News Column

100 Most Influential Hispanics

October 2003, HISPANIC BUSINESS Magazine

It's hard to argue with success. The members of this year's Hispanic Business 100 Most Influential Hispanics® have achieved plenty of success, and the range of their accomplishments refutes the notion of ethnic stereotypes in 21st-century U.S. society.

VIEW the 2003 list of 100 Most Influential Hispanics

Financial executives, for example, account for 18 of the 100 names on the list, making a statement on the increasing affluence and investment sophistication in the Hispanic market. This subset of the Influentials includes a pension fund manager, a private banker, several venture capitalists, and a turnaround consultant. These pioneers have set a precedent for Hispanic progress in the financial management industry, arguably one of the least diverse in the nation.

The largest group on the directory (35 of the 100) comes from the non-financial Corporate America and entrepreneurial sectors. Government and academia have 16 names on the list, just ahead of entertainment and sports, with 15. In this off-election year, only four political people appear among the 100.

Leaders of advocacy and research groups represent a growing presence among the Influentials. Twelve members of the 100 appear primarily because of their work for professional or issue-based organizations, ranging from national groups such as the Hispanic National Bar Association and National Council of La Raza to local nonprofits such as the Mexican American Opportunity Foundation in Los Angeles.

However, a surprising number of Influentials hail from a new crop of nonprofits focused on economic empowerment. These alliances include Hispanic-Net, an organization of Hispanic high-tech professionals dedicated to increasing opportunity in their industry; New America Alliance, a group of prominent leaders "united to promote the economic advancement" of Hispanics; and the Pew Hispanic Center, a nonpartisan think tank in Washington, D.C.

Statistically, the typical member of the 100 Influentials would be a male between the ages of 40 and 60, holding a graduate degree and making more than $100,000 annually. These numbers, and others that appear in the list on the following pages, come from a special fax survey of the 100 Influentials conducted by Hispanic Business.

Selection of the Hispanic Business 100 Most Influential Hispanics begins with nominations from readers, Web-site visitors, contributing editors and writers, magazine staff, and the nominees themselves. To qualify, individuals must be U.S. citizens of Hispanic origin. Because of the increasing number of Hispanics in positions of influence, Hispanic Business attempts to compile a list that recognizes those who have had recent, national impact. Therefore, many distinguished Hispanics are not included, even though they may have appeared on previous lists.

In a year when the commander of U.S. troops in Iraq, the winning jockey at the Kentucky Derby, and Miss USA all are Hispanic, the rise of Hispanic influence across the spectrum of professions has never been more apparent. Hispanic Business is proud to present these high-profile achievers, together with behind-the-scenes power brokers, on the 2003 directory of the 100 Influentials.


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