News Column

Hispanic Business CEO Roundtable List of Participants

December 2004, HISPANIC BUSINESS Magazine

During the 2004 Hispanic Business CEO Roundtable, held the morning of the annual EOY Gala, top finalists and leading financial experts discussed how carving new informational networks, attitudes, and strategies will be vital for continuing to propel wealth creation in the Hispanic enterprise economy. Key topics included a lack of adequate information, professional and social networks, and models of development to make capital readily available to innovative Hispanic companies, and a newly emerging generation of entrepreneurial trend-setters.

Quick Links:

Hispanic Business Inc. Representatives
CEO Roundtable Industry Experts & Resources
CEOs/EOY Finalists

Hispanic Business Inc. Representatives

Jesus Chavarría
Founder, President, and Chief Executive Officer, Hispanic Business Inc.

Jesus Chavarría is a seasoned professional whose proven track record in entrepreneurship and strategic management spans more than 24 years. Mr. Chavarría founded Hispanic Business Inc. in 1979, following a distinguished career in academia. Under his management, the enterprise has grown into the nation's preeminent Hispanic publishing, information services, recruitment services, and events company.
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Juan Solana
Chief Economist, NM Business Development, Hispanic Business Inc.

Juan B. Solana, Ph.D. in Economics, is responsible for all management and analytical aspects of HispanTelligence®, the research division of Hispanic Business Inc., focused on creating market-oriented reports such as the comprehensive annual Hispanic Consumers in Transition, Market Briefs, Access to Capital, and other tracking studies on the U.S. Hispanic economy. A nationally recognized expert in his field, Dr. Solana has appeared on CNN and National Public Radio as well as in print in the Washington Post, Miami Herald, and La Opinion. (back to top)

Judi Erickson
Managing Editor, Hispanic Business Inc.

Judi Erickson has nearly 20 years' experience as an award-winning news journalist. As Managing Editor at Hispanic Business Inc., Ms. Erickson is responsible for all editorial content of the company's flagship publication, Hispanic Business Magazine. Previously, Ms. Erickson was business editor at The Honolulu Advertiser, news editor for a travel-industry publication in Los Angeles, covered U.S. military news while based in Germany, and covered business news for The Hartford Courant in Connecticut and The Arizona Daily Star in Tucson. (back to top)

CEO Roundtable Industry Experts & Resources

Robert Aguallo
Executive Director, L.A. City Employee Retirement System (LACERS)

Mr. Aguallo directs a 110-member investment team that manages retirement benefits for more than 40,000 members of LACERS, including investment management of approximately $7 billion in trust assets. With a public-service career spanning nearly 28 years, Mr. Aguallo has held executive-level California State Government appointments for the past 18 years. As Assistant Executive Officer of Investment Operations for the California Public Employees' Retirement System (CalPERS), he served as the Chief Operating Officer for all investment operations of the $150 billion fund. He advised the Chief Investment Officer on strategic investment policies to ensure applicability of policy and procedures to state law and Board policies, interacting extensively with the Board of Administration, the Board's Investment Committee, and the State Legislature. Mr. Aguallo has a Master's in Political Science from the University of California, Davis.
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Fred Buenrostro Jr.
CEO, California Public Employees' Retirement System

Mr. Buenrostro has been CEO for CalPERS since 2002, administering the nation's largest public pension fund providing retirement and health benefits to more than 1.3 million current and retired California public employees and their families. Mr. Buenrostro has more than 25 years' experience in public service, including over 15 years on the boards of CalPERS and the California State Teachers' Retirement System. Mr. Buenrostro's career in government includes service as Chief Deputy Director of the Department of Personnel Administration and Deputy in the State Controller's Office. For his leadership at CalPERS, Mr. Buenrostro recently was awarded the 2003 Blazing New Trails Award from the Robert Toigo Foundation. He has a Bachelor's in Business Administration from Pepperdine University, and a law degree from McGeorge School of Law, University of the Pacific. (back to top)

Amador Bustos
CEO, Bustos Media

Mr. Bustos is Chairman and CEO of Bustos Media LLC, a leading private broadcasting company and the most active Spanish-language radio consolidator in the United States. Previously, Mr. Bustos was Chairman and CEO of Z-Spanish Media Corp., which in August 2000 merged with Entravision Communications Corp. (NYSE: EVC) at a valuation of $475 million. Mr. Bustos was a member on the Entravision Board of Directors from August 2000 until December 2003. Mr. Bustos is also a member of the Board of Directors of Broadcast Music Inc. ( He is Managing Partner of Bustos Asset Management LLC, and is a member of the Investment Committee of Hispania Capital Partners, which provides equity financing to mid-stage companies throughout the United States ( (back to top)

Carlos Gaitán
Senior Vice President, Samuel A. Ramirez & Company Inc.

Mr. Gaitán is responsible for origination and execution of financial advisory assignments for Hispanic companies in the United States. He specializes in mergers, acquisitions, and capital-raising advisory roles at the company, which had revenues of $17 million last year ranking it No. 236 on the Hispanic Business 500 directory of largest U.S. Hispanic-owned companies. Mr. Gaitán has nearly a decade of experience in investment banking, restructuring, private equity, and public finance. Most recently, Mr. Gaitán was a Vice President at Ernst & Young Corporate Finance in New York, where he provided restructuring and corporate finance advice to distressed U.S. companies. Mr. Gaitán has a Master's in Business Administration from Columbia University, and a degree in Economics from the Universidad de los Andes in Colombia. He is a member of the Board of Directors of Servintec S.A. (back to top)

Melinda Guzmán
Chairwoman, California Hispanic Chambers of Commerce
Partner, Goldsberry, Freeman, Guzmán & Ditora LLP

Ms. Guzmán is a partner in the law firm of Goldsberry, Freeman, Guzmán & Ditora LLP where she practices business law, as well as tort, labor, and employment litigation. Ms. Guzmán is a former partner of Diepenbrock, Wulff, Plant & Hannegan LLP. She was the first Hispanic woman to be named partner in a majority-owned firm in Sacramento, as well as Northern California. As Chairwoman of the California Hispanic Chambers of Commerce, Ms. Guzmán is the first woman to serve in that position, and she was recently re-elected to a second term. Prior to becoming Chairwoman, Ms. Guzmán served as Vice President of the Central Region of the CHCC and was the third female President to be elected in the history of the Sacramento Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. (back to top)

Kenneth Macias
Founder & Managing Partner, Macias, Gini & Company LLP

Mr. Macias founded the statewide certified public accounting and management consulting firm in 1987. The firm - with offices in Los Angeles, Sacramento, the San Francisco Bay Area, and Fresno - ranks No. 364 on the Hispanic Business 500, and is one of the Top 10 accounting firms in the Greater Sacramento region, where it is headquartered. Mr. Macias has more than 25 years' experience in public accounting, with appointments on national and state accounting and audit agencies including the AICPA Auditing Standards Board. Mr. Macias has a Master's in Accountancy and Taxation from California State University, Sacramento, an MBA in Finance from Golden Gate University San Francisco, and a doctorate in public administration from University of Southern California. He is on Advisory Councils for numerous organizations including the California State Athletic Commission. He is the 2004-05 Chairman of the Board of Directors for the Sacramento Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. (back to top)

Marcos Rodriguez
Managing Partner, Palladium Equity Partners

Mr. Rodriguez founded Palladium Equity Partners in 1997 and serves as Managing Partner. The firm has raised and invested more than $300 million in private equity funds. Palladium is currently managing Palladium Equity Partners II LP, a $231 million fund that has made investments in six portfolio companies with more than 4,000 employees and aggregate revenues of approximately $840 million. The principals of Palladium have invested $1 billion of equity in over 30 investments since 1986. Palladium's 2003 revenues totaled $844 million, ranking it No. 5 on the Hispanic Business 500. Prior to forming Palladium, Mr. Rodriguez was a partner of Joseph Littlejohn & Levy, a prominent buyout firm where he was responsible for spearheading numerous major investments. Before launching his private equity career 15 years ago, he worked in operations for General Electric Company in the U.S., Mexico and France and graduated from GE's Manufacturing Management Program. (back to top)

Jorge A. Solis
Senior Vice President, LaSalle Bank

Mr. Solís is responsible for business development and portfolio management for middle-market companies, specifically Hispanic-owned entities, at LaSalle Bank. He has over 25 years' experience in middle-market commercial banking, including senior positions with Bank One (formerly First Chicago NBD) specializing in commercial banking and international financing. Most recently, he was a senior vice president and group head responsible for a $1.3 billion portfolio and management of over 400 middle-market corporate relationships. Mr. Solís has experience in corporate relationship banking in South America and Southeast Asia, and has served on LaSalle Bank's executive loan committee, corporate credit policy committee, and senior loan committee. Mr. Solís has an MBA in Finance from the University of Detroit, and serves on the boards of numerous organizations including the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum, Lawson House YMCA, and U.S. Mexico Chamber of Commerce. (back to top)

CEOs/EOY Finalists

Jorge de Céspedes
CEO, Pharmed Group

The Pharmed Group is the largest independent distributor of medical, surgical, pharmaceutical and rehabilitative supplies in Florida. Carlos de Céspedes and his brother, Jorge, established the Miami-based company in 1980 and have guided its growth into the largest Hispanic-owned distributor in the United States. In 2003, the company surpassed $590 million in revenue, ranking it No. 8 on the Hispanic Business 500 while distributing more than 25,000 product brands. Pharmed has been honored by Ernst & Young as Florida's Entrepreneur Company of the Year in the medical category, and also has won the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce's 2001 Cutting Edge Award.
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David Hernandez
Chairman & CEO, Liberty Power

Mr. Hernandez co-founded Liberty Power in 2001 with other energy, telecommunications, and financial services professionals. Three years later, the Fort Lauderdale, Florida-based company has grown to supply energy to business and government entities ranging from New York Life and JCPenney to the U.S. Department of Defense and the Department of Homeland Security. Mr. Hernandez is an active member of the National Minority Supplier Development Council and the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. He was awarded the 2004 Distinguished Alumni Award by New York University's Association of Hispanic and Black Business School Students.
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John Keeler
President & CEO, John Keeler & Company Inc.

Mr. Keeler's lifelong interest in entrepreneurial pursuits began at the age of 10 when he started a used-book business. In 1992, Mr. Keeler continued his entrepreneurial interests when he entered the crabmeat industry, helping with sales and marketing for his father's business. Three years later, Mr. Keeler launched John Keeler & Company Inc., importing blue crab from Asia and distributing it throughout the United States. The company, with revenues of $41 million last year, has grown to become ranked No. 120 on the Hispanic Business 500. Mr. Keeler's entrepreneurship has earned him and Ernst & Young nomination for Entrepreneur of the Year Award. (back to top)

Gloria Peña
President & CEO, Innovations Group Inc.

Ms. Peña landed her first contract within a week of launching Career Innovations (now Innovations Group Inc.) in 1992. That contract, providing job-placement services for the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, quickly was followed by more contracts, and within six months Ms. Peña started to hire employees. Since then, Innovations Group has become a prime contractor for the federal Department of Energy, specializing in human resources and project management. Ms. Peña handles the company's policies, procedures, and strategic direction, while her husband, Arthur F. Whipple, runs the financial end. (back to top)

Leeanna Román
President, Providence Pediatric Medical Daycare Inc.
Founder & President, Hispanics Impacting Public Policy

Ms. Román has earned international recognition as a tireless advocate for Hispanic- and women-owned businesses. She is President of Providence Pediatric Medical DayCare Inc., a New Jersey business that surpassed $3.6 million in sales in 2003. She has participated in a White House Health Care Roundtable and led conference calls with the 2004 presidential candidates. Ms. Román's entrepreneurial spirit and advocacy work has earned her multiple honors, including a National Hispanic Heritage Proclamation and the 2003 Artemis Award in the area of Entrepreneurial Leadership from the Euro-American Women's Council. (back to top)

Anthony "Ted" Terrazas
President, TerraHealth Inc.

TerraHealth manages a team of consultants that provides executive-level support on health-care system analysis, program development, and related services. Under the leadership of Mr. Terrazas, the San Antonio, Texas, company grew 208 percent in 2002, 617 percent in 2003, and has doubled again this year. In 2003, the company received the San Antonio Chapter Rehabilitation Asociation's President's Award, and this year it was named Brooks City Base Contractor of the Year. Previously, Mr. Terrazas was regional director for Continuum Healthcare System Inc., responsible for construction projects and numerous facilities including hospitals, medical clinics, and a transitional living center. (back to top)

Nina Vaca
CEO, Pinnacle Technical Resources

Ms. Vaca founded Pinnacle Technical Resources in 1996. With core competencies in enterprise data warehousing, custom application development, and call center technologies, Pinnacle's clients now include AT&T, Verizon, Citigroup, AOL, and IBM. The company has 350 employees in 15 cities across the United States. Ms. Vaca is chairwoman-elect of the Greater Dallas Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, and is on the board of directors of the Women's Business Council-Southwest. She recently was honored by the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce as the National Hispanic Businesswoman of the Year. (back to top)


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