Kory Arvizu-Johnson Environmental Activist, Phoenix, AZ
At age 20, Kory Arvizu-Johnson already has more than a decade of experience as an environmentalist. Last year she won the $100,000 Goldman Environmental Prize, the highest international honor for grassroots environmental activism. Her career started at age 9 when an older sister's heart disease was attributed to industrial pollution. In response, Ms. Arvizu-Johnson founded Children for a Safe Environment. Her story has been profiled by Newsweek and the Ms. Foundation for Women, which named her one of the Top 10 Female Role Models for 1998.
Leroy "Lee" D. Baca Sheriff Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department Monterey Park, CA
In May, the county with the largest Hispanic population in the nation elected its first Hispanic sheriff since 1890. Mr. Baca commands the largest sheriff's department in the world, with more than 13,000 sworn and civilian employees and an annual budget of $1.1 billion. At his swearing in, the new sheriff pledged to apply his hands-on style of leadership to combating gangs and bias.
Hector V. Barreto Jr. Chairman Latin Business Association, Los Angeles, CA
Since becoming chairman of the Latin Business Association (LBA) in 1997, he has doubled revenues, increased membership by 50 percent, and created the successful Latino Business Expo event. He founded the Latin Business Association Institute to provide technical assistance, education, and business development opportunities to LBA members. Mr. Barreto's company, Barreto Insurance & Financial Services, generates more than $3 million in annual revenues. He sits on the boards of the East Los Angeles YMCA and the Central East Chapter of the American Red Cross.
Jose Behar CEO EMI Latin, Los Angeles, CA
The most powerful Latin music executive in Los Angeles, Mr. Behar began his career by working in the mailroom of A&M Records. Under his charge, EMI Latin has grown into the nation's second-largest Latin music label, with net earnings increasing by 800 percent to $108 million. As a pioneer marketer for the U.S. Hispanic audience, he has worked with such artists as Selena and Jon Secada. He recently signed world welterweight boxing champion Oscar De La Hoya to an exclusive multi-year recording contract.
David Bejarano Chief San Diego Police Department, San Diego, CA
In April, he became the first Hispanic chief of the San Diego Police Department. His impressive efforts in coordinating security for the 1998 Super Bowl and World Series inspired the San Diego City Council to unanimously confirm his appointment. Mr. Bejarano is an active board member with the United Way, Family Literacy Foundation, and Casa Familiar.
Ray Blanco President/Executive Producer Cutting Edge Entertainment, Plainfield, NJ
Veteran TV producer Ray Blanco founded Cutting Edge Entertainment to produce entertaining and socially conscious films and television programs. This year, the New York chapter of the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences recognized his success with an Emmy Award for Viva!, a series of specials that featured the achievements of Hispanics. When not working on his own projects, he runs the WB11 Broadcasting Seminar and Training Program, which enhances opportunities for minorities to break into the business.
Diana M. Bonta Director California Department of Health Services, Sacramento, CA
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