News Column

Corner Office: Influence--Who's Got It and in What Markets?

Sept. 30, 2008

Jesús Chavarría--Editor & Publisher, Hispanic Business Magazine

It's that time of year--October--for a reprise of our annual 100 Most Influential story that creates buzz with our readers and in the marketplace.

Our Most Influential cover story touches on a variety of developments affecting U.S. Hispanics, the country's fastest-growing consumer market. It is a market drawing increasing national attention due to its rate of growth, the wealth of its human capital, its increasing penetration of educational and political institutions, and its expanding consumer purchasing clout (despite the current cycle of economic woes).Because much of the market skews young, growing aspirations and achievements naturally drives it. This cadre of influentials is gaining increasing prominence among the country's men and women of public and private influence.

Politically, the Hispanic vote will play a major role in the presidential election in critical states, including Florida, Michigan, New York, Pennsylvania, Texas and of course California.

California is singled out this year because in many respects it is emerging as the most influential Hispanic state in the country. To acknowledge this fact, this year's 100 Most Influential contains a special focus on the nation's #1 Hispanic metro market, Los Angeles. Out of the l00 Most Influential, readers will find 40 representing the greater Los Angeles SMSA, (Standard Metropolitan Statistical Area), which encompasses the city and county of Los Angeles.

On this issue's cover you have already seen five indisputably influential Angelenos. Meet the Mayor of Los Angeles, Antonio Villaraigosa; Los Angeles County Supervisor Gloria Molina; Dr. J. Mario Molina, chairman and CEO of Molina Healthcare Inc., the no. 2 company on the Hispanic Business 500; Castulo de la Rocha, CEO of Altamed Healthcare Systems Corporation, the #1 U.S. Hispanic nonprofit; and Ms. Monica Garcia, president of the Los Angeles School Board. In an interview appearing in the following pages, we posed questions to Mayor Villaraigosa, whose leadership casts a statewide and national shadow.

Managing Editor Michael Bowker recently spent some time with the mayor in his office and obtained an account from the mayor's lips of the city's impressive major housing and infrastructure development portfolio. "You see cranes all over the city for the first time in decades," says the youthful mayor. More than 87 high-rises are being constructed across the metro area, while downtown Los Angeles is being revitalized by a $2.5 billion project called LA Live.

Keep in mind that decisions made by these individuals and the policies they promote affect millions of people, not only in Los Angeles, but also across the nation.

So read on about the world of influence and getting things done, and while you are at it, catch up on the latest election developments and on our exclusive Quarterly Economic Forecast.

-- Jesús Chavarría
Editor & Publisher

Source: (c) 2008. All rights reserved.

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