As Heraclitus said, The only thing constant is change. His insight applies to the economic landscape that shapes our world more than most. Change happens not only year by year, but day by day, minute by minute. In todays global economy, the slightest change halfway around the world can affect things elsewhere in a matter of seconds.
For more than 30 years, HispanicBusiness produced a list of the top 500 Hispanic-owned companies in the U.S. While the index long proved to be a solid barometer of the Hispanic market in this country, tough economic times along with a flurry of mergers and aquistions have pared the number of companies that qualify for the index.
In recognition of that, we have streamlined the index to just 100 top earners.
We now introduce the new benchmark for successful Hispanic-owned companies in the U.S., the HispanicBusiness 100.
The companies on the HispanicBusiness 100 have reached a level that sets them apart from the rest, and deserve to be recognized as such. They are the backbone of the U.S. Hispanic small-business economy.
In fact, most of the companies that now appear on the HispanicBusiness 100 were themselves small companies at one point, and now help provide a goal for others to strive for.
Changing economic times call for changing economic barometers. The new HispanicBusiness 100 will provide a clear view of leadership in the Hispanic enterprise community.
An Overview of the HispanicBusiness 100
Companies on the list combined to rake in $34.8 billion in revenue in 2013, up 2.1 percent from the total the top 100 companies produced in 2012. The companies also employed 86,752 people, up 2.9 percent from last years total of 84,302.
Brightstar Corp. in Miami once again tops the list, producing $7.2 billion in revenues in 2013. The worlds largest wireless distributor has been in the No. 1 position for four years straight and continues to grow at a record pace, up 14.3 percent from last years $6.3 billion in revenue.
Jorge Perez, CEO of The Related Group
Mastec, Greenway Ford, The Related Group and SDI International join Brightstar to form the fabulous five from Florida as billion-dollar companies at the top of the HispanicBusiness 100.
Geographically, the majority of the companies (53 percent) are from just three states: Florida (22), Texas (20) and California (11). However, by no means are the companies limited as far as representing a large portion of the country. A total of 26 states are represented on the list.
Georgia, New York and New Jersey are tied for fourth place with five companies each, with Michigan just a notch behind with four.
A total of nine sectors comprise the new HispanicBusiness 100. The service industry leads the way with 25 companies. The auto industry is next, with 13 companies, followed closely by manufacturing with 12 and construction with 11. The new technology sector, introduced just last year, makes a strong showing as well, represented by 10 companies.
No transportation companies qualified for the HispanicBusiness 100 directory, and only four retail firms made the list. For a more detailed breakdown, see the accompanying feature on the top companies for each sector.
Company Focus: Ruiz Foods
What kinds of companies make up the upper echelon of Hispanic enterprise? Lets take a look at a couple of them to provide some idea.
Ruiz Food Products, No. 13 on the list with $600 million in revenues in 2013, is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year. The company manufactures and sells Mexican food products and is the No. 1 frozen Mexican food brand in the U.S. Its El Monterey brand includes burritos, taquitos, enchiladas and quesadillas.
Louis Ruiz and son Fred Ruiz started Ruiz Foods in 1964.
Headquartered in Dinuba, Calif., the company also has a manufacturing plant in Tulare, Calif., and a 263,000-square-foot facility and distribution center in Denison, Texas. The company has come a long way from the dream Fred Ruiz and his father, Louis, had in 1964 to use the recipes of Rosie Ruiz (Freds mother and Louis wife) and sell frozen Mexican food to families.
According to the company, Ruiz Foods began with nothing more than a twin-chest freezer, Rosies mixmaster, a stove made by Louis and a converted refrigerated truck for deliveries.
Over the years, as the company expanded, it has been recognized for its accomplishments. Louis and Fred Ruiz received the U.S. Small Business Persons of the Year Award from President Reagan in 1983. In 1992, the company was inducted into the U.S. Small Business Administrations Hall of Fame.
Today, Ruiz Food employs over 2,300 people and provides a stellar example to smaller companies of what can be accomplished with hard work and dedication.
Company Focus: Byrne Construction Services
Byrne Construction Services, formerly listed on the HispanicBusiness 500 as Thos. S. Byrne Ltd., comes in at No. 40 on the HispanicBusiness 100, with 2013 revenues of $166 million. The Fort Worth company was founded in 1923 and has been Hispanic-owned since 1994, when the company was sold to John Avila Jr.
Matthew Avila, CEO of Byrne Construction Services. Photo by Jackie Avila.
The company was doing about $20 million in revenue when Mr. Avila took control.
Today, Johns son Matthew has taken over as CEO of the company, with John continuing with the company as chairman. The company is well known in the Fort Worth area, having been responsible for many of the citys landmark buildings, including the Texas Christian University campus, the Fort Worth Water Gardens and Pier 1 Imports headquarters downtown, the Cultural Districts Amon G. Carter Museum of American Art and the Will Rogers Coliseum.
The future looks even brighter for the company. This year, it has been awarded 15 projects, breaking its previous yearly high of 10, according to Benjamin Robertson, director of business development. Many other projects are in the pipeline, and the company expects to do between $170 million and $180 million in business in 2014.
Looking to the Future
Ruiz Foods and Byrne Construction are two great examples of the quality of companies that can be found on the new HispanicBusiness 100. Both had smaller beginnings and have carried on to become multimillion-dollar corporations.
They, along with the rest of the companies on the index, provide a benchmark for other Hispanic-owned companies to strive for.
We look forward to profiling many of them as we begin a new journey with a new standard, the HispanicBusiness 100.