Fernando Espuelas Founder & CEO Starmedia Network New York, NY A pioneer in Hispanic cyberspace, Mr. Espuelas turned his popular portal (www.StarMedia.com) into a political forum in July, when he offers users the chance to engage in online debates with Mexican presidential candidates. The chat gave Mexican-Americans and Mexicans living in the U.S. a chance to get involved “virtually” in the Mexican electoral process. In partnership with the Association of Hispanic Advertising Agencies, Mr. Espuelas has launched Latinvote.org, the first Spanish-language Internet sites focused on increasing Hispanic voter registration and turnout.
Emilio Estefan Producer, Composer Crescent Moon Studios/Estefan Enterprises Miami Beach, FL This year Mr. Estefan moved from music to drama. The song producer has teamed with film studios to produce sitcoms and made-for-TV-movies that will bring more Hispanic performers into the mainstream. Also, he received the inaugural Latin Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences (LARAS) Person of the Year award. In the recording studio, he produced four songs on Ricky Martin’s album, and Shakira’s first English-language album will hit stores early next year.
Daisy Exposito-Ulla President The Bravo Group/AHAA New York, NY As president of New York advertising agency The Bravo Group and the trade group Association of Hispanic Advertising Agencies (AHAA), Ms. Exposito exercises tremendous influence in Hispanic marketing. At AHAA, she has instituted Futuramente, an education program to encourage educational achievement among Hispanic students. She serves on the board of the New America Alliance, a group of business leaders who promote the Hispanic community.
Jose Feliciano Singer, Guitarist, Composer Fairfield County, CT With more than 45 gold records and 16 Grammy nominations, Mr. Feliciano keeps going strong after more than 30 years in the spotlight. He has won Best Pop Guitarist for the last five years and placed in the "Gallery of the Greats" by Guitar Player magazine. He has been voted both Best Jazz and Best Rock Guitarist in the Playboy Magazine reader's poll and received Billboard’s Lifetime Achievement Award.
Antonio Flores President Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities San Antonio, TX Under the leadership of Mr. Flores, the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU) has grown from a $3 million to a $13 million operation. Membership has expanded from 150 schools to 254. As a lobbyist, he has increased federal support for HACU institutions from $10.5 million to more than $50 million per year. The HACU Web site gets half a million visitors every month.
Milena Flores Basketball Guard Miami Sol, Women’s National Basketball Association Miami, FL Ms. Flores was the 40th pick in the 2000 Draft. She graduated with a bachelor’s degree in political science from Stanford University, where she enjoyed a successful basketball career. In June, she made five steals, a game-high mark, and added four assists in a loss to the Houston Comets. Her career highlights include being among only 10 players in Stanford’s history to earn First Team All-Pac-10 honors more than once.
Charles P. Garcia CEO Sterling Financial Investment Group Inc. Boca Raton, FL Mr. Garcia runs a fast-growing financial services firm with 33 U.S. and international offices. And the firm plans to open 15 new offices in Latin America. Mr. Garcia’s vision is to revolutionize the capital-raising process by using the Internet, and to push Sterling to become the second-largest American investment bank to operate outside the U.S. He also serves on the White House Fellow’s selection committee, which identifies qualified Hispanics to serve at the highest levels of the U.S. government.
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