Anna Alonso Olcese
Anna was born and raised in Miami, Florida. From infancy through adulthood, she led an unconventional and exciting life, continually surrounded by fabulous people, lavish parties and beautiful environments. Her father, who was art director for the Latin American version of Cosmopolitan magazine, as well as various other fashion publications, introduced Anna to the modeling and design world, which ignited her passion for both, and helped her to learn about the importance of a person’s, and a company’s, image.
When her father left the publishing industry in the mid 1980’s to start his own event production and floral design company, Anna began working with her family. Although she was young, Anna quickly learned about floral design, event production and the importance of listening to – and catering to – a client’s needs. In the early 1990’s, Anna began helping her father to produce events, ranging from fashion shows to corporate galas to weddings.
In 1992, Anna enrolled in the honors program at Florida International University, where she served as a student ambassador. During that time, she worked at the university by day, but also continued to work with her family in the evenings and on weekends, overseeing the production of a greater number of events.
Anna transferred to the University of Florida in 1994 and graduated in 1996 with highest honors and a B.S. in Advertising. Two weeks after graduation, she moved to Atlanta, where she worked in the emerging interactive media arena serving high-profile clients, such as Kimberly-Clark Healthcare, Prudential Securities, and Powertel (now T-Mobile). In 1998, she returned to Gainesville and worked as Communications Coordinator for Shands HealthCare. But, the digital media world beckoned and in 2000 she became Director of Interactive Media for Livewire Communications.
After starting a family and freelancing as a communications consultant for over seven years, she founded Competira in the summer of 2009.
Anna is active in the community and serves on the UF Performing Arts Board of Directors and is the head of the Santa Fe College Fine Arts Hall Patrons Program. Passionate about both creativity and innovation, Anna serves as a resource for the Santa Fe Center for Innovation & Economic Development’s (CIED) incubating companies, is a mentor and guest lecturer at the CIED’s Growing Entrepreneurs Program, is a consultant for incubating companies at the Gainesville Technology Enterprise Center, is on the Cade Museum for Innovation and Invention’s Leading Edge Task Force, and has been a guest lecturer at the University of Florida’s College of Business. Anna is a member of LinkedIn Women of Gainesville, the Gainesville Area Innovation Network (GAIN), and the Gainesville Area Chamber of Commerce.