Ford Motor Company and AOL Latino revealed the top five finalists for El Visionario (The Visionary), the online Spanish-language contest for small-business owners. Among them is Ricardo Santiago, owner of Nashville-based Mexico Depot Inc. Mexico Depot provides consulting services to companies to facilitate trade in the Nafta region.
Ford launched the online contest powered by AOL Latino in July 2005 to discover the next Hispanic business visionary. From Sept. 28 to Oct. 5, thousands of votes were received electronically at the Ford Mi Negocio Web site. The five contestants who received the highest number of votes were named finalists.
The other four finalists are Luis Baron, owner of TV Net Productions in Sarasota, Fla.; Carlos Vassallo, owner of Latin Vision Media Inc. in New York; Sandra Escobar, owner of Highland Food Resources Inc. in Sunrise, Fla.; and Carlos Devis, owner of Bosa Systems Corp. in Potomac, Md.
From Oct. 18 until Nov. 11, the general public is invited to vote for their favorite El Visionario finalist by visiting the Ford Mi Negocio Web site, www.ford.com/go/minegocio .
The top five finalists are competing for a grand prize that includes a $25,000 cash award toward his/her small business, a brand new 2006 Mercury Mountaineer, $25,000 in business services (legal, finance, and/or marketing) and a business profile in Hispanic Business magazine for a total estimated value of $100,000.