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Fortuño keynote speaker at Hispanic Summit

Resident Commissioner joining Sen. Mel Martínez, Orlando event

March 3, 2005
Copyright © 2005 CARIBBEAN BUSINESS. All Rights Reserved.

Resident Commissioner Luis Fortuño (R-PR) is scheduled to be the keynote speaker at the 2005 Hispanic Summit being held today and tomorrow (March 3, 4) in Orlando, Fla., announced Jacob V. Stuart, president of the Orlando Regional Chamber of Commerce, who also heads the Hispanic Summit.

"For the first time in Central Florida, the Orlando Chamber is assembling community leaders, elected officials, association professionals, organization volunteers, academics and business experts to discuss the participation and contributions of Hispanics to our region, to learn from best practices, and to hear from national leaders," said Jacobs, indicating that preregistration is more than 750 people.

Other dignitaries invited are newly elected U.S. Sen. Mel Martínez (R-FL), American Red Cross President Mary Evans, and Puerto Rico-born New York State Health Commissioner Dr. Antonia Coello de Novello, among others.

"Your perspective as Resident Commissioner in Washington will certainly enhance our efforts of ‘Learning Together’—the Summit theme—about the power and growing strength of the Hispanic community in the Central Florida region," Jacobs told Fortuño.

Florida has displaced New Jersey as the second-largest concentration of Puerto Ricans on the U.S. mainland, nearly doubling to more than 650,000 people, observed Jacobs, pointing out that the seven-county region (Orange, Osceola, Seminole, Brevard, Volusia, Lake and Polk counties) served by the Orlando Chamber, is home to the majority of Hispanic voters in Florida with close to 400,000 residing along the I-4 corridor.

Jacobs cites a Puerto Rico Department of Economic Development & Commerce study that Florida is Puerto Rico’s No. 1 trading partner, ranking as the largest consumer of Puerto Rico’s exports, and is the No. 1 destination for all of Florida’s exports, with Puerto Rico consuming more than $3.9 billion annually.

Impact of Puerto Ricans undertaken

Recognizing the importance of timely and accurate data to serve as a benchmark, Jacobs said the chamber has partnered with El Centro de Estudios Puertorriqueños at Hunter College in New York City to conduct research on the key demographic, educational, and socioeconomic data regarding the Puerto Rican community, which is the largest Hispanic group in the region.

The study will include the examination of the importance of Shifting Demographic Distribution & Settlement Patterns, Economic Impact, Socioeconomic Characteristics & Political Incorporation, and Culture Identities of Puerto Ricans in Central Florida. A Political Survey and an Economic Impact Study will also be presented at the summit.

Jacobs told Fortuño the results of this research are to be presented at the 2005 Puerto Rico Chamber of Commerce (PRCC) annual convention at El Conquistador June 23 to 26. "It is for these reasons that the 2005 Hispanic Summit has been established, and your presence will give you an opportunity to ‘connect’ with our community leaders, business partners, and the growing Puerto Rican population in our region," Jacobs told Fortuño.

Also expected to participate are the PRCC and the Puerto Rico Federal Affairs Administration, which maintains an office in Orlando.

This Caribbean Business article appears courtesy of Casiano Communications.
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