Monday, November 29

Some of the Most Successful Hispanic Entrepreneurs in America


(CNN) – Over the years, the Hispanic presence in the United States has grown in all areas. And the economic one was not the exception.

There are not a few entrepreneurs of Hispanic origin who have succeeded in the United States, creating and directing leading companies in different sectors.

Here are six of America’s most successful Hispanic-origin entrepreneurs.

Jorge Perez

Entrepreneur Jorge Pérez and his wife Darlene, in a 2019 photo (Photo: Aaron Davidson / Getty Images for National YoungArts Foundation)

Considered one of the most influential Latino entrepreneurs in the United States, Jorge Pérez is a co-founder of Related Group of Florida, a Miami-based condo construction company.

Born in Argentina to Cuban parents, Pérez grew up in Colombia before immigrating to Miami as a teenager.

According to Forbes magazine, he currently has a fortune of 1.7 billion dollars and has begun to diversify his activities, with investments in other parts of South Florida, as well as in Uruguay, Mexico and Argentina.

He is ranked number 1833 in the world’s billionaires by Forbes and his best place was in 2018, when he was number 316 on the Forbes list of 400.

In 2014 he donated US $ 40 million, half of his private art collection, to the Miami Pérez Art Museum, known as PAMM, one of the few major institutions in the United States with a Hispanic name.

Arturo Moreno

The businessman Arturo Moreno

Arturo Moreno, in an image from 2017. (Photo: Sean M. Haffey / Getty Images)

Of Mexican origin, Arturo Moreno owns the Los Angeles Angels, a Major League Baseball franchise, which he acquired in 2003.

He is the first Mexican-American to own a sports team in the United States, according to Forbes.

His initial fortune came from billboard advertising company Outdoor Systems, which sold for $ 8,700 in 1999 to Infinity Broadcasting Company in 1999, most of his fortune now in the Angels.

He is currently ranked 891st billionaire by Forbes magazine, with a fortune valued at $ 3.4 billion, and in 2020 he ranked 238 among the 400 richest people in the world.

While he maintains stakes in other billboard advertising companies, “his greatest fortune comes from the baseball franchise,” according to Forbes.

Jorge Mas

Jorge Mas during a meeting of Inter Miami, the club he owns. (Photo: Michael Reaves / Getty Images)

Jorge Mas is the president and largest shareholder of MasTec, an infrastructure engineering and construction company based in Miami. “He is one of the most prominent Cuban-American businessmen,” as defined by Forbes.

58 years old, he is the son of Jorge Mas Canosa, a Cuban exile opposed to Fidel Castro who arrived in Florida in 1960.

According to Forbes, he currently has a fortune of US $ 1.2 billion and is ranked 2378 among the world’s billionaires.

He is also the general owner of the Inter Miami MLS team.

Maria Contreras-Sweet

Contreras-Sweet with then-Vice President Joe Biden, upon taking office in Obama’s cabinet in 2014. (Photo: BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI / AFP via Getty Images)

This successful businesswoman was born in Guadalajara, Mexico, in 1955. She became better known when in 2014, former President Barack Obama appointed her to head the
US Small Business Administration (SBA).

Contreras-Sweet held various positions throughout his career, both in the public and private sectors. She is the founder of ProAmerica Bank, the first bank dedicated to serving the needs of small and medium-sized companies.

From 1999 to 2003 she was Secretary of Business, Transportation and Housing in California, the first Latina to hold a cabinet position in that state.

She currently serves on the board of directors of Sempra Energy and is also a director of Regional Management Corp., TriNet Group, Inc.

Marcelo Claure

Marcelo Claure, in an image from 2019 (Photo: Riccardo Savi / Getty Images for Concordia Summit)

Of Bolivian origin, Marcelo Claure is the founder of the Miami-based company Brightstar Corp, specialized in telecommunications services.

He is currently COO of SoftBank Group and CEO of WeWork.

Claure launched the US $ 5 billion SoftBank Innovation Fund (SIF) in 2019, the largest technology fund in history focused exclusively on the Latin American market, according to the Council of the Americas.

Anthony “Tony” Jimenez

He is the founder, president, and CEO of MicroTech, a Veterans-Owned Service Disabled Business (SDVOSB).

He is an active member of the technology industry and an advocate for the veteran, Hispanic and small business communities.

IN 2021 was inducted into the LatinX Hall of Fame | Hispanic Top 100 by theboardiQ, which highlights leaders who are making their mark in the areas of: Inclusion, Gender, Race and Ethnicity, Sexual Orientation, Country of Origin, People with Disabilities, Sustainability, Business Transformation / Resilience during the Pandemic and Technological Innovation.

As noted on its website, the company “supports dozens of major contracts across government and Fortune 500 companies and employs trained professionals in more than 40 states and numerous overseas locations.”

Additionally, “it is prime contractor on more than 30 government-wide procurement contracts (GWACs), has indefinite delivery indefinite quantity (IDIQ) contracts, and offers access to more than 2,500 suppliers and more than one million products and services from technology at federal, state, and local government agencies, “as described on the company’s official site.

Alberto “Beto” Pérez

This Colombian raised in Cali always had a passion for dance. And already settled in Miami, he was the creator of the Zumba exercise program in the late 90s, achieving almost instant success.

In the LinkedIn profile of “Beto” Pérez, who moved to Miami in 1999, where he began giving aerobics classes at a gym, relates how a forgetfulness led him to create the popular rhythm. As he describes, one day he forgot the music he used for his classes and “was forced to use a cassette of Latin music that he happened to have in his car. This was the first time that gym-goers were exposed to a class that was breaking the mold of what they were used to. “

Later, together with Alberto Perlman and Alberto Aghion, they officially created Zumba, which was distributed on DVD with great success.

In 2006, according to LinkedIn, the three partners founded Zumba Fitness LLC, to market Zumba products and content.

Currently, they have more than 200,000 locations throughout the world, with more than 15 million people taking classes every week, says Pérez’s LinkedIn profile.

In an interview with CNN in 2019, “Beto” Pérez gave details of his beginnings and how he managed to succeed after his arrival in Miami.

Beto Pérez describes the beginning of his career 2:33

José E. Feliciano

José E. Feliciano, speaking in Los Angeles in 2019 (Photo: Greg Doherty / Getty Images for SUPERCHARGED)

This namesake of the popular singer and musician is the co-founder and managing partner of Clearlake Capital Group LP, a Santa Monica-based firm “known for purchasing software, industrial and consumer products companies,” according to Forbes magazine.

Born in Puerto Rico, the head of Clearlake oversees about $ 24 billion and “has obtained one of the best returns in the industry,” says Forbes.

Last July, Feliciano was awarded the Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights 2021 Ripple of Hope award.

According to Forbes, he currently has a wealth of US $ 3.4 billion and is ranked 1008th among the world’s billionaires.

Jordi Muñoz

Jordi Muñoz’s story is similar to that of many Mexicans who come to the United States looking for a better future. Born in Ensenada, Mexico, from a very young age he had different jobs, although computing was what really attracted him.

He came to the United States in 2007 when he was just 20 years old. And from there, it did not stop growing. According to an interview with Forbes Mexico magazine, the first thing he managed was to hack a remote control helicopter. And that earned him a contact from a Swiss company, which offered to settle in that country and pay for his university studies.

He returned to the US in early 2009 and, together with Chris Anderson, they set up 3D Robotics, the non-military drone factory that made him world famous.

In 2018 they partnered with Yuneec, a leading global manufacturer of commercial and consumer UAVs.

It is currently a supplier to the United States government.

Carlos Castro

He is the owner and CEO of Todos Supermarket. which is based in Woodbridge, Virginia.

Carlos Castro was born in El Salvador, where he grew up in poverty and worked in a factory. He decided to emigrate to the United States in 1980, in the midst of a civil war in his country.

According to his biography posted on the National Grocery Merchants Association (NGA) website, Castro opened his first supermarket in 1990 “to serve the needs of Woodbridge’s growing Hispanic community.”

Castro is also one of the founders of the Hispanic Organization for Leadership and Action. He also served on the boards of directors of the Prince William Chamber of Commerce, Youth for Tomorrow, Potomac Health Foundation, and Hylton Performing Arts Center, among others.

Gloria and Emilio Estefan

Gloria and Emilio Estefan have several successful ventures in the United States. (Photo: Lars Niki / Getty Images for New York Women in Film & Television)

Born in Cuba, Gloria and Emilio Estefan met in the United States, where they arrived at different times in their lives. And through music, they achieved worldwide recognition and fame.

Both are founders of the Miami Sound Machine and are part of the Latin American Composers Hall of Fame. And with their musical success, they expanded their businesses to other areas related to tourism and gastronomy.

They own, for example, the Cuban cuisine restaurant Estefan Kitchen, which opened in 2018 in the ultra-luxurious complex known as the Miami Design District.

They also own the hotel complex Vero Beach, located in Florida.

In 2015 they received the Presidential Medal of Freedom from the United States from then-President Barack Obama.

The Medal of Freedom is the highest civilian honor in the United States and is awarded to “individuals who have made meritorious contributions to the security or interests of the United States, world peace, or cultural endeavors.”

Sofia Vergara

Colombian actress Sofía Vergara has several successful businesses in the United States. (Photo: JEAN-BAPTISTE LACROIX / AFP via Getty Images)

Through her talent and her role in the hit series Modern Family, Colombian Sofía Vergara not only established herself as the highest paid actress in the world, but also became an expert in business.

In 2020 it ranked 71st on the Celebrity 100 list of the Forbes magazine, with earnings of US $ 43 million.

Born in Barranquilla, she emigrated to the United States in the 1990s to host the program “Fuera de serie”. And he quickly got into business.

In 1994 he realized that there were not many agents representing Hispanics in the entertainment industry. His response was to create a solution. The result was a company that he launched with his partner Luis Balaguer: the talent management firm Latin World Entertainment (LWE).

Vergara also founded Raze, a digital media company focused on the Latino community that Vergara started with Balaguer and Emilio Calemzuk, the former president of Fox Television Studios.

Another of his business successes is an underwear subscription service called EBY, a company that sells women’s underwear.


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