News Column

Clinics, Insurers Report Strong Health

June 2007, HISPANIC BUSINESS Magazine

Frank Nelson

 Dr. J. Mario Molina, CEO of Molina Healthcare.
Dr. J. Mario Molina, CEO of Molina Healthcare.

Molina Healthcare Inc., a $2 billion company based in Long Beach, California, dominates the service sector, which boasts more companies (173) than any other sector in the HISPANIC BUSINESS 500.

The company operates 19 clinics throughout California and it acts as an HMO in seven other states, contracting with government agencies, such as Medicaid, to manage and administer health insurance for low-income patients.

Founded in 1980 by Dr. C. David Molina, who began opening clinics specifically for poor patients, the business became an HMO in 1994 and went public in 2003. Though Dr. Molina died in 1996, his family still owns about 60 percent of the stock and two sons fill key roles: Dr. J. Mario Molina is president and CEO while John Molina is the CFO.

Hitting $2 billion last year was enough to lift Molina Healthcare to No. 3 on the Hispanic Business 500. The company, which employs roughly 2,000 people, is predicting revenue of $2.6 billion this year.

In the field of insurance providers, Fred Loya Sr. insists that his company "[is] not an insurance company. We're a service company that provides insurance."

That underlying commitment to the customer has been a cornerstone of Fred Loya Insurance since Mr. Loya, now chairman, founded the business in 1974.

Based in El Paso, Texas, Fred Loya Insurance [No. 23 on the Hispanic Business 500] specializes in providing minimum limit auto insurance for drivers in Texas, New Mexico, and especially California.

"We target the lower-income market, which is a big part of the overall market," Mr. Loya explains. Many of his clients are Hispanic, part of what Mr. Loya describes as an under-served sector often ignored by major insurance carriers.

His company employs around 1,800 people and operates more than 200 offices, with current expansion concentrated in California. Results suggest the strategy is working revenues crested $200 million in 2005, soared to $274.5 million last year, and are predicted to reach around $320 million this year.

Livia Whisenhunt, CEO of PS Energy Group Inc., thinks rising crude oil prices will boost the Atlanta company's bottom line this year. She expects revenues will jump from $167 million to "close to $200 million," with three-quarters of the extra earnings from increased commodity prices.

For more than 20 years, PS Energy, No. 44 on the Hispanic Business 500, has been supplying utilities, industry, and large businesses across much of the United States with natural gas, gasoline, and other energy products and services.

Mrs. Whisenhunt says they also handle fuels such as CNG (compressed natural gas), biodiesel, and ethanol. And spurred by rising energy costs, she sees even greater involvement in the emerging market for renewable fuels.

"Clearly, everyone with a brain in this country realizes we need to start looking after our resources," she says. "We are a wasteful country compared with others." However, despite a litany of what she sees as people's profligate habits, she believes Americans are becoming more conservation-minded.

Source: HISPANIC BUSINESS Magazine and, Copyright (c) 2007 All Rights Reserved.

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