Skip to content

Meet the CEO

Monica Villalobos

Ms. Villalobos was named President & CEO of the Arizona Hispanic Chamber in late 2019 after serving as the Vice-President and Foundation Executive Director for seven years. In this role, she is responsible for the strategic growth initiatives of the chamber. She is also the operator of the Arizona Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) Business Center, the Native American Business and Economic Development Center (NABEDC), and Ascend Phoenix funded by JP Morgan Chase Foundation. Her background and experience as a corporate marketing executive and as an entrepreneur result in a unique combination of skill and talent.

She is also Editor-In-Chief of 23 research publications over the last ten years including the annual DATOS: State of Arizona’s Hispanic Market (2012-2020), DATOS Tucson (2012- 2015), Minority-, Women-, Hispanic-, Family-owned Business Enterprise Reports (2012- 2013, 2022) and the AZ Supplier Diversity (2012), Employee Resource Group (2013), Sustainability (2014), Global Trade (2015), Minority Business Economic Indicator (2017-18) and Diversity & Inclusion (2021) Best Practices white paper series Ms. Villalobos was the founding principal at ResearchByDesign, a marketing research firm specializing in primary qualitative and quantitative research. She worked closely with client partners to develop category specific studies as the foundation for marketing strategy decision-making.

She was selected as the 2015 Latina Style Inc. Entrepreneur of the Year and ASU Entrepreneurship & Innovation Visionary Awardee, 2017 Achieving My Purpose: Celebration of Women award recipient, 2018 Cox Communication Hispanic Heritage honoree, 2018 Phoenix Business Journal Outstanding Women in Business recipient, and recognized as one of the 2020 Most Influential Women in Arizona by AZ Business Magazine. In 2022, she is a Titan 100 recipient and named a Trendsetter by Trends Magazine as well as a nominee for the Greater Phoenix Chamber Athena Award. Most recently, she was recognized with the Ohtli award, the highest honor bestowed on individuals outside of the country for work to benefit citizens by the Mexican Government.

Previously at Phoenix Marketing International based in Rhinebeck, NY, Ms. Villalobos developed all communication materials related to the company’s products and services. She continues to work with PMI and other clients as a research consultant and account planning strategist. Ms. Villalobos is the former Director of Accounts at Latin Force LLC, purchased by Goldman Sachs, a business strategy firm specializing in the Hispanic marketplace. In that capacity, she supervised strategy development for clients such as Wells Fargo, National Football League (NFL), Kraft Foods, and ING. Her expertise is in the development of Integrated Multicultural Communication Platforms and ROI Business Case Assessments. She led the Wells Fargo account and developed a Hispanic go-to-market plan by conducting proprietary research, reorganizing infrastructure, analyzing product proxy data, and formulating a customized ROI model with targeted product suites. At NFL, she was positioned as an in-house consultant to determine the most appropriate Hispanic segmentation model, craft relevant messaging and channels, examine sponsor needs and resources, facilitate media relationships and build the first-ever Hispanic platform for the 2006/7 season. She is also the former co-owner of Cuellar, LLC dba ShopRite Supermarket of Passaic/Clifton, an annual $50 million retail enterprise. She made this transition from the position of Executive Vice-President at ECO, Inc with the sale of that company and its subsidiaries President Supermarkets, Presidential Caterers and

Ms. Villalobos is scheduled to complete her doctorate at the University of Southern California in December 2022. She completed a Master of Arts in Communications degree at Seton Hall University with honors. She is also a graduate of the University of California, Los Angeles with a double major in Linguistics and Psychology. Scholastic achievements include a scholarship to the Oxford University Study Abroad program, nomination of fellowship for a summer thesis on Quechua (language of the native Incas), and Dean’s Honors. Ms. Villalobos is also a national bronze medalist in collegiate Lincoln/Douglas debate and a state silver medalist in team debate. She was also selected by her graduate school peers as the Elizabeth Ann Seton spirit awardee. She is a first-generation Mexican-American and the only child of an elementary school teacher and truck driver.

Ms. Villalobos began her career with Casanova-Pendrill, one of the largest Hispanic advertising agencies in the country. Her responsibilities included management of on-air and promotional activities for Coors Brewing Company. Later at Arvizu Advertising, Ms. Villalobos supervised the Account Services department and managed $15 million in billings as Associate Director. She handled national accounts such as MasterCard International, Banco Popular and Coca-Cola. She was then courted by a client and joined the Telmex/Sprint International Joint Venture as Marketing Manager reporting directly to the Chief Marketing Officer. In this capacity, she developed and implemented marketing strategies, managed a $20 million budget and supervised agencies in Mexico and the U.S. Other assignments at Sprint included partnership management of EarthLink/Sprint. Ms. Villalobos then became Brand Manager of the Hispanic Line of Business for Capital One Financial. She was accountable to the Vice President for the development of the company’s programs within the Latino market. Her responsibilities included management of advertising agencies (in the U.S. and Mexico), internet channel development, and media/public relations.

She was on the board of the New Jersey Regional Chamber of Commerce and a member of the Republican Eagles. She is a former board member St. Joseph’s Hospital Foundation in Paterson, NJ, Mental Health Association of Essex County, Montclair, NJ, and Girls, Inc. of New Jersey. She is currently on the boards of Valley of the Sun United Way, Delta Dental Foundation, and AZ Chamber of Commerce.. Ms. Villalobos resides in Phoenix, AZ caring for her mother, and two children, Michael (13) and Maximiliano (11). She is engaged to Scott Richter, Chief Credit Officer at Raza Development Fund.