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Dallas 500

Meet the Dallas 500: Pedro Lerma, LERMA/ Agency

The CEO of LERMA/ Agency talks about taking creative risks, his love for music, and growing up wanting to be a rock star.
Pedro Lerma LERMA/ Agency

In 2021, Pedro Lerma split from The Richards Group to form an agency that focuses on multicultural endeavors. The company produced three Super Bowl commercials in 2023 and was named Small Agency of the Year by Ad Age. This past September, Lerma also aligned with Luis Miguel Messianu and Richard Edelman to form MEL, which focuses on the Latino market.

In his extended Dallas 500 Q&A, Lerma talks about creative risk, his love for music, and growing up wanting to be a rock star.

Education: Midwestern State University (BAAS)

Birthplace: Dumas, Texas

Best Advice: “‘Stay calm. A freak-out never solved anything.’ As a result, I stay pretty chill about most things.”

Proud Moment: “We were named Small Agency of The Year by Advertising Age.

Destination of Choice: “I’ve recently visited Paris and found it to be fascinating. The history, the beauty, the architecture, the culture. I can’t wait to go back!”

Key Strategy: “Emotional intelligence, and human-centered leadership. I can’t do anything I do without great people around me, and I prioritize them.”

Pivotal Moment: “Our parent company went through a crisis that pulled the rug out from under us. I had always wanted to be independent, but this event forced that to happen. It forced us to find a way to survive. It made us stronger than we’ve ever been. And today, we are thriving.”

Karaoke Song: “‘Possum Kingdom’ by the Toadies.”

Childhood Dream: “I wanted to be a rock star.”

Spirit Animal: “Probably my Rottweiler, Tito. He’s super chill.”

Food I Hate: “Mushrooms”

Industry Change: “I would have us all take more creative risk. For what we do to break through, it needs to be different. This often requires a level of discomfort. That is where great creative comes from.”

Go-to Adviser: “Dick Mitchell has been a great mentor to me in the past. He taught me a lot about how to care about people and run a business at the same time.”

First Car: “It was a 1978 Datsun pick-up. It was a gift from my uncle Luz.”

Dream Car: “The 1965 Aston Martin DB5. Because it’s the ultimate ‘Bond Car.'”

Local Fare: “Casa Del Vegano in Oak Cliff. I quit eating meat almost four years ago, but places like Casa Del Vegano make it so I don’t feel like I’m missing out on anything.”

I Collect: “I really enjoy playing music. As a result, I have surrounded myself with guitars.”

Hobby/Passion: “Music for sure. I incorporate this into my work day, as well. Music is a constant for me. I enjoy seeing live music when I can.”

Future Forecast: “There is so much opportunity that we are being presented with. My job is to make the right decisions, seize the right opportunities, not hesitate. As an agency, we are in an incredible growth trajectory.”


Ben Swanger

Ben Swanger

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Ben Swanger is the managing editor for D CEO, the business title for D Magazine. Ben manages the Dallas 500, monthly…