Age: 36
Provenance: Miami

A different drummer: His family is illustrious (his great-great-grandfather was Cuba’s fourth president) but risk-averse, so when Edward de Valle II left a good job at GE in his 20s, he says his “structured, European/Cuban parents” were very upset.

When fate calls: After five years at Ideas Publishing Group, where he licensed American titles such as Glamour and Vogue for the Spanish-speaking market, he worked in sales for Newsweek’s Latin-American edition and mastered the art of the cold call. “Every morning, my boss would come in with magazines, tear out the pages and say, ‘Call, call, call.’ Within six months I had billed $600,000 worth of ads to companies in Latin America. I said, ‘I can do this.’”

Going pro: In 2001, he launched AMGW Agency, which acts as a marketing bridge between the US, the Caribbean and Latin America, with clients ranging from the Trump Organization to Aldo and Timberland. Today AMGW has offices in the Dominican Republic, Panama and Brazil.

Cultural liaison: As for the future of his agency, “My business philosophy is global,” says de Valle, who has positioned AMGW as a kind of ideas exchange. “We’re painting outside the lines, sharing ideas that work for different demographics and reaching for more.”

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