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The story behind the name

Living in El Salvador, I was a really shy girl. I would play with my brother and cousins but it was hard for me to make friends. I felt as an outsider for the most part. I was a skinny, dark complexion 7-8 year old. One of my uncles (actually my mom's uncle), Tio Goyo, as we called him, would always have a welcoming smile. Whenever we came to visit my grandparents in San Buenaventura, he would welcome me with a 'Hola piedra preciosa.' That means, 'hello precious stone.' He called me that because of my name: Esmeralda, which means emerald. But to me, it meant more than that. At that young age, I felt so insecure; but when Tio Goyo greeted me, I felt beautiful and grand. I am 47 now – what Tio Goyo did for me with his special greeting is significant beyond words. I still remember! Thus, my consulting company carries that name – Precious Stone PR in honor of Tio Goyo and all the Tio Goyos who, with a simple word, statement, or greeting have transformed the lives of so many. 


At the start of the pandemic in 2020, Esmeralda Owen started her Marketing and Public Relations practice with two clients, Hartnell College was one of them. A few weeks later, the word was out and more clients signed on to have her increase visibility, bring in more traffic, increase donations, and to increase hope that still stood to be had. A year later, she has established Precious Stone PR with three employees and one intern to help with her vision of opportunity, mission, quality, and gratefulness. 

In the last year, Owen created marketing campaigns for non-profit organizations in the Central Coast, in addition to producing virtual fundraisers and donor cultivation strategies. Her efforts along with the onboarding of members of each board made each of her clients’ year the best one in the history of each organization. 

Besides working with non-profit organizations, Esmeralda enjoys creating video content for Hartnell College in Salinas. She has developed recruitment and feel-good storytelling commercials for television, radio, website, and social media dissemination. 

In addition, Owen loves to teach! She is a professor of journalism and communication studies at Gavilan College since 2011. 

She was introduced to the Central Coast back in 2005 when she was hired as News Anchor for Univision 67, where she earned an Emmy Nomination for investigative reporting. As a television news reporter, she covered stories in the Central Valley with Univision 21, and in the Bay Area with Telemundo 48.  She went on to work in marketing for the National Steinbeck Center, communications for Hartnell College, and later as executive director for Youth Orchestra Salinas. 

These experiences have allowed her to appreciate the richness and diversity of our area and to connect deeply to our community.  Along with her work experience, Owen takes time to be an integral part of board of directors for Informed Choices – Gilroy, Hospice Giving Foundation, the International Airshow in Salinas, and in PR/Marketing Committee for Girls Inc. of the Central Coast. 

In 2019, she became a published author and is currently working on another inspirational book plus a children’s book (inspired by her son). 

Esmeralda grew up in Los Angeles and earned dual bachelor degrees in Broadcast Journalism and Spanish at the University of Southern California (USC) and earned a Master’s in Public Administration at Notre Dame de Namur University.  Esmeralda enjoys public speaking, mentorship, volunteering in boards/committees, exercise, healthy eating, travel, and playing with her six-year-old son and furry two-year old Max. 

She lives in Gilroy with husband, son, dog, and fish. 

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