John Echeveste was appointed as CEO of LA Plaza de Cultura y Artes in September 2014, responsible for overseeing all operations, programming and educational initiatives of the non-profit museum and cultural center located in downtown Los Angeles. LA Plaza opened in 2011 in two historic buildings restored by the County of Los Angeles and serves as the only museum documenting and celebrating the Latino history of Los Angeles.
Echeveste joined LA Plaza after a 30-plus year in Hispanic marketing. He was a partner with VPE Public Relations in South Pasadena, California. Established in 1988, VPE is one of the country’s largest Hispanic-owned agencies, handling a diverse roster of local and national consumer, social marketing and public affairs accounts in the corporate, non-profit and governmental sectors. Echeveste helped develop public relations programs for major national accounts such as McDonald’s, AT&T, Verizon Wireless, Disneyland, Southern California Edison, Televisa Foundation, Target Stores, DirecTV, Nestlé, Museum of Latin America Art, California Science Center, and others.
His previous experience includes work as a newspaper reporter, television documentary writer, corporate communications officer, Congressional aide and political campaign manager. He serves on the boards of the Los Angeles County Library Foundation, California State University Fullerton College of Communications Advisory Board, LA Music & Art School, and Cal State Fullerton Latino Communications Initiative, and has previously chaired the boards and led development campaigns for the Wall Las Memorias, East Los Angeles YMCA, United Way of Los Angeles, and others.
He is a founding member of the Hispanic Public Relations Association (HPRA) and recipient of its PREMIO Award. He also received the Public Relations Society of America Pioneer Award in 1994; the Hispanicize Latinovator Award in 2012; and Hispanic Lifestyle Survived & Thrived Award in 2014. He was named to the Hispanic Business magazine Hispanic Influentials List in 2010. In 2003-2004, he served as president of the Public Relations Global Network, an association of 40 worldwide PR agencies.
He is a graduate of California State University Fullerton with a BA in Communications, and holds professional certificates from USC.