OCHLA recognizes distinguished Latinos
On October 12, 2012—el Día de la Raza—the Ohio Latino Affairs Commission (OCHLA) presents its annual Governor’s Distinguished Hispanic Awards, honoring “individuals and organizations who have demonstrated achievements in the professional or community service endeavors, and who serve as role models for the growing Latino community.” This year’s awards gala takes place at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Columbus.
According to the OCHLA, the Distinguished Hispanic Ohioans “take the challenge daily with determination and creativity, working tenaciously to ensure that their communities become a better place not only for Hispanics, but for everyone” and include: FLOC’s Sesario Durán, Toledo; Al López, Cleveland; Lillian Laboy, Strongville; Reynaldo Carrión, Lorain; Tim Carrión, Lorain; Julia Arbini-Carbonell, Columbus; Elizabeth Martínez, Columbus; Julio González, Dayton; Giovanna Alvarez, Dayton; Juan López, Beavercreek; Rosalind C. Florez, Cincinnati; and Simón Sotelo, Cincinnati.
“Nuestra Familia” awardees are non-Latino individuals or organizations that have gone the extra mile to make certain inclusion, participation and engagement of Latinos is taking place and who are committed to long term partnerships to make Ohio a welcoming place to all people. They are: Yvonka Hall, Office of Minority Health, Cleveland; Ronn Richard, The Cleveland Foundation, Cleveland; Daniel Radocaj, El Centro, Lorain; Sen. Charleta Tavares, State Senator, Columbus; Stephanie Stewart-Sharp, Fifth Third Bank, Columbus; Sister María Stacey, Hispanic Catholic Ministries, Dayton; Mark Evans, Volunteer, Su Casa, Cincinnati; and H.A. Musser, Santa María Community Services, Cincinnati.
According to OCHLA, Latinos in uniform have served and continue to serve the country with honor and excellence; they will be recognized through the Military Service of Distinction. According to the Department of Veterans Affairs, there are more than 11,000 Latino veterans in Ohio. This year’s awardees are: Max Figueroa (Retired), United States Army; Gary Muñoz (Retired), United States Army / United States Air Force; Lt. Col. Sean Spradlin, United States Air Force; and John Ramos (Retired), United States Navy, with special recognition to honor Our Fallen Heroes: The Lorain Viet Nam War Heroes, Army Pfc. Gustavo Rios, and Operation Iraqi Freedom & Operation New Dawn.
Awardees are selected by OCHLA’s executive director Lilleana Cavanaugh, MBA, and staff generally from submissions by its commissioners Mary Santiago, Chair; Andrés González, Vice Chair; Michael G. Florez, Secretary; V. Anthony Simms-Howell, Finance Chair, Isabel Framer, Richard Romero, Max Rodas, Baldemar Velásquez, Lourdes Barroso, and Emerald Hernández.