JACKSON, MS – The Phi Theta Kappa Foundation has named Jorge A. Plasencia as a new member of the Board of Trustees. The Foundation was created to secure the financial resources to support the values, vision, and priorities of the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society.
Jorge A. Plasencia is chairman and CEO of República, one of America’s fastest-growing, independent advertising, digital and communications companies, which he cofounded in 2006 as a small start-up. Today, República has emerged as an innovative industry player with an illustrious clientele and a growing staff in several cities.
Prior to launching República, Plasencia was the corporate vice president and operating manager of Univision Radio. During the height of the Latin music explosion in the late 1990s and early 2000s, he managed Estefan Enterprises, the entertainment and hospitality conglomerate founded by superstar Gloria Estefan and her husband/producer Emilio Estefan. Plasencia is also credited with helping launch the crossover career of pop phenomenon Shakira in key regions including the United States, Europe and Asia.
Plasencia served as the Florida Marlins’ first director of Hispanic Marketing, overseeing all sales and marketing programs. His efforts garnered him the Hispanic Marketer of the Year Award from the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce in 1997, the same year the Marlins won their first World Series ring.
Plasencia currently serves chairman of the board of the National Council of La Raza (NCLR), the nation’s largest Hispanic civil rights and advocacy organization. His election as chairman was historic as he’s the first Cuban-American, first Floridian and youngest person to hold the role.
Throughout his career, he has played a key role in the production of numerous marquee events, including “The Last Goodbye,” a September 11th tribute at the White House, as well as Super Bowl XXXIII, the 1997 World Series, Shakira’s MTV Unplugged, the Latin Grammy Awards and the “Queen of Salsa” Celia Cruz’s historic funeral, among many others.
In 1991, at 17, Plasencia cofounded Amigos For Kids, a nonprofit organization serving underprivileged children and families. He is currently chairman emeritus of Amigos For Kids, and his lifelong work with the organization has earned him the March of Dimes’ Humanitarian of the Year award, among others.
Plasencia received a bachelor’s degree, with honors, from Barry University; he’s an inductee to the Miami Dade College Hall of Fame; and he attended the Advanced Management Education Program at Northwestern University, Kellogg School of Management.
Officers of the Phi Theta Kappa Foundation’s Board of Trustees are Dr. Matthew Quinn, Founding Executive Director Emeritus of the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation, Virginia, Chair; Dr. Jo Marshall, President of Somerset Community College, Kentucky, Vice Chair; J. Mark Davis, President of Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation, Georgia, Treasurer; and Dr. Rod A. Risley, Executive Director and CEO of Phi Theta Kappa, Mississippi, Secretary. Dr. Nancy L. Rieves serves as CEO of the Foundation and a Trustee.
Other Trustees include Dr. George Boggs, former American Association of Community Colleges President and CEO, California; alumnae Dr. Janice Freeman and Dr. Joyce Freeman, Emeritus Adjunct Professors and retired Phi Theta Kappa advisors, Texas A & M University – Corpus Christi; Ray Hites, philanthropist and retired President of the Hites Family Foundation, Georgia; alumnus Cassius Johnson, Program Officer for the Carnegie Corporation, New York; alumna Dr. E. Ann McGee, President of Seminole State College, Florida; alumnus Wes Moore, author and television host, New York; Lou Oberndorf, philanthropist and retired CEO of Medical Education Technologies, Inc., Florida; alumna Mirta Ojito, author and Assistant Professor in the Graduate School of Journalism, Columbia University, New York; and alumnus Dr. David Shinn, author and Professor, Elliott School of International Affairs, George Washington University, Washington, D.C..
Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society, headquartered in Jackson, Mississippi, is the largest honor society in American higher education with 1,285 chapters on college campuses in all 50 of the United States, Canada, Germany, the Republic of Palau, Peru, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia, the British Virgin Islands, the United Arab Emirates and U.S. territorial possessions. More than 2.5 million students have been inducted since its founding in 1918, with approximately 135,000 students inducted annually.