Team

Carlos Santiago, President & Chief Strategist

CarlosCarlos is a nationally-recognized business strategist. He is known for his innovative branding, segmentation and ROI analytics. Carlos founded Santiago Solutions Group in 2000, developing proprietary advanced analytics methodologies. Over the last 12 years, he has guided strategic growth, corporate planning, product branding, consumer engagement, and social marketing strategies for organizations such as AARP, Campbell’s, Chivas Regal, GMAC Mortgage, HerbaLife, Health Net, HP, Humana, Johnson & Johnson, Nestlé, New York State AIDS Institute, Principal Financial, Sheetrock-USG, Target, Terra.com, Wells Fargo, and WalMart.

Before branching out on his own, Carlos led Bell Atlantic-Verizon’s diversity marketing for 8 years, a business unit with $3 Billion in annual revenue. He oversaw P&L, brand strategy, retail channels, Direct Response promotions, and ROI with a $70M budget.  Carlos is a sought-after speaker on topics related to Hispanic consumer trends and preferences, in-culture marketing and communications, and growth in diversity markets. Carlos holds an MBA with concentration in Business Strategy & Marketing from Washington University.

DereneDerene Allen, Principal

Derene brings strategic and tactical expertise in Latin America, Caribbean and US Hispanic markets. Derene specializes in creating new corporate metricing systems for multicultural initiatives, including quantifying the efficiency and ROI of clients’ investment in the Hispanic market. She employs these customized systems to link the highest growth strategies with a corporation’s internal ability to deliver.

Derene’s background includes Financial and Internet services experience, as well as Database Management and Loyalty Programs. Clients have included J&J, Nestlé, P&G, Dannon, Target, Walmart, Cigna, Kodak, Cervecería Cuauhtémoc Moctezuma, and Cemix.

Derene has recently returned to SSG after a two year sabbatical managing a Social Enterprise, whose beneficiary population was low income Latinas, where she refined her skills in generating and measuring social impact. Derene is also an Adjunct Professor at the University of San Francisco, a pro bono consultant for Juma Ventures, a California based nonprofit whose mission is to break the cycle of poverty by having underserved youth complete college, and a board member of A New America, a nonprofit whose program offers tools for new American entrepreneurs including microbusiness incubation, asset building, and social responsibility.

Derene earned her MBA in International Marketing from Thunderbird School of Global Management.

Dr. J.C. Alvarez, Director InsightsJC

Dr. J.C. brings years of experience from diverse arenas including government, education and the private sector.  As the first Latina wholesaler for Anheuser-Busch, she led Bud’s franchise turnaround in Chicago through intense retail sales and overseeing over 1000 in-market special events and consumer activations annually. She serves as SSG’s sales force management and training expert as well as lead sociologist directing large-scale qualitative research projects and field assessments.

She graduated in Sociology from Princeton, holds a Masters in Personnel Administration from Columbia and a Doctorate of Education from Northern Illinois University.

 

 

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