Hispanic Community Loses a Hero in Teresa A. Zubizarreta

Hispanic Community Loses a Hero in Teresa A. Zubizarreta



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Miami, FL–(HISPANIC PR WIRE)–July 27, 2007–Hispanic advertising pioneer, Miami community activist, loving wife and mother Teresa A. Zubizarreta passed away peacefully yesterday, Thursday July 27th , after a hard-fought battle with cancer.

Zubizarreta was best known as the founder and CEO of Zubi Advertising, one of the nation’s largest Hispanic-owned advertising agencies. But Tere, or “Mama Zubi” as she was affectionately called by her peers, was much more than a successful Hispanic businesswoman. A proud Cuban-American, she was one of the community’s most beloved leaders and visionaries – a charismatic and imaginative human being who devoted her life to helping others.

Born and raised in Cuba, her family fled the country in 1960 during the Castro Revolution and relocated to Miami with husband Octavio Zubizarreta and son Joe. Her daughter, Michelle, was born soon after.

“My mother was my teacher, adviser and my greatest inspiration,” said son, Joe Zubizarreta. “Her goodwill, passion and perseverance have left a wonderful impression on all of the fortunate people that have crossed her path. I will miss her dearly, as will all of our family and friends.”

Zubizarreta’s achievements are of particular distinction, due to her humble beginnings as a Cuban-American woman with no college degree in a largely male driven, 70’s corporate America. But over three decades ago, in a rented office in Miami with one phone and a borrowed typewriter, Zubizarreta opened the doors to Zubi Advertising.

Against all odds, she led the agency to soaring levels of success; today boasting over 100 employees, billings in excess of $195 million, countless awards for superior creative work and a remarkable list of Blue Chip clients including American Airlines, Ford Motor Company, Lincoln Mercury, Winn-Dixie, Washington Mutual and SC Johnson to name a few. Along the way, her vision helped forge a deeper interest and understanding of the Hispanic market, a movement that eventually revolutionized the way corporate America advertised to the rapidly growing consumer base.

Zubizarreta was always actively involved in the Miami community, constantly seeking to improve the status of others around her. She was the first Hispanic woman to be elected to the Board of Governors and Committee Chair of the United Way of America, and also served on the board of directors for the Orange Bowl Committee, Beacon Council and Miami Children’s Hospital. She was a co-founder and former chairperson of FACE, Facts About Cuban Exiles.

Tere’s successful achievement was also recognized by the Governor of the State of Florida Jeb Bush who expressed his deep sense of appreciation for the guidance and leadership she has provided to all communities throughout her life.

Throughout her distinguished career, Zubizarreta received an array of awards for her contributions to the U.S. Hispanic advertising industry, most recently the Eduardo Caballero Lifetime Achievement Award – the industry’s highest – from the Association of Hispanic Advertising Agencies. Other organizations that honored her include the Latin Business Association, the National Association of Hispanic Publications, the Women’s Automotive Association International and Latin Business Magazine.

Despite her keen business skills, Zubizarreta was known for her loving and humble ways. She was quoted many times as saying her employees were simply her peers and she was merely the coach of the team.

“My mom was an extraordinary woman who not only made a difference in the lives of many people but was able to live her life to the fullest as she always wanted,” said Michelle Zubizarreta. “She will always continue to inspire and guide me every day for the rest of my life.”

Tere Zubizarreta always lived her life and wanted to be remembered by the famous words of American author Ralph Waldo Emerson:

“The definition of success–To laugh much; to win respect of intelligent persons and the affections of children; to earn the approbation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate beauty; to find the best in others; to give one’s self; to leave the world a little better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch, or a redeemed social condition.; to have played and laughed with enthusiasm, and sung with exultation; to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived–this is to have succeeded.”

Tere Zubizarreta is survived by her husband Octavio, son Joe, daughter Michelle, grandchildren Charlotte and Michael, sister Annie Slatkoff, nephew Joshua Slatkoff and nieces Jessica Slatkoff and Sara Slatkoff.

Public visitation will be from 8:00PM to 11:00PM on Friday, July 27th at Caballero Rivero Woodlawn Funeral Homes, 3344 SW 8 St. A public memorial service will be held at 10:00 AM Saturday, July 28th at St. Kieran Catholic Church, 3605 South Miami Ave. The burial will be private.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the League Against Cancer/La Liga Contra el Cancer, 2180 SW 12 Ave. Miami, FL 33129, 305-856-4914; University of Miami Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center, 1475 NW 12 Avenue, Miami, FL 33136, 305-243-9088 or United Way of Miami-Dade County, 3250 SW 3rd Ave. Miami, FL 33129 Attn: Aileen Rentas, 305-860-3000.

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Hispanic Community Loses a Hero in Teresa A. Zubizarreta