By Donna Parker
Gisela Girard ’82 is in a meeting when we call – not unusual for this busy advertising agency executive who also finds the time to serve on numerous boards in her San Antonio hometown.
“Next to integrity, giving back to your community is the most important thing in life. I’ve gotten so much in return just by serving on boards and volunteering.”
Did we mention Gisela also founded two very successful businesses?
“It takes lots of hard word, patience, and fortitude to stick with it. Owning a business is not always easy, but it’s beautiful because you control your own destiny.”
For her, destiny’s name is Creative Civilization, a multi-cultural advertising firm boasting such clients as the San Antonio Spurs and Toyota.
“My role is to lead the public relations and accounts services, but really I mentor our 25 young employees, many of whom hold their first job out of college,”
She’s been hard at work since earning her master’s degree in urban studies at Trinity 20-plus years ago.
“The urban studies curriculum was rigorous, so we were quite focused. Dr. Earl Lewis, who founded the program, was an incredible genius and phenomenal lecturer. He knew so eloquently how to teach.”
These tight-knit urban studies grads still get together each year during Fiesta and catch up with the turns their lives have taken over the past two decades.
Where does Gisela see herself in the next 20 years?
“Winding down from the ad agency business and passing it on to the next generation of talent. In the next 20 years, advertising will be much more advanced and I’d like to see how that transpires.”
In the meantime, she enjoys married life to Al Aguilar, her husband and ad agency partner. They spend time walking on their eight-acre ranch property accompanied by a menagerie of five dogs, 20 cats, and two birds.
“I love to travel, but I have my own resort here at home, and I’m just as comfortable being surrounded by the hill country’s beauty and sunsets. That’s my getaway!”
At least until next week when she heads to France for an ad agency board meeting…and so it goes.