elvia Espino

Director

When Elvia steps into a room, enthusiasm enters with her professional presence and your attention is quickly commanded. Her determination is fueled with her passion and can be felt when she speaks. She has a larger than life personality and definitely fits the phrase “Super Woman.” Espino’s appetite for success and determination came from being labeled at risk by a school system and growing up to a single
mother. Since then, she has worked tirelessly professionally and personally to diminish the “us and “them” mentality within education. Determined not be a product of her environment she set her sights on not only having a dream but living the dream.

Espino’s career started on a very untraditional path, but eventually lead her to fulfill her life-long dream of working in the field of communications. Her first job in the field of communications was with KXLN-TV, Houston’s Univision affiliate and most recently joined Ware & Associates as a Senior Account Executive. Before joining Ware & Associates, she was a communications professional with Dallas ISD, the second largest school district in Texas. Espino is excited to help expand Ware + Associates’ multicultural presence by building strategic business partnerships within the DFW Metroplex and beyond.

Before her relocation to Dallas, Espino served at the Community Engagement and Special Projects Manager for the Harris County Sheriff’s office in Houston, the largest in Texas. During her tenure she served under Sheriff Adrian Garcia, the first Hispanic Sheriff in the 175 year history of the agency. She was one of six appointed civilian employees as part of the sheriff’s command staff. During her time at the Harris
County Sheriff’s Office, Espino was successful in executing the most innovative community and marketing campaigns that dramatically improved community relations between the 4 million residents that call Harris County home.

As a member of Sheriff Garcia’s command staff, she was a frequent invited guest speaker to local schools and universities to serve as a motivational speaker. Espino would empower young people to do well in school to avoid being an inmate within the jail. She would also make it her personal business to mentor pregnant inmates within the pregnancy tank, an area designated specifically for expectant mothers.
Espino still travels frequently to Houston to mentor these women in hopes of making them feel loved and inspired to do better. The pregnancy tank is only one of few in the country.

Before her appointment to the sheriff’s command staff, she served as the Spanish-speaking spokesperson for Houston based LifeGift Organ Donation Center. Espino was instrumental in placing international and national media placements for the NY Times, MSNBC, Nickelodeon and Spanish magazine show, Primer Impacto, as well as forming work place partnerships with the City of Houston, City of Sugarland, Shell
Federal Credit Union, Harris County Sheriff’s Office to name a few to combat the growing need for more registered organ and tissue donors in Texas. While at LifeGift, Espino brought unprecedented media coverage to the organization and to the importance of organ donation.

For more than ten years, Elvia Espino has served in the communications-related fields of media relations and community engagement. Throughout her career, Espino has leant her voice to several radio stations as voice-over talent and has appeared in local commercials within the Houston market. She had the opportunity to report live from Hollywood as a radio correspondent for a local radio station in one of the
biggest professional assignments of her life, the season six finale of “American Idol.”

A firm believer in giving back to the community, Espino is involved in several organizations near to her heart and often lends her voice to speak for those who cannot and is an advocate for educational empowerment for first generation college students, equitable education, special education issues and combating the school to prison pipeline, just to name a few. Recently, she was appointed to the Advisory Committee for Special Education under the TEA. A mother to a special needs child, she advocates tirelessly for equitable opportunities for people with special needs. As the first person in her family to graduate college, Espino is passionate about speaking to students and her community to empower them to achieve their educational goals.

Espino obtained a Master of Education from the University of St. Thomas while working fulltime professionally with a 3.97 GPA. Espino completed the Advanced Executive Communication program at Harvard University’s Extension School in 2011. She is a graduate of the University of St. Thomas, and holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communication. Currently, Espino is a doctoral candidate where her research focuses on organizational change and leadership with an emphasis in corporate and social responsibility.