La Opinion publisher to speak
Monica C. Lozano, publisher and chief executive officer of La Opinion, the nation’s largest Spanish-language newspaper, will keynote the sixth annual Spirit of Small Business Awards luncheon on Aug. 14 at Fess Parker’s DoubleTree Resort in Santa Barbara.
Lozano’s address will highlight a program that includes awards to eight companies in Ventura and Santa Barbara counties and the presentation of the 2008 Small Business Advocate award to Santa Maria Valley Chamber of Commerce President and Chief Executive Officer Bob Hatch.
About 500 business and political leaders are expected to attend the event, which is co-sponsored by the Pacific Coast Business Times and the Los Angeles District Office of the U.S. Small Business Administration.
Lozano, whose Los Angeles-based publication has readers throughout the Highway 101 corridor, is no stranger to the area. A strong believer in higher education, she is a member of the University of California Board of Regents and the University of Southern California Board of Trustees. She also serves as a director on the boards of The Walt Disney Co. and Bank of America.
In an interview with the Business Times, Lozano said the spirit of entrepreneurship is one of the keys to the growth of the Southern California economy.
“One of the things I most admire is the belief that you take a vision or dream and make it a reality,” she said, adding that “for many years we were a small business ourselves.”
Since 2004, however, La Opinion and its parent company, Impremedia, have stretched far beyond the newspaper company founded by her grandfather in 1926.
In addition to La Opinion, the regional Spanish-language daily newspaper based in Los Angeles, Impremedia now owns Spanish-language newspapers in nine of the top 10 markets, making it the No. 1 Hispanic media company in the nation. Its holdings include El Diario and Hoy in the New York area, La Raza in Chicago, Rumbo in central and south Texas and the recently acquired Mensajero, published in San Francisco.
“We have very strong brands with local connections that provide high-quality news and information,” said Lozano, who joined the company in 1985 as managing editor of La Opinion.
Under Lozano’s leadership, La Opinion has established a new weekly entertainment guide called La Vibra, a family lifestyle magazine called Domingo and La Opinion Digital, the No. 1 Spanish news and information Web site.
Lozano said that the current uncertainties in the economy play to one of the strengths of small business. “In reality, you are much more flexible and able to adjust than large companies. You can make things happen,” she said.
One of the biggest risks in running a small business is finding the right formula to manage the human resources challenges and financial headaches that come with success. “Some of the problems of running a small business can be avoided if you are able to be more strategic – if you can see the long term.”
Lozano was tapped by then-Gov. Gray Davis to join the UC Board of Regents in 2001 in part because of her belief that a healthy public university system has been “one of the drivers for California’s strong growth.” She said she applauded University of California, Santa Barbara, Chancellor Henry Yang for turning the campus into a “a leader in research.”
The Spirit of Small Business Awards were created in 2003 by the Business Times and Alberto Alvarado, district director for the Los Angeles District Office of the SBA. The Los Angeles district includes Ventura and Santa Barbara counties and it traditionally has been the No. 1 originator of SBA-guaranteed loans in the nation.
This year’s event features a new category, the “green business” award, recognizing an area business whose environmental practices are particularly noteworthy.
• The 2008 Spirit of Small Business winners are announced in a special report with this edition of the Pacific Coast Business Times.
• For more information about purchasing tickets to the Spirit of Small Business Awards luncheon, please contact Business Times Director of Marketing Jennifer Hemmy at email@example.com or call (805) 560-6950, ext. 223, or visit www.pacbiztimes.com.