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AXIS Launches Brand + Diversity Consulting (BDC)

The Axis Agency Launches New Consulting Practice to Help Brands Address Persistent Equity Gaps Impacting Communities of Color

LOS ANGELES (January 18, 2023) - The Axis Agency today announced it has launched Brand + Diversity Consulting (BDC), a strategic consulting practice dedicated to helping brands solve the biggest equity gaps that continue to affect multicultural populations. BDC will specialize in the healthcare, finance, and education sectors, where the need is greatest.

BDC’s team of marketing strategists and cultural navigators, together with an advisory board of distinguished industry leaders, will work with brands to bridge the divides that have historically kept communities of color from equal opportunities. BDC will partner with clients to develop actionable corporate commitments that engage, elevate, and empower communities of color.

BDC will be led by Wally Sabria. Wally has more than 20 years experience in multicultural marketing and advertising. Throughout his career, he has been a leading voice calling for minority representation in media and corporate investment in multicultural consumer markets.

As part of the launch of BDC, The Axis Agency commissioned a study which uncovered current views on diversity and multiculturalism among Millennials. Their perceptions tell us that there is a real desire for brands to embrace the full spectrum of cultural diversity. In fact, this younger generation believes that multiculturalism is achieved when society has increased diversity through the coexistence of different cultures. Furthermore, they embrace the notion that multiculturalism requires leaders to be knowledgeable and open-minded about different cultures to gain a better understanding of different backgrounds and find a way to help them work together.

The study revealed that 40 percent of respondents could see themselves switch to a brand that demonstrates an understanding of how they self- identify culturally across environment or experience. This tells us that brands need to understand and respect cultural identity always.

Notably, the survey also showed that multicultural Millennials are self-identifying as culturally fluid. This means that being "seen" is not only an issue across gender, but culture as well. Cultural-fluidity and the level of self-identification around it will likely only continue to rise in importance.

"Race and cultural disparities have long plagued our established systems and institutions, whether it’s in healthcare, education, or financial services. The survey results indicate brands that work in concert with diverse populations, and especially those that embrace the many dimensions of diversity, are the ones that will help bridge equity gaps and reap the best opportunities for market growth in the country," said Armando Azarloza, CEO, of The Axis Agency and BDC co-founder.

"I am pleased to serve as an advisor for BDC. As a passionate advocate for achieving health equity, especially for marginalized communities, I'm happy to see there is an effort underway to unite brands with multicultural populations whose healthcare needs and priorities are oftentimes overlooked," said Beatriz Mallory, President and founder of HispanAmérica Health and BDC advisory board member.

BDC’s advisory board consists of the following industry leaders:

Beatriz Mallory: Highly regarded as a global leader in the healthcare sector, Beatriz Mallory has dedicated her career to advocating on behalf of Hispanic, African American, and other diverse communities, for hospitals and health systems, health insurers, pharma companies, nonprofits, and disease advocacy organizations. Her recent roles include Interim VP of Marketing for Martin Luther King Jr. Community Hospital in Los Angeles and Director of Multicultural Strategy for Johnson & Johnson Healthcare Systems, Inc. She was recently named Healthcare Executive of the Year by the Los Angeles Business Journal.

Allen Gutierrez: A recognized leader dedicated to propelling entrepreneurs and small business owners to success, Allen Gutierrez served with distinction as the Associate Administrator for the Office of Entrepreneurial Development (OED) at the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). Under his leadership, the SBA expanded outreach and impact to underserved communities by opening the doors to nearly 40 Women Business Centers and launched the first-ever women’s digital platform to support women entrepreneurs. Under his tenure, the SBA strengthened partnerships with Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) to reach even more diverse populations.

Jonathan Durfield: A widely respected leader in the field of education, Jonathan Durfield was the chief fundraising architect for the National Math + Science Initiative and launched Nord Anglia Education's $100 million flagship facility in Houston, Texas. He also served as an associate vice chancellor of the Lone Star College System. He currently serves as President and Board Chair of EdTech Foundation, a non-profit supporting founders of color in education technology, and as CEO of VEER Ventures, focused on providing equitable access to career-connected learning and capital for people of color. Jonathan earned a masters from Harvard University and bachelors from Pepperdine University.

Elena Otero: An accomplished Fortune 500 C-suite global executive with a proven track record of success, Elena Otero has led strategic and P&L governance for a $2B+ portfolio of global and local brands across 40 countries as CMO, eCommerce Officer and Strategy & Growth Officer for the Clorox Company International. Currently, she serves as a board member for Helen of Troy LLC, a $2 billion revenue global consumer products company with a diversified portfolio of established brands including OXO, Hydro Flask, Drybar, Osprey and PUR, where she advises on global branding, growth, and international expansion.