San Francisco, CA. – ALPFA SF, SHPE, NHORA, and CHispPA in partnership with Jose Cuervo Tequila joined forces in an effort to inspire collaboration and unity among Latino Leaders in the area. The Platino Leadership Awards, hosted at Cigar Bar on the evening of May 2, 2012 welcomed over 170 guest getting together to recognize influential, energetic, passionate, and committed Latino role models.
The community was invited in nominating Latinos whom they believe were deserving of this recognition. Nominations closed on April 18, at which point representatives from ALPFA, SHPE, NHORA, and CHispPA, convened to determine the winners. The Latinos recognized were:
Miguel Garza – A Native San Franciscan with 27 years of experience in multimillion-dollar civil, environmental, wetlands, and IDIQ program management projects Mr. Galarza has grown Yerba Buena Engineering from $350,000 in sales to current project revenue of $25 Million dollars in sales, and employing 105 people in seven states. Aside from his successful career, Miguel is involved in the community and serves in the board of several organizations in the Bay area including the Inner City Advisors, the San Francisco Human Rights Commission Local Business Advisory, and the San Francisco District Association of General Contractors.
Arcelia Gallardo – Born in Los Angeles to immigrant parents from Colima, Mexico. Her passion for chocolate, Mexico, and social justice have led Arcelia to open her very own hacienda-inspired boutique store in the heart of Berkeley – Casa de Chocolates. She is in the process of building relationships with cacao growers in Mexico, Belize and Peru to ensure not only the quality of the product but the equitable treatment of farmers. Arcelia also serves as the Program Director for Casa Joaquin Murrieta a residential program targeted to help first generation, low income and under-represented Latino students succeed at Cal.
Orson Aguilar - Born and raised in East Los Angeles, Aguilar has advocated tirelessly on behalf of communities of color and youth for nearly 20 years. Orson joined the Greenlining’s Institute as a program manager at age 25. His skills and vision led to a series of promotions over the next 10 years, and in 2009, at age 35, he was unanimously selected by the institute’s board to succeed retiring founder John Gamboa as the organization’s second executive director ever.
Diana Navas, Vice president of ALPFA San Franciso, the Association of Latino Professional in Finance Accounting, and Business related fields, gave an outstanding intro speech:
“Tonight we gather in a spirit of unity to celebrate Latino leaders and role models.
This event is an example of the power of creating community and joining forces. You have 4 of the top professional organizations in the bay area coming together being supportive of one another to create connections, strengthen our community, encourage partnerships and recognize the leaders and role models paving the way.
The Latino community continually faces challenges and there is an increase demand to the larger society to recognize our efforts, our impact, our importance, and our accomplishments. Yet, how often do we recognize our own? It’s time we start doing so…
And the goal of tonight and this award is just that celebrate the leaders of our community today, as we reaffirm our commitment to creating the leaders of tomorrow.
To all our nominees, We thank you for being an influential role model and for showing continuous, direct, and effective involvement in the Latino Community. Your leadership has made a lasting impact.”
This successful event proves the power generated when Latinos get together and collaborate.