Digital Marketing Pioneer
Name of Organization: Canela Media
Isabel Rafferty Zavala is a digital marketing pioneer. She is the founder and CEO of Canela Media, a leading digital media tech company that gives brands the tools they need to effectively connect with multicultural audiences through multiple touchpoints, including its free-to-stream platform Canela.TV, influencer marketing, branded content, and more than 180 exclusive Spanish-language sites. Prior to starting Canela Media, Isabel founded Mobvious, a company dedicated to reaching U.S. Hispanic and African American audiences via mobile advertising. Under Isabel’s leadership, Mobvious quickly became the largest Hispanic-focused ad network, as ranked by Comscore, before being acquired by PRISA in 2017.
In addition to being a minority woman CEO in an industry dominated by men, Isabel is one of the few Latinas to successfully secure VC funding for her company, with tremendous support from women-led funds. In 2019, she was the recipient of Culture Marketing Council’s 2019 Rising Star Award. She was also named Entrepreneur of the Year New York by E&Y in 2022.
Under her leadership, Canela Media became one of the top Hispanic media companies in its first year of operation. Canela.TV launched in May 2020, becoming the first AVOD streaming service built exclusively for Latinos by Latinos – offering culturally relevant content in Spanish and English. Canela.TV also debuted Canela News, the first free live-streaming newscast for U.S. Latino cord cutters and Canela Music, a new experience and mobile app, in September 2021.