Born in Los Angeles, California, Lisseth Villalobos-Azab grew up in the humble home of hard-working immigrant parents from El Salvador, who instilled in her a strong work ethic. As Lisseth prepared to become a force in the business world she carried those traits with her from an early age. She’s parlayed those qualities to become a leader and entrepreneur in many areas of business throughout the globe.
In 1990, Lisseth and her family moved to Portland, Oregon, which is where Lisseth finished her education. Her first job was working in a Veterans Hospital, where she assisted two Vascular Lab Doctors as their office manager. Merely 15 years old and in high school, Lisseth secured her position as a part-time office manager and a full-time student. She used this experience to build her business resume and start her introduction to the business world, which she knew she would soon enter.
Lisseth first found herself in the “Business World” when she first took her position at a Fortune 500 Company, as an assistant to the Human Resource Director at Encompass Inc. Once acclimated to the department, Lisseth quickly grew to love the details that the position required. Within a few months she was able to start her Recruitment position and then advanced further to Human Resource Director. By 2003, Lisseth had achieved a great deal for her young age. She became a pillar in the community as a leader and a business developer.
In 2005 Lisseth relocated to Kansas City, Missouri and worked with the Kansas City Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. There she made community and business contacts. In 2007, she joined “The AZDEF Group” as a Fashion Director. She produced top-notch and first of it’s kind runway shows for different designers, charities and concept boutiques. AZDEF quickly grew into an international go-to Event Production and Management Company.
Lisseth was determined to maximize her potential and was quickly promoted to “AZDEF International Division.” In her new position, Lisseth is responsible for connecting with clients globally and project-managing each project in the AZDEF Group. In her current position as Global Director, Lisseth has helped AZDEF Group expand into new markets such as Cape Town South Africa, Dubai United Arab Emirates and Jeddah Saudi Arabia.
Lisseth Villalobos is also known for her service work through charity. Lisseth pushed for a big charity movement within AZDEF and because of her involvement, AZDEF now gives a percentage of it projects to charities around the world. Recently Lisseth entered AZDEF in Irie Foundation, an organization which is founded by Miami Heats Official DJ Irie. The foundation develops and supports a host of programs to create a safe and nurturing environment where youth can flourish and excel. Lisseth’s ambition for growth, helping others and active involvement in different communities has landed her a position on the board of “The Heartland Women Leadership Council” in Kansas City, Missouri.
Lisseth is now a dot connector for all of the different regions she has such a passion for and opened her own Consultancy Firm based out of her hometown in Los Angeles. Create Consultancy will be the hub where she will house all of the fashion, entertainment, celebrity and entrepreneur leaders and experts she has met along her journey to cross promote, connect and represent internationally.
Lisseth is focused now more than ever in coordinating all her business, world and cultural experiences to create new opportunities and communities within the fashion and events industry. Lisseth has grown to be an inspiration to many, as a businesswoman and as an honest consultant. Her growth and achievements are merely the beginning stages of an amazing future to come.
Dr. Nasrine sat down with Lisseth Villalobos, Global Director at AZDEF, to discuss her favorite places throughout Dubai, as well as her charity work and interests.
Where were you born: I was born in Northridge, California and grew up in Reseda California.
How long have you lived in Dubai: I have been in Dubai for 2 and a half years but our company AZDEF has been here for 8 years.
Which neighborhood do you live in: I love my neighborhood Dubai Marina. It is great for my fast pace life and suits my children who have the Marina as their backyard.
Occupation: Global Director of AZDEF Group an event, entertainment and production company based out of Princeton New Jersey and Managing Director for Create Consultancy based in Los Angeles California.
Favorite Restaurant: Café Belge a Belgium restaurant at the Ritz Carlton it has amazing oysters.
Best Sushi: Nobu.
Best Italian: I am not a huge fan of Italian food but if I had to pick a place it would be Bussola at the Westin.
Best dessert: Ultimate desert for me are Churros we don’t have too many places in Dubai that carry them but I would say Maria Bonita has the best. The only true Mexican restaurant in Dubai.
Best place for a romantic date: Coya or Sea Fu. Coya has a great little private dinning room and Sea Fu has an amazing veiew to the ocean.
Best Sunday brunch: I don’t really do brunch much but when I do with my husbands family we go to Al Qsar.
Best place for a power business meeting: Al Qsar. I love madinat jumeriah it always takes me back to when we didn’t live here and would just come to visit. It always gives me recharge to Dubai.
If you have out of town guests, which hotel would you recommend: Al Qsar your starting to see a theme AlQsar is the perfect combination of elegance and traditional décor. We have the four seasons now and that also has a great feel but Madinat Jumeriah has more attractions and the stunning creek and view of Burj al Arab.
Favorite shopping venue/boutique:: Favorite Shopping Venue and Boutique. I would say for everyday shopping would be emirates mall you have everything under one roof it’s close to home and has great parking. Boutique I would have to say West LA not just because I am from LA but really admire the owner and the uniqueness of the brands they carry as well as being a female and male store.
Best Spa: Talise Spa – It is a stunning place
Favorite Cultural Event: I really appreciate Art Dubai it is great to see so many middle eastern artist here all at the same time and the city has a really great vibrant feel.
Favorite Cultural Institution: I am really excited to see what (IFDC) Islamic Fashion and Design Council will offer the region right now. It looks like a great organization and it is well established in other countries and will bring something new to Dubai.
Best Steakhouse: Meat & Co and yes you guessed it in Madinat Jumeriah.
Best Pizza: NKD/ Freedom Pizza is the best organic and gluten free.
Best Gym/Athletic Facility: Talise Fittness Club at Mina Salam also at Madinat JUmeriah…but I actually perfere to work out in the outdoors I only use an indoor facility when it becomes unbearable.
Describe your city in three words: New, Elegant and Innovative
Favorite historic/legendary place to see or explore: Dubai Gold Souk in Deira
All-around favorite spot in Dubai: My favorite place… Madiant Juneriah!!!
Best Aspect of Dubai: Best thing about this region? Opportunity, the region is still growing so much and progressing not just UAE but all of the Middle East. I’m excited to see the progress and talent that comes from this region especially here, Saudi, Oman and Qatar.