Up & Coming Weekly

September 12, 2023

Up and Coming Weekly is a weekly publication in Fayetteville, NC and Fort Bragg, NC area offering local news, views, arts, entertainment and community event and business information.

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WWW.UPANDCOMINGWEEKLY.COM 16 UCW SEPTEMBER 13-19, 2023 Fall provides plenty of opportunities to celebrate. For people of Hispanic and Latino descent, the weeks between mid-September to mid-October can be exciting and proud times to commemorate their unique heritage. at's because National Hispanic Heritage Month (HHM) occurs from September 15 to October 15 each year. Here are eight facts that offer insight into the Hispanic population across the country. 1. HHM started out as a week-long recognition. In 1968, the U.S. originally observed the event as "Hispanic Heritage Week." It was later extended to a month-long commemoration in 1988. 2. HHM celebrates independence. HHM is celebrated between mid-September and mid-October because those weeks correlate with the independence day celebrations of several countries with large Hispanic populations. Such nations include Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua on September 15; Mexico on September 16; and Chile on September 18. 3. HHM recognizes special Hispanic contributions as well. HHM also honors contributions such as Virgin Islands-Puerto Rico Friendship Day that is celebrated in the U.S. Virgin Islands. 4. e 2023 theme is: "Latinos: Driving Prosperity, Power, and Progress in America." Hispanics have made significant contributions to the economic, social and political growth of the U.S. is theme focuses on these contributions and the representation of Hispanics in these key areas. 5. Millions of people comprise the demographic. e U.S. Census Bureau says that more than 60 million people identified as Hispanic or Latino in 2020. at figure represents a 25 percent increase since 2010. Hispanics and Latinos now comprise about 18 percent of the U.S. population. 6. ere are many different celebrations. HHM is celebrated nationwide through festivals, art shows, conferences, community gatherings, and many other unique and festive events. 7. Mexicans are the largest Hispanic group in the U.S. e U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Minority Health notes that, among the 62 million Hispanics and Latinos living in the U.S., those who trace their heritage to Mexico ranked as the largest demographic at 61.6 percent, followed by those of Puerto Rican descent (9.6 percent as of 2020). 8. More and more companies are celebrating HHM. In 2022, many different companies of varying sizes and in an assortment of industries celebrated HHM. ese included Vanguard, T. Rowe Price, Samsara, Nestlé, Google, United Health Group, and many more. . National Hispanic Heritage Month remains a popular time to spotlight Hispanic and Latino contributions to the country and the heritage of this influential demographic. 8 facts for National Hispanic Heritage Month by STAFF REPORT Hispanic and Latino individuals comprise one of the largest demographics in the United States. e U.S. Census Bureau indicates that, as of 2020, there were more than 60 million people identifying as Hispanic or Latino living in the country. With such a high percentage of individuals belonging to the Hispanic and Latino community, it should come as no surprise just how influential the group can be. In addition to achievements in sports, music, film, medicine, and more, Hispanics and Latinos have made great strides in the business sector. In fact, many notable people are executives in major corporations or are innovating by coming up with new products and business concepts. Consider these influential Hispanic business professionals. • Lymaris Albors: Albors is the CEO of the Acacia Network, a nonprofit housing, health and social services company. Under Albors' leadership, the company opened the Santaella Gardens development in the Bronx, helping low- income individuals. • Anthony Jimenez, Jr: Jimenez, Jr. is the founder, chairman and CEO of MicroTech, one of the largest Hispanic-owned IT Integrators in the United States. Under Jimenez, Jr.'s leadership, the company has grown from a small, home-based startup to a half billion-dollar company. • Betro Perez: Anyone who has taken a Zumba™ Fitness class at a local gym can thank Perez. As an aerobics instructor in Colombia, Perez once forgot his usual exercise routine, so he improvised by adding dance moves to the program. at on-the-fly thinking helped shape a fitness empire that now spans the globe. • Marilu Galvez: Galvez is the first Latina to fill the role of president and general manager of the WABC-TV network in New York. rough her position, Galvez has worked to increase the Hispanic American community's visibility by leading broadcast productions of live events and ensuring representation through content creation. • Jose Perez: As the president and CEO of Hispanics in Energy, Perez leads a nonprofit that strives to increase Hispanic inclusion in America's energy industry. He is both a leader and an advocate. • Maria Contreras-Sweet: In addition to being administrator of the Small Business Administration, Contreras-Sweet is founder of ProAmérica, California's first Latino-formed commercial bank in more than 35 years. She also founded Contreras-Sweet Enterprises, a marketing and research firm. • Jordi Munoz: Munoz is the founder of 3D Robotics, a company that has generated millions in revenue. e company started by chance when Munoz hacked the sensors on the controller of his Nintendo Wii and wrote code to use it to control a drone he built at home. • Jeanette Prenger: Prenger is the founder, CEO and president of ECCO Select, a leading provider of technology services and consulting for government agencies and Fortune 1000 companies. ECCO Select has consistently been listed as one of the top 500 Hispanic businesses in the United States. e business community is awash with influential and experienced Hispanic and Latino individuals who have shaped the country with their contributions. Notable Hispanic leaders, executives and entrepreneurs by STAFF REPORT STAFF REPORT COMMENTS? Editor@upandcomingweekly.com 910-484-6200. STAFF REPORT COMMENTS? Editor@upandcomingweekly.com 910-484-6200. FEATURE

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