30 Under 30: Santiago Villegas

Santiago Villegas and his business partner run a public relations agency located in the heart of inland California, but 1903 Public Relations isn’t like its competitors. The agency focuses on supporting individuals from nontraditional backgrounds who are often overlooked in the media.

Villegas has landed his clients on the front pages of national publications and is known for his ability to maximize industry recognition and exposure with trusted sources. These strategic efforts have motivated multimillion-dollar investments in the companies 1903 represents and supported national growth and expansion.

He created 1903 as an alternative to some of the toxic environments he encountered earlier in his career. It’s a place that rewards supporting others, prioritizes work/life balance, and celebrates diverse backgrounds.

“We are building an equitable and inclusive workplace from our hometown. We counter the idea that world-class work is only achieved in top-tier markets,” he says.

Results are proving that the model works. After nearly three years of work, Villegas recently secured, organized, and wrote a global TED Talk on behalf of a client—a Latinx member of the LGBTQIA+ community. “Representation matters and giving her such a massive platform allows her to reach everyone who can see themselves in her, to believe that they too can achieve something iconic,” he says.

Connect with Santiago on LinkedIn