Hispanic Business Inc. 25th Anniversary Gala
June 10th 2004
Pier 60, Chelsea Piers, New York City
Evening keynote address by Jesus Chavarria, CEO and Publisher, Hispanic Business, Inc.
My friends, thank you for your warm applause. Bonnie and I appreciate your being with us tonight. I would like to add a few footnotes to the visual presentation you just viewed this evening, produced by the Hispanic Business creative team.
The ideas leading to the founding of Hispanic Business arose from a variety of sources, including a 1978 consulting assignment with Los Angeles advertising agency The Carranza Group. The assignment was to evaluate the Hispanic consumer market, and it gave me the opportunity to travel around the country and gather information. Also that year, attending the first national symposium on the Hispanic business economy in Tempe, Arizona, was a seminal experience. While there, I came to feel that business was it; that through entrepreneurship, the historical tide of underdevelopment in our communities could turn around.
The protest movements of the '60s and '70s also were a significant influence. I'm sure you noticed the graphic-art style and design used by the newsletter and magazine in the early years. It conveyed a heightened sense of identity, which linked the publication to the protest movements. Hispanic Business magazine was not incubated in the civil rights movement, but it was affected by its cultural wake. Suddenly, because of the struggles for civil rights, U.S. Hispanics -- especially youth -- became inquisitive about and conscious of their origins, and eventually militantly proud of their heritage. It had not always been that way.
While in Tempe, I met business people from across the country; I met Small Business Administration representatives, and academics in the fields of business. I met Professor Leonardo Rodriguez of Florida International University in Miami. I met Luis Aranda, professor of business at Arizona State University, now retired. The symposium pointed me to the 1969 preliminary U.S. Census on Hispanic enterprises, as well as to the first U.S. Census on Hispanic enterprises in 1972. Avidly absorbing the data, it became clear to me that a trend was building. This was three years before the appearance of John Naisbitt's book, Megatrends, which documented the tectonic U.S. economic shift to the Sun Belt, and pointed as well to the Hispanic immigration surge impacting that region. Meanwhile, on a flight to San Antonio, I saw my first issue of Black Enterprise magazine, which had launched in 1972.
The elements meshed in late 1978, and the strategy for Hispanic Business unfolded: Start with a newsletter, learn the basics of the publishing industry, control costs tightly, and quickly learn all you can about generating revenue.
VIDEO: 25 Years of Hispanic Business