Communicating effectively and inclusively is no easy feat, but you wouldn’t be able to tell that from D&P Creative Strategies‘ record of success. NGLCC sat down with partners and co-founders of D&P Creative Strategies, Ingrid Duran and Catherine Pino to chat about their background and starting a inclusive consulting firm in the heart of Washington, DC.
D&P Creative Strategies in the Spotlight
- Name of Business: D&P Creative Strategies, LLC
- Name of Founders: Ingrid Duran & Catherine Pino
- Date founded: June 2004
- Date Certified: June 18, 2010
- Location of business: Washington, DC
- Number of employees: 5
1. What is D&P Creative Strategies?
D&P is a 100% minority and women-owned consulting firm. Collectively, we represent more than 40 years of experience in our core service areas of strategic philanthropy, public affairs, government relations, issue advocacy, political communications and community outreach and film production.
2. How did you get the concept or idea for your business?
Our concept came about when we decided to merge our personal and professional worlds in 2004. We wanted to create a business that would increase the role of corporate, legislative and philanthropic efforts in addressing the concerns of Latinos, women and gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) communities that would mirror our deep commitment to social justice and civil rights issues.
3. What is unique about your business?
Our business is run by out Latina lesbians! D&P is not your traditional “DC” firm: we work on a broad range of projects throughout the country that include lobbying for fortune 500 companies, third party and community outreach, strategic philanthropy and communication, issue advocacy, diversity and inclusion as well as film and book production. Our motto is consulting with a social conscience. We have built a solid reputation of delivering results-driven outcomes for our clients.
4. What were you doing before you started your business?
Ingrid was the President and CEO of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute, an organization dedicated to developing the next generation of Latino leaders through internship and fellowship programs. The organization was also the premier organization representing the interests of Hispanic Members of Congress through an annual conference and gala in DC.
Catherine worked on urban school reform and youth development initiatives at two national private foundations. At Carnegie Corporation of New York, she managed a $60 million high school reform indicative, a multi-million philanthropy portfolio and a $25 million Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation grant.
5. What are your goals for your business?
To change the world! We would like to continue to diversify our work and give voice to disenfranchised communities through government relations/public affairs and our various initiatives, whether it is Poder PAC, the first-ever political action committee we created to elect more Latinas to Congress, Familia es Familia, a public education campaign we co-founded that helps the Latino community better understand issues in the LGBTQ sphere, or our film work where we’ve produced stories about leaders in the Black, Latino, LGBQ, transgender and women communities.
6. How has being a member of the LGBT community impacted your business, if at all?
When we launched their business in 2004, we did so as out Latina lesbians. We were discouraged to be “out” in our business: people thought being out would prevent clients from working with us. We were very clear then as we are today that we aren’t going back in the closet and it is important for us to be out — if companies don’t want to do business with us because we are lesbians, then we don’t want to do business with them.
7. How has being a Certified LGBTBE® through NGLCC impacted your business?
Being a Certified LGBTBE® through NGLCC has been fantastic! NGLCC brings so much cachet! Several of our clients count us in their diversity numbers because we are a certified business, and it’s been a tremendous networking opportunity.
8. What advice would you give to an LGBT person starting a business?
Our advice would begin with: be your authentic selves and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise, connect with NGLCC immediately for guidance on certification and networking opportunities and finally: stay true to your mission don’t let others fears get in the way of creating and living your dream!
This blog post is the second in a series celebrating National Hispanic Heritage Month (September 15-October 15) by spotlighting Hispanic- and Latinx-owned Certified LGBTBE® suppliers. Interested in having your Certified LGBTBE® in the spotlight? Email [email protected].