George Muņoz CEO Overseas Private Investment Corporation, Washington, DC
Declaring 1999 the "Year of Small Business," Mr. Muņoz estimates that at least 30 percent of the business from OPIC-assisted projects will go to small companies. For his efforts, the Small Business Exporters Association honored him with the 1999 Ronald H. Brown Export Enhancement Award for providing opportunities to small businesses. In the aftermath of Hurricane Mitch, he signed an agreement to establish an investment facility in Central America and the Caribbean for capitalization of rebuilding and recovery. Previously, he was the chief financial officer at the Treasury Department.
Janet Murguia Deputy Campaign Manager and Director of Public Liaison Gore 2000, Washington, DC
Al Gore named this White House veteran to a top position in his campaign to win the presidency in 2000. Ms. Murguia currently serves as deputy director of legislative affairs for the White House. During her five-year tenure as President Bill Clinton's liaison to Congress, she has managed major negotiations on health care, the environment, telecommunications, immigration, education, welfare reform, trade, taxes, Puerto Rico, and Mexico certification.
Gregory Nava Director/Writer/Producer El Norte Productions, Los Angeles, CA
The director of Selena and My Family/Mi Familia has signed an unprecedented deal between New Line Cinema and his company, El Norte Productions, to produce and direct Hispanic-themed movies. Under the arrangement, Mr. Nava will develop or direct at least three films. The agreement allows him to develop as many as eight projects, with directing duties handled by younger or lesser-known stagers.
Chon Noriega Associate Professor of Film and Television University of California, Los Angeles Los Angeles, CA
Television stands at the forefront of addressing diversity issues in Hollywood. As co-chair of the Latino Producers Conference, Mr. Noriega organized the first national gathering on Hispanic independent media since the 1970s. He is author or editor of seven books on Hispanics in the film and television industry. His current work includes development of three media-related studies in conjunction with the Tomas Rivera Policy Institute.
Soledad O'Brien Correspondent NBC News, New York, NY
This popular NBC News journalist also reports for "Nightly News" and "Dateline" and is substitute anchor for weekend "Nightly News" and weekend "Today." At MSNBC, she anchors "Morning Blend," a three-hour talk show on Saturday and Sunday mornings. Off the air, she contributes a column for MSNBC.COM, serves as a contributing editor for USA Weekend Magazine, and acts as technology columnist for Women's Wire Web site.
Mirta Ojito Staff Writer The New York Times, New York, NY
She was one of four journalists awarded the 1999 American Society of Newspaper Editors Distinguished Writing award for her series of first-person stories detailing the changes occurring in Cuba today. While writing the series, Ms. Ojito drew upon her own experience of leaving Cuba during the 1980 Mariel boatlift. She covers the immigration beat for the Times.
Solomon P. Ortiz Congressman, 27th District, Corpus Christi, TX
When Mr. Ortiz wanted to address the discriminatory portrayal and employment of Hispanics in the U.S. entertainment industry, he asked the Congressional Hispanic Caucus to sanction a task force. Then he led the effort. In conjunction with IMAGEN, he has organized job fairs to introduce Hispanics to entertainment companies. His efforts have given young Hispanics education, training, and real-work opportunities with major studios.
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