DALLAS: Hispanic PR entrepreneur Jose Villasenor died suddenly at just 31 years of age from a heart attack on February 21.
Villasenor began his career in his hometown of El Paso,TX, where he served as government affairs VP for the El Paso Chamber of Commerce. He then became chief of staff for State Rep. Norma Chavez (D). Shortly before his death, Villasenor visited the White House on a special invitation to discuss Hispanic issues.
Villasenor worked for Ketchum in Dallas for three years, leading national Hispanic communication efforts. He went out on his own in August to form The Norte Group. Those who knew him described him as creative, confident, and ambitious.
Larry Peterson, chairman of Texas Lyceum, a political forum and networking group to which Villasenor belonged, said, "He had a good word for everyone. He seemed to know everyone, and everyone knew him."
"He was amazingly talented and intelligent," added Janis Maragakis, proprietor of Butler Communications in Dallas, who had worked with Villasenor.
Villasenor is survived by his wife, Krys Boyd Villasenor, and their children Benjamin, 3, and Clara, 10 months.