News

Hispanic Leader to Address Business Community

Clara Padilla AndrewsClara Padilla Andrews, businesswoman, community activist and publisher of El Hispanic News, the region's largest bi-lingual newspaper, will be the featured speaker at the Willamette University/OPB Breakfast Forum April 20, 2004. Her topic, "Hispanic Business: The Sleeping Giant in the Portland Economy," will focus on the growing Hispanic community's influence and how it will impact businesses and culture in the Northwest.

Padilla Andrews, former New Mexico Secretary of State and president of the Portland Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors, is recognized as one of the 100 Most Influential Hispanics in the country. She is the recipient of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Distinguished Service Award and a recipient of the Doernbecker Hospital Hero's Award.

The topic of how the growing Hispanic population will impact area business is timely. The latest census figures show a rapid increase in the Hispanic population in the Northwest. The number of Hispanics in Oregon grew by 66 percentbetween 1990 and 1997. The Census Bureau's latest report on the nation's racial and ethnic make up reinforces predictions that by the year 2010, Hispanics will replace blacks as the nation's largest minority group. Projections for the Northwest are consistent with the national trend: the Hispanic population in the Portland metro area will grow at a rate double that of the black population.

What's this huge population bubble mean for Oregon businesses? How can businesses adapt to meet the needs of this large and growing consumer group? Will this change in Oregon demographics mean the end of some types of Oregon businesses and opportunities for others? Because of her position in the Hispanic community, Padilla Andrews is in a unique position to know the answers to these questions. As owner of El Hispanic News, she's grown the newspaper from a circulation of 5,000 in 1996 to 20,000 in 2004 largely by knowing the community and its interests.

She says many people, especially those in the business community, have misconceptions about the Hispanic community. "People don't think things like business, housing, health or education apply to us," she says. "There is a perception that Hispanics aren't business owners or homeowners, which is not true."

"Hispanic Business: The Sleeping Giant in the Portland Economy," Tuesday, April 20. Coffee at 7 a.m., breakfast served at 7:30 a.m., speaker at 7:45 a.m., adjourn at 8:30 a.m. Cost is $15 per person, $100 for a corporate table of eight. Multnomah Athletic Club, 1849 S.W. Salmon, Portland, Ore. Fax with credit card number, 503-370-6830 (VISA, Discover, MasterCard or American Express) or send a check by April 13. Return to: Alumni & Parent Relations, Willamette University, 900 State St., Salem, Ore. 97301 Questions? Call 1-800-551-6794 or email alumni@willamette.edu.

03-11-2004