Welcome to the Latin Media & Entertainment Commission! The LMEC was created by Executive Order No. 43 in October 2003 by the Mayor. It was created in recognition of the growth of the Latin community in New York and of making New York the capital of Latin media. The LMEC is dedicated to attracting and hosting high-profile Latin entertainment productions and events to retain, recruit, and expand Latin media and entertainment productions, businesses, and jobs in New York City.
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR: Carlos Manzano
MAYOR’S ADVISOR AND LIAISON:
INTERVIEW WITH CARLOS MANZANO:
RK: Hi Carlos, thanks for speaking with me. I’m a huge fan of Latin media. Now, How many members belong to LMEC?
CM: My pleasure. The commission is made up of 48 members. The heads of 7 City agencies serve on the commission as ex officio members, 10 members are city officials, 30 are private sectored individuals, and 2 are Deputy Mayors.
RK: What are your goals?
CM: Our goals are to attract companies to move here and to pitch the companies- especially big companies, who have their headquarters somewhere else, and to entice them to come to New York.
RK: Great. How’s that going? Does having well known celebrities behind LMEC help in accomplishing this?
CM: Yes, of course. New York has contributed amazingly to the development of new artists, like JLO who is from the Broncs. Mark Anthony from East Harlem, and Wiillie Colon from the Broncs. So, a lot of major stars you see, even Ricky Martin lived here for quite a number of years, comes from New York. The compensation of this commission is made up of people in different industries, not just in one sector-and that’s to draw on the strength and expertise of these individuals.
RK: What’s your budget looking like?
CM: Right now we don’t have a budget and we don’t have building we operate from because the commission is economic development driven. Eventhough one of the goals is to attract big events and telecasters here, that goal has shifted to support what’s already here- meaning homegrown events-whether they are film festivals, or concerts, and other events in the city.
RK: Why has your goal shifted?
CM: Well, because of the economy.
RK: Do you expect to have a budget in the future?
CM: Yes. A budget is essential because it takes money to make money.
RK: Very true.
CM: To bring new revenue to city it takes an investment and we are figuring ways to make that happen now. The economy and not having a budget have been perhaps the greatest challenge I have faced within the commission.
RK: Well, I hope things continue to progress.
CM: Thank you. They are progressing. I must say the economy has really delayed me enormously in moving forward because I had to take a step back like everyone else and readjust.
RK: Luckily, you will have one trillion people behind you come 2010.
CM: Yes. We have a lot of things going for us. The census is coming out and it will be good when corporate America sees these new figures because they’re going to want to invest in us.
RK: What are your future plans?
CM: Next year we are likely to modify the structure of the commission.
We are working a week long of Latin events starting October 2010. It’s still in discussions and we don’t have it finalized because there are many components to this.
RK: I look forward to it. Thank you for speaking with me Carlos.
CM: My pleasure. Feel free to call me if you have any questions.