High-ranking members of the Cabinet for President Obama. A NASCAR driver who won a race in Richard Petty’s famed No. 43 stock car. The president and CEO of one of the nation’s largest communications companies. A hockey player who scored game-winning goals in both the NHL’s Western Conference Finals and the Stanley Cup Final.
These are just a few of the inspiring and accomplished Hispanics that you will find on our 2014 HispanicBusiness Influentials list.
There is certainly no shortage of people to showcase in our feature every year. The difficult part is narrowing down the list to just 50 people who will make the final cut, but we feel that we have come up with a group of individuals who would stand out on any list of successful people.
Hispanic Achievers From All Fields
Scan through the names and you will find Hispanics succeeding in all sorts of places. Some will be familiar to you, while others may not be. Regardless, these are people who have worked hard to be where they are, and deserve the recognition that goes with their positions.
You’ll find Kathleen Martinez, assistant secretary for disability employment policy at the U.S. Department of Labor. Under her leadership, the Office of Disability Employment Policy played a critical role in President Obama’s July 2010 executive order directing all federal agencies to increase the representation of people with disabilities in their workforces.
There’s Zoe Saldana, the actress who just recently was awarded the Hispanic Heritage Foundation’s Vision Award for her contributions to the Latino community. Saldana, best known for her roles in James Cameron’s Avatar and the recently released Guardians of the Galaxy, will reprise her role of Neytiri in Avatar 2 in 2015.
Ralph Terrazas became the Los Angeles Fire Department’s first Hispanic chief since its founding in 1886 when he was confirmed by the L.A. City Council in August. Mr. Terrazas, a 31-year veteran of the department, leads more than 3,200 men and women in the LAFD.
Edmundo Hidalgo has served as president and CEO of Chicanos Por La Causa Inc. since 2008. CPLC, which ranked No. 3 on our Top 25 Hispanic Nonprofits directory in 2014, is a regional community development corporation with more than 40 years of experience serving communities in the areas of education, economic development, housing, and health and human services. Under Mr. Hidalgo’s leadership, CPLC has seen double-digit growth each of the past five years.
Inspiring Future Influentials
Obviously, there is much work to be done for Hispanics to be represented at the same levels as their ever-increasing population here in the U.S. For example, at Fortune 500 companies there are only 10 Hispanic CEOs, many of whom have been featured in past Influential lists. That works out to just 2 percent compared to the 17 percent of the population that Hispanics represent, which is unacceptable.
However, that doesn’t mean there aren’t any success stories, individuals who have achieved great status and influence despite the percentages. Perhaps showcasing some of those stories here will inspire our future Influential candidates to continue to pursue their dreams.
2014 Methodology for HispanicBusiness Influentials
HispanTelligence, the research arm of HispanicBusiness Inc., chose the 2014 HispanicBusiness Influentials finalists 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.
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.
For The List (for pictures and biographies, click here)
Here’s a few though…..
Jessica Alba, Actress/Entrepreneur,
Aric Almirola, Race Car Driver, NASCAR
Dennis Arriola, President & CEO-Southern California Gas Company, Sempra Energy
Catalina Castillon, Associate Professor of English and Modern Languages-
Distinguished Faculty Lecturer, Lamar University
Julian Castro, Secretary, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development
Marcelo Claure, President & CEO, Sprint
Cesar Conde, EVP-NBCUniversal, Comcast NBCUniversal
France Cordova, Director, National Science Foundation
David Cruz, Senior Managing Director-Retail Annuities, New York Life Insurance Co.
Joe Da Rosa, President, Toyota Manufacturing-Texas, Toyota
Mariano Florentino, Supreme Court Nominee, State of California
Michael Garcia, Chief Creative Officer, Televisa USA