Blessed to receive an invite to the Digital Hollywood Fall Conference in Los Angeles again this year, one speaker in particular caught my eye. Silvia Davi, the current Vice President and Head of Strategic Communications and Marketing for Broadcast Music Inc (BMI), whose company represents over 8.5 million musical pieces created by more than 600,000 songwriters, spoke on a panel within the Women in Entertainment conference track about breaking glass ceilings within Fortune 500 company marketing areas. Reading her bio, she was fascinating and I sought to connect with her one-on-one. Being a power player in the PR and Corporate Comm. Marketing space, she graciously took time out to chat from her NY office recently.
Raised in a Mexican and Sicilian (Italian) household in Queens, New York, Silvia grew up being trilingual (which would eventually be a critical asset to her career) and living in New York City, received additional exposure to many cultures. While at CUNY’s Queens College, she encountered a professor that asked her to do research and write down what she would be good at. From then on, her drive propelled her into a quickly rising PR career- doing internships at the American Stock Exchange PR department and eventually landing jobs at Ogilvy PR, Edelman and NASDAQ OMX which changed her path forever. When asked about being Latina, Silvia is a “voice for both of her nationalities” and finds it “frustrating when the media perpetuates stereotypes and buckets all Latinos” as if there is only one cultural identity or story. She passionately feels personal education about one’s own background is important as “everyone in America came from somewhere” and proudly instills that cultural pride in her two children.
Asked to describe the typical day or week for her, she admitted her rewarding, dynamic position with a deep impact on pop culture is not a 9-5 job. Silvia’s on call most of the time and her schedule has to be flexible enough to deal with challenges, changes and crises coming from all global markets. When not attending high profile music events, strategic planning, traveling or being an adjunct professor at Hofstra University, she fiercely protects her quality time with her family. With the holidays coming up, she’ll enjoy her Mom’s flan and “good, aged tequila” with her Mexican and Italian families.
At the end, I asked one final question about what advice she’d give to a Latina trying to break into PR, she stated, “Zero in on what you want, do internships, network, keep your options open and don’t sell yourself short!” Well said from a true accomplished Latina trailblazer!