Editor’s Notebook

Photography by Rebecca Baxter By Susan Burns August 31, 2010

When Biz941 chose its 2010 People To Watch back in July, we noticed how many of our winners came from different ethnic backgrounds or were doing business in other languages and countries—people like Malaysian-born Annie Eng, Colombian-born Alvaro Mendoza and Bulgarian-born Mariana Sendova. We’ve also been hearing from local Hispanic leaders that more Latin America-born professionals were headed to the west coast of Florida—as opposed to the Miami area—for a better lifestyle and to raise their families. Meanwhile, our sister publication in Naples, Gulfshore Business, has recognized the same trend and has decided to partner with a Hispanic publisher in that market to hold a contest honoring the people and organizations that best celebrate diversity.

It’s a smart and worthy idea, and something our magazine is eager to do as well. Fortunately, our region has one of the state and nation’s most recognized Hispanic entrepreneurs in Luis Eduardo Barón, owner of TV Net Media Group and publisher of the award-winning La Guia magazine (which just celebrated its 10th year), 7Dias and Buen Vivir. Baron came from Colombia a little more than 10 years ago with a background in TV production. Since then he has become hugely influential as a source of information for Hispanic businesspeople and as a conduit between the Hispanic and the non-Hispanic community. He has been responsible for bringing many newcomers to the region.

We’re proud to announce that together, we are launching the region’s Unity Awards. We’ll feature the winners in both our publications in February 2011 and will honor them together at an awards ceremony. These awards will recognize businesses and people who reflect and celebrate positive values and the ethnic and racial diversity within our community. The Unity Awards will recognize excellence in each of the following six categories: Large Company, Small Business, Nonprofit/Philanthropy, Medical, Educational and Entrepreneurial.

We invite you to nominate candidates at and at where you’ll find instructions and contest details.

Please tell your colleagues and other businesses about these awards, so we can celebrate inspiring people who enrich our community through their diverse ethnic, racial and cultural heritages.

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