Gina Lopez ('13) recently joined the Mobility Marketing Team at Uber, leading the technology company’s campaigns and strategies for its network of drivers across the United States and Canada.
Lopez, who officially onboarded with Uber in September after three-and-a-half years with Target, is leading Uber’s marketing to better understand its drivers’ needs in an effort to continue building engagement and connection.
“I am only in week two, but it is exciting,” Lopez said. “I am already creating work in Spanish language and exploring how to add a deeper level of inclusion to the work.”
Lopez’s role with Uber adds to a career full of innovative and multicultural strategies and campaigns. Since graduating from the Clinton School in 2013, Lopez has provided leadership for high-level marketing initiatives with major corporations like Target, Sam’s Club, and Walmart.
Most recently, with Target, she pioneered campaigns like Más Que, Juntos We Shine, Target Welcome To, and #TakePride. With the Juntos We Shine campaign, Lopez created an original, bilingual series dedicated to showcasing the stories of everyday women and men who are committed to making a difference in their communities.
At Sam’s Club, she shaped long-term strategy for the store’s “Retail of the Future” initiative that included store redesigns, digital transformations, and new store experiences like mobile scan-and-go, delivery, local merchandising, and digital kiosks.
As a Brand Manager for Walmart, she led the strategy and marketing for the retailer’s EWT (Empowering Women Together) product line, and pioneered the framework for using e-commerce as a vehicle to incubate small businesses through contributions in product development, strategic partnerships, cause marketing campaigns, and business planning.
“With Walmart, there was the commitment to source $20B from small, women-owned businesses, so the goal was clear – how do we design programs and campaigns that help us accomplish that goal?” Lopez said. “With Target, there was definitely an opportunity for the company to grow and to build relationships with people from different walks of life, specifically multicultural customers. I helped develop the first-ever Hispanic Heritage Month at Target last year– it had a marketing campaign, had products, had a digital experience that came to life for their customers. And then this year, because of last year’s success, that grew to being a store experience. It’s the right thing to do, but it’s also the thing that customers are seeking – for brands to show up during this month. And to do things that are unique for what they are celebrating.”
Many of the campaigns Lopez has helped create have been aimed at inspiring commitments to BIPOC and LGBTQ+ communities. As a Latina working in the business world, Lopez said that it is important that her work be inclusive of different communities. With many of the campaigns she creates, she draws inspiration from her own experiences.
“My experiences with all these brands have allowed me to connect with Latino customers in unique and meaningful ways,” Lopez said. “My culture and community have been a huge source of inspiration and motivation to do more.”
Born and raised in New Orleans, La., Lopez is the daughter of parents who immigrated to the United States from Honduras. New Orleans boasts one of the largest and most vibrant Honduran populations in the country. As a child, she spent summers in Honduras with her grandparents. Those experiences shaped her, and in many ways helped to define her ideas with marketing and business strategy.
“I definitely feel the importance of my roots in everything I do,” Lopez said. “It’s not something I would ever want to shy away from. I’m very proud of the sacrifices that my parents made for me, but also my culture and community. I feel fortunate that I was able to get those experiences and go back to Honduras often. I feel like in many ways it defines me. The music that I like, the values that I have. I think that comes to life.”
With Uber, she’s already begun developing a campaign aimed at the company’s Los Angeles market, with a new focus on Spanish-speaking residents.
“I feel like for us to be authentic, this is a community in Los Angeles that is so diverse, not just the Latino community, but beyond that,” said Lopez, who began her career in Los Angeles as a Housing Advisor working for the City Government. “We need to think about the language that we’re choosing and making sure we’re creating things in Spanish. I’m really excited to see this work come to life and be truly inclusive of all people.”
Lopez also points to another critical piece to her career to this point – mentorship. She said that she feels fortunate to have worked for companies like Target, Sam’s Club, Walmart, and now Uber – that have strong resource groups for Latinos.
“Especially now with Hispanic Heritage Month, one thing I reflect on is not just the work I am creating, but how I am helping pave the way for others, knowing that opportunities are rarer for the people in the Latino community,” Lopez said. “Latino resource groups have been one way. I think it goes back to my experience at the Clinton School. There was just so much mentorship that happened there. It’s been something I’ve tried to create for myself and my working world. I feel fortunate that all of these organizations had incredible resource groups to receive wisdom, but also to pour into other people.”
Pouring into others is something Lopez has been able to do throughout her career. At Walmart, she served as a mentor for Latino youth interested in learning more about careers in marketing. Previously at Target and now through Uber, she shares her wisdom and experience with the companies’ entry-level employees.
Through all of her experiences, Lopez is proud that she has prioritized inclusive and empathetic values into the strategies she has helped create.
“In marketing, we’re all about bringing connection and storytelling and engaging with everyone as best we can,” Lopez said. “For me, my culture is something that’s really important to me.”
The Clinton School Speaker Series not only enhances the education of Clinton School students, but also provides a venue for the public to engage in intellectual discussions on the issues of the day.