the same time, we don't want to turn off
Hispanics who have been here in the U.S. for a while and consume news
and information the mainstream way."
A graduate student pursuing dual M.S. in marketing and MBA degrees
, his career as a business leader is something Gutierrez himself would not have expected just a few years ago.
earned an undergraduate degree in biology in 2001, and completed a
post-graduate internship doing promotions for the Miramax film company, a
job he took in an effort to “explore other opportunities,” he said.
2003, he took a job as a recruitment advertising account manager with
the Tampa Tribune. From there, he was promoted to his current position
in order to launch CENTRO in 2005.
As CENTRO’s success continued
to blossom, Gutierrez continued to draw from his knowledge of the local
Hispanic market with the introduction in 2007 of Quinceañera – Florida
Quince Guide, an annual magazine geared toward Latin American girls
planning to celebrate their 15th birthday. In its second year, the
magazine saw a 34 percent page increase. The third issue is due out in
Gutierrez describes his leadership style as one of a
consensus-builder, mining fresh ideas from colleagues who possess unique
insights into specific markets and demographics.
identifying in your team the strengths that you have and learning from
people and bouncing ideas off each other,” he said.
time at UT has been relatively short – he is three semesters into his
MBA – he credits the University with bettering his on-the-job
The benefits appear to be mutual. As a student, Gutierrez is able to offer much personal insight for his classmates.
been a tremendous asset to the class because of his professional
experience,” said Judith Washburn, associate professor of marketing and
director of UT’s MBA program. Gutierrez recently took Washburn’s
integrated marketing communications class.
“In applying his own
real-world knowledge to the topics we covered, he was able to help the
entire class understand new kinds of promotional activities, which is
essential for success in a niche environment,” Washburn said.