Our Vice President of Client Services, Sandra Cardenas, has recently been selected by the Phoenix Business Journal as a 40 Under 40 recipient. In honor of this distinguished award, we’d like to share a bit more about Sandra and her work at The Colibri Collective.
Sandra’s parents sought the American dream and immigrated to California from Mexico, then later settled in Arizona. Entrepreneurs through and through, her mother and father soon opened a clothing store on 16th Street and Roosevelt. From an early age, Sandra quickly learned how to apply principles of business and keep up with trends and technology. With an entrepreneurial spirit, she entered the media industry early in her career and quickly achieved a fine-tuned understanding of audience, messaging, and digital marketing.
Sandra Cardenas earned the reputation of an early adopter of all things marketing when she began her career at Campesina Radio Network, which was originally founded by labor leader and civil rights activist Cesar Chavez. She increased the station's revenue in a time when radio advertising saw a continuous decline due to the recession. Sandra applied her understanding of media buying and cross-cultural expertise to drive cause-marketing to a capacity not seen before by the organization. At the beginning of her tenure, she learned that Hispanic neighborhoods in Phoenix had the highest drowning rates in the U.S. and was motivated to develop a water safety program with three municipalities to sponsor free swimming lessons and CPR classes. The program created in 2010 is still in effect today. Sandra leaves a lasting impact on every campaign she champions.
Sandra realized there were more opportunities to scale purpose driven campaigns in the world of advertising. In 2018, she joined The Colibri Collective, an advertising and marketing agency located in Downtown Phoenix, as Vice President of Client Services. Her work with private and public sector organizations gave her an opportunity for impact. The passage of SB1070 was a watershed moment in the Latinx community in Arizona, and it heavily impacted Sandra. With anti-immigrant language and ICE raids in the community, it was no longer enough to register people to vote and encourage civic participation in her individual network. After joining The Colibri Collective, she was able to effectively scale her efforts in partnership with community leaders and organizations. For the 2020 election cycle, Sandra managed over 20 political IE/PAC multi-million dollar campaigns in Arizona, Oregon, New Mexico, New York, Pennsylvania, and Texas. These campaign goals had diverse calls-to-action: voter registration, political candidate awareness, mobilization, and voter turnout. With a particularly dense political market in Arizona, inventive solutions were called upon amidst the pandemic. In Arizona alone, Sandra’s diverse marketing strategies and dedicated work resulted in over 185,000 new voters, the election of the first indigenous woman to a county-wide office in Pima, and a history-making turn of the state from red to blue for the first time in 24 years. Sandra commits to success at any and every challenge with her innate ability to forecast and cut through saturated markets for lasting impact. Every day, Sandra demonstrates her keen eye for design and ability to recognize winning narratives for clients in the educational and cause-marketing spheres.
Outside the office, Sandra dedicates time to impactful volunteer projects with long-term outcomes. Sandra worked in partnership with Valley Leadership and Phoenix Children’s Hospital to develop an award-winning mobile application to help hospital staff and families explain medical terms, procedures, and health issues to children in age-appropriate ways. The application has been downloaded across the world, and it is still in use today. In addition, she has supported youth enrichment programs in her service as chair of the board of YMCA Maryvale.
Sandra Cardenas has established herself as a thought leader in the industry with award-winning marketing concepts. With over 22 years of experience, she continues to break barriers as a Latina in the fields of media and digital, which are too often dominated by white men. The Colibri Collective is so proud to have Sandra as a leader of our team, and her recognition as Phoenix Business Journal 40 Under 40 recipient is well-deserved as she continues to trailblaze through the digital marketing industry.