Local Heroes: Liza Santana



Born in New York and raised in Miami since that age of 4, Miami is home to me. I went to college for Fashion Design/Marketing & Merchandising and ended up getting into marketing and media. It’s been a great ride for just shy of two decades. Having gone through the gamut of  print, TV, radio, and the agency world, I am blessed to have a wonderful job where I get to do what I enjoy, meet new people, connect and create. My agency is growing and for that I am truly grateful. We’ve been around for nearly 14 years and I couldn’t be happier with what we have built.

When I am not working, I love to cook, travel and spend time with my family and friends. Downtime for me is kicking back and enjoying some great music and a glass of wine. I am all about simple pleasures. Life is way too short to forget them. I smile at strangers, emit and evoke positivity and try to help anyone whenever I can. I think when you act and live with intention, you can make a difference and that makes life great.

Who has been your most influential mentor? 

That’s a tough one. I have been very fortunate to meet and work with some amazing people whom I have learned a lot from and others who’ve inspired me along my career. Naming a few, my two first bosses Clara Eshkenazi and Loreyne Alicea. I am friends with them to this day. Both are amazingly accomplished, talented, dynamic and passionate (aside from being AMAZING strategists in marketing and media). They taught me two decades ago to build relationships and the importance of integrity. I am grateful for those lessons and much more I took from them!

How did you get to where you are today? 

I would say it was a few things. College was very important to me and a wonderful experience where I learned a lot. But also, I credit the ambition that my family helped to instill in me, that desire to “want more.” I always wanted to achieve, so that paired with opportunities and doors opened because of my relationships would be what truly helped to get me here. Although I am grateful for where I am, I’m not nearly finished!

How did you get to be a community leader? 

I am humbled to be referenced as such. I just see myself as someone who cares. I find it hard to accept people walking around thinking that their (or our) purpose is just to work, pay bills, buy things… I don’t get into belief systems, religion or politics. BUT I do feel we have to make our mark somehow. No matter how hard one may have it, there is always an opportunity to help, to support, to inspire. I think people see those who “do something” as a leader. I am just one person who loves sharing and collaborating. I built my company with a methodology that we would always work with charitable organizations and try to make a difference. It’s been great working and meeting so many great people who I feel are real leaders here in our community. I see how dedicated they are and it moves me. So as far as leadership, I am appreciate for the reference.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years? 

I see myself doing what I do now, just in a different fashion. I hope to continue to grow my company and take on more of a consultative role to afford me more time to spend with my family and to dedicate to my writing.

What about this city inspires you? 

So much! We live in paradise! I live where people come to vacation. I never stop enjoying or take Miami for granted. The beaches, the people. We have so much diversity here. I love seeing new business opening and places being built. It just means we are growing as a city.

What is your favorite thing about Miami? 

I love that I can sit in front of the ocean on our beautiful beaches. I love I can go in any direction and eat the most delicious food. My favorite thing?  That special “sazón” we have here that so many from the outside credit as our dose of “Latin flair.” In every article or news segment about Miami, they reference how “Caliente” the people, the food and nightlife are. Not a bad reference as they think if you are from Miami you’re hot!

Miami should be… seen as special for all the unique things we possess as a city.

Miami could be… even more amazing if more people truly wanted to make a difference.

Miami wants to be… known for our flagship teams, beautiful beaches, nightlife, and annual events. But there is STILL so much more for everyone to know us for.

Miami needs… some more great publicity! I feel we are known as one of the entertainment capitols, but need to showcase more of how AWESOME our city and people are instead of drama!

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