Esther Novak

CEO, VanguardComm

Esther Novak is Founder & CEO of VanguardComm. Her experience includes strategic consulting, integrated marketing communications, corporate public relations, events, sponsorships, government, philanthropy, and the arts. Her client roster includes a wide range of Fortune 500 corporations as well as privately held businesses, nonprofit organizations and government. She founded Vanguard Communications in 1995 and headed Ketchum Vanguard, Ketchum’s multicultural marketing unit from 2001-2003.

Novak has successfully pioneered and developed leading edge programs and is regularly called on to lead industry forums and publish trend stories. She has won numerous awards for her industry leadership and held various corporate and business unit positions at AT&T, where she established and led Multicultural Communications for the African American, Hispanic and Asian markets.  She also developed the plan for the AT&T Foundation, headed its Arts & Culture Program and led community affairs for the NJ corporate headquarters.

Earlier, Novak was director of interdisciplinary programs at the National Endowment for the Arts in Washington, D.C. and founded Rutgers University’s Hispanic Arts Program – now established as the University’s Center for Latino Arts and Culture.

Novak currently serves on the Board of Trustees of Grounds for Sculpture, an arts institution founded by renowned sculptor and philanthropist Seward Johnson. She was recently a longstanding member of the Board of Directors of AHAA, the Voice of Hispanic Marketing and has been recognized as one of the Best 50 Women in Business by NJBIZ.  She was selected Professional Services Business Person of Year by the Statewide Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of New Jersey; Outstanding Peruvian by the TUMI USA Award; and AT&T HISPA Role Model of the Year. The National Association of Hispanic Publications honored her for her contribution to Hispanic media.

Her extensive nonprofit Board Member and Chair service experience includes McCarter Theatre in Princeton, the NJ Statewide Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, American Repertory Ballet, INTAR Theatre, the Smithsonian Institution Latino Task Force, El Museo del Barrio Advisory Board, the League of American Orchestras and various Municipal and New Jersey State Governing Boards and Advisory Councils.  She was also a member of the Governor’s New Jersey Council for Economic Growth.

Peruvian born and bilingual, Novak graduated from Barnard College and pursued graduate studies in Spanish literature at Columbia University. She holds professional certificates in Management and Marketing from Columbia, Harvard and Duke Universities.