Connecting the local-and someday national-business community to the exploding Hispanic buying market is the main point behind Nuevo Punto (New Point) Advertising Group, founded last summer by Bradenton's Roseanne Avella-Perez.

Avella-Perez has assembled a team of eight Spanish-speaking professionals with Colombian, Cuban, Puerto Rican and Venezuelan origins-copywriters, graphic designers, translators and market analysts-for the new full-service ad agency.

Avella-Perez cites studies by the national market research firm HispanTelligence that show the buying power of America's Hispanic community has reached $700 billion and is expected to reach $1 trillion by 2010. By 2050, HispanTelligence estimates, the Hispanic population will triple in size to 24 percent of the total U.S. population. (According to Creative Tampa Bay, the Hispanic 25- to 34-year-old population in the Tampa Bay area, including Sarasota and Bradenton, grew by 89.8 percent from 1990 to 2000.) Companies large and small are seeking ways to better connect with this booming demographic.

"From what we've found," she says, "if you speak to the Hispanic community in Spanish they're more receptive than if you speak in English. Each nationality has a different way of thinking, their own dialects, their own likes and dislikes. We know the culture, we know the language, we know the marketplace. So it puts us a step above."

Avella-Perez worked for her Colombian-born father's air-conditioning company in New York before setting off for the Ringling School of Art and Design, from which she graduated in 1998.

This is the ambitious young woman's third company. The first was a computer repair business she and husband Pedro Perez operated out of their apartment while they were still in college. The second is an award-winning Web site development company named Merging Point Design, whose clients have included the Sarasota Bradenton International Airport, Ringing Museum, Lee Wetherington Homes and several hotels and casinos across the U.S.

"I want to use my business experience and my cultural knowledge to create a synergy to do things nobody else is doing," she says.

Nuevo Punto is focusing first on the "underserved" regional market and has plans to go national, Avella-Perez says. Hospitals, governments, and the food and beverage, automotive and retail industries are its initial targets.

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