The College of Journalism and Mass Communication welcomed Norberto (Rob) Ayala-Flores, a 1984 graduate, as one of UNL’s Distinguished Alumni at the Multicultural Homecoming events Sept. 29 - Oct. 1 hosted by the Chancellor’s Commission on the Status of People of Color and the Nebraska Alumni Association.
Flores is the president and owner of Puente Marketing in Kansas City, MO. At Puente, he builds connections between Hispanic consumers and general market brands based on cultural insights, relevant messaging and targeted analytics.
While at the university, Flores double majored in advertising and public relations and spanish. After graduating he worked as an account executive at The Wichita Eagle newspaper for seven years. Then in 1993, he started working as an account supervisor at Sullivan Higdon & Sink where he managed advertising initiatives for regional and community banks.
In 1996, he moved to Bernstein-Rein where he served as an account director for several accounts including; Blockbuster Video, Commerce Bank and Planet Hollywood.
After seven years at Bernstein-Rein, Flores decided to take what he had learned in his 17 years of account management and founded Puente Marketing in 2003. Flores and his team encourage companies all over the U.S. to learn more about today’s multicultural America.
As a first-generation Latino, he’s passionate about helping his clients make connections between the growing Latino market and the U.S. advertising industry.
He’s worked with clients in multi-unit retail operations, pet care, financial services, telecommunications, multi-unit retail operations, healthcare insurance, health & wellness and with a number of nonprofits.
Flores was born and raised in western Nebraska with his 15 brothers and sisters.
“I’m grateful to have grown up in such a vibrant bicultural community and that I constantly felt supported by my family and my rural community,” Flores said.
Flores currently serves on the board of Resurrection Catholic School in KCK, The University of Kansas Medical Advancement Board, The University of Kansas-Edwards IMC Advisory Board, Kansas City Ad Club and The Center for Practical Bioethics. Previously he was a board chair for The Nelson Atkins Museum Friends of Art Council and El Centro Inc.
Flores was an adjunct professor for the graduate program at University of Kansas-Edwards Campus in Multicultural Marketing Communications and has participated in a number of professional in-residence teaching programs at the University of Iowa, University of Nebraska, University of Missouri-Columbia and University of Central Missouri.
Along with being a graduate of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Flores has an M.A. from Wichita State University with an emphasis in Latin American Literature and Culture. He and his wife Rebecca have four daughters and have lived in Kansas City, MO since 1997.