The 2013 HispanicBusiness 50 Influentials list showcases the diversity that characterizes the American socioeconomic landscape. Hispanics now make up 17 percent of the U.S. population, or 53 million in all, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, yet they have even greater reach than their numbers might suggest. The mark they make in society has become just as large. The 50 people highlighted in this feature offer a glimpse at the great heights Hispanics can obtain.
The fields of accomplishment showcased here are just as diverse as the nation. The list features senior executives at Fortune 500 companies, judges and attorneys, athletes and musicians, key members of government, and advocates and educators.
The geographic disbursement is diverse as well, from California to New York, from Montana to Florida. Although 75 percent of the U.S. Hispanic population resides in just eight states, there is no boundary when it comes to the important roles that our Influentials play.
Names familiar and obscure
Some of our Influentials are household names. Victor Cruz is the standout wide receiver for the New York Giants, who made his first Pro Bowl in 2012, and actress and singer Selena Gomez is making her mark in the philanthropy world. Meanwhile, songwriter and producer Rudy Perez has written an astonishing number of top 10 hits for the likes of Beyonce and Christina Aguilera.
Others, while not household names, certainly have the requisite credentials to make the list. Maria Cristina Gonzalez Noguera was recently named special assistant to the president and communications director to the first lady, for example. Carlos Martinez, meanwhile, is president of Conill, the fifth-largest U.S. Hispanic ad agency, and Carlos Barroso was named Campbell Soup Co.'s senior vice president of global R&D in July.
Variety of fields
The diverse paths our Influentials have taken to success include education and advocacy, naturally.
Among the educators, Vasti Torres is dean of the College of Education at the University of South Florida, having been named to that position in May; Jennifer Rosato, dean at Northern University College of Law, was only the second Hispanic female law school dean in the nation when appointed in 2009; and Waded Cruzado is president of Montana State University.
Among our Influentials who lead advocacy organizations and nonprofits is Jesus Maldonado Reyes, appointed executive director of the Hispanic Association on Corporate Responsibility in February. HACR is one of the most influential advocacy groups in the nation, representing Hispanic organizations across the U.S. and Puerto Rico. Raul Russi, CEO of the health, housing and economic development nonprofit Acacia Network, also made the list.
U.S. Hispanics are making their mark everywhere as they exert influence on every aspect of American society. Whether in the public eye or behind the scenes, the fastest-growing population in the U.S. is achieving greater representation in key positions in just about every field imaginable. We hope our list will help inspire others to aim to be future Influentials.
HispanTelligence, the research arm of HispanicBusiness Inc., chose the 2013 HispanicBusiness 50 Influentials based on the following criteria:
- Influentials must be Hispanics of U.S. citizenship who have recently had a national impact, and whose achievements inspire other Hispanics to similar endeavors.
- Candidates were selected from a variety of fields, including but not limited to entertainment, performing arts, media and journalism, literature, sports, science and academia, entrepreneurship, government, and corporate leadership.
- HispanicBusiness focused on qualified individuals who have promoted the advancement of Hispanics in the U.S. through their leadership, community involvement and/or professional achievements.
- Nominations are accepted year-round by HispanicBusiness.com and obtained from public relations offices, contributing editors and writers, and from staff.
The increasing number of U.S. Hispanics in positions of influence inspired HispanicBusiness to compile its listing in recognition of those individuals who have had recent national impact. Therefore, many distinguished Hispanic-Americans are not included this year. However, many have appeared among the top Influentials in previous years, and we encourage HispanicBusiness.com readers to view our online Archives to review their bios and achievements.