Latinas celebrate 'change'

Capitalizing on her everywoman charm, Hispanic Women of the Year honoree America Ferrera is taking Hollywood by storm.

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The accomplishments of Hispanic women in the entertainment industry were front and center Tuesday at The Hollywood Reporter and Billboard's Hispanic Women in Entertainment breakfast held at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel.

The event was timed with the publication of The Hollywood Reporter's inaugural Hispanic Women in Entertainment special report, which spotlighted the achievements of 25 movers and shakers. CBS Entertainment president Nina Tassler topped the list at No. 1. Other honorees in the top 10 included Belinda Menendez, president of NBC Universal International Television Distribution; actress-producer Salma Hayek (ABC's "Ugly Betty"); Lucia Ballas-Traynor, GM of MTV Tres; Alina Falcon, executive vp and operating manager, Univision; Darlene Caamano Loquet, NALA Films president; Christina Davis, senior vp drama series development at CBS; Antoinette Zel, senior executive vp strategy, Telemundo; Alexandra Lioutikoff, senior vp Latin membership, ASCAP; and actress-singer-producer Jennifer Lopez.

In welcoming guests, Eric Mika, The Reporter's senior vp and publishing director, said, "Were not just celebrating Hispanic women here today but we're celebrating professional leadership in our industry."

Silvio Horta, executive producer of "Ugly Betty," introduced Hispanic Woman of the Year honoree America Ferrera. "As a writer, you dream of having actors who can elevate your material, who can make the jokes sparkle, who can make the heartfelt moments believable, and America is that rare breed of actor who does all this and more, taking even the smallest moments and spinning them into gold," Horta said.

Ferrera was humbled by the honor and cognizant of a sea change in Hollywood. "I feel so fortunate to be alive at this time," she said in accepting her award. "Thank you to The Hollywood Reporter and to Billboard magazine for recognizing that there is a change happening. To all the other 25 women, congratulations to you and thank you for being role models to me."