Erica M. Benavides is an entrepreneur that has been recognized as an industry leader in brand building, enhancing company visibility, and developing strategic marketing initiatives.
Erica currently serves as the CEO of Don’t Forget The Music, LLC and is the founder of The Pinnacle Development Group. She also speaks publicly about her personal and professional trials under Head Up, Head Forward.
For the past 13 years, Erica’s passion has been improving the quality of life for the underserved- primarily budding entrepreneurs. Prior to joining the exciting world of self- employment, Erica worked in Economic Development (City), Non-Profit Management, Food Insecurity and Poverty, Healthcare Reform, Education Reform, Creative Economic Development (specifically in the Music Industry) and as a Registered Lobbyist.
Through her work, Erica has led local and national Creative Economy Initiatives, Community Development Initiatives, Latino Initiatives, Youth Initiatives, and Worksite Wellness Initiatives- developing and implementing sustainable outreach programs while guiding organizations on funding strategies for successful program implementation. She has worked alongside 84 school districts in South Texas, directly educated over 40,000 children, worked alongside 800 school district personnel, employed over 100 local musicians, consulted an array of start-ups, non-profits, and businesses, AND has proudly raised over $20M for non-profit organizations.
Mrs. Benavides was born in Lubbock, Texas but spent most of her years on San Antonio’s South Side. Erica attended St. Mary’s University and Our Lady of the Lake University, where she studied English. She thoroughly enjoys reading and brushing up on Politics. Erica has also been a member of the San Antonio Writers Guild, Gemini Ink, the Latino Breakfast Club and the National Hispanic Professional Organization. She has been blessed to speak and moderate forums at UTSA’s Music Biz Day. She donates musical services every month to the Executive Book Review and her businesses actively support the San Antonio Food Bank, Clarity Guidance Center, The MS Society-Lonestar Chapter, Fiesta Youth, and Dress for Success.
Over the years, Erica has also been active with the San Antonio Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and is a graduate and former team leader of the Alex E. Briseno Leadership Development Program. Other civic group involvements include: dMAKERu, South San Antonio Chamber of Commerce, Urban Future Lab, Live From The Southside, Health Care for Every Child (HCEC), Steps to a Healthier San Antonio, Movimiento San Antonio and San Antonio Sound Garden.
She is one of the founders and the past President of the Southside ISD Foundation.
Erica is married to a Latin Orchestra vocalist, band leader, and disabled veteran. Together they have a beautiful blended family consisting of five boys and one precious little girl.