From left to right: Janet Martinez, Henry Maldonado, Dr. Ann McGee, Diana & Sergio Guarnizo, David Ruiz, Dr. Esther Pichardo & Husband
ORLANDO, FL.—December 12, 2016 — The Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Metro Orlando (HCCMO) and Prospera (formerly known as HBIF) hosted their Annual Don Quijote Awards Gala this past Saturday at Epcot’s World Showplace Pavilion. Since 1998, the two organizations have come together to recognize outstanding men and women who have exceled in their field of business.
Every December, the Central Florida community prepares for this most anticipated gala. The excitement of knowing who the winners are makes the night a roller-coaster of emotions. From the moment guests arrived they were treated to an unforgettable experience as they walked the red carpet to the cocktail reception.
The recipients of the 19th Annual Don Quijote Awards are:
Hispanic Business of the Year, Five Years or Less: Advanced Physical Medicine, Inc.
Hispanic Business of the Year, More than Five Years: TransPremier, LLC
Professional of the Year: Janet Martinez, ShuffieldLowman
Excellence: David Ruiz, Former President of UPS Florida
Community Champion: Dr. E. Ann McGee, President of Seminole State College
As is tradition every year, the HCCMO and Prospera also recognize an individual who has made significant and lasting contributions to the development and empowerment of the Hispanic community in Central Florida with the Lifetime Achievement Award. This year’s honoree is Henry Maldonado. He entered the film and TV broadcasting industry at a time when there were few minorities in the field. Henry brought with him the ability to manage successful stations, generate greater profits, and communicate with people of all backgrounds. He produced nationally-aired, award-winning documentaries about Latinos living across the country. Today, he is the president of both Enzian and the Florida Film Festival. The crowd felt Henry’s emotion as he shared memorable moments that inspired him during his career.
“This event is intended to celebrate and recognize those individuals and businesses that have made a significant impact to the progression of the Hispanic community. Our hope is that the event itself is elevated to a standard worthy of the finalists,” expressed Maria Garcia, vice president of the HCCMO.
“The 2016 Don Quijote Awards gala brought our community together in a wonderful celebration of Central Florida’s talent,” said Augusto Sanabria, president and CEO of Prospera. “Thanks to our sponsors, we were able to recognize courageous and successful business owners and professionals who have made a noteworthy impact on our community.”
The Don Quijote Awards were possible thanks to the support of Walt Disney World Resort, Florida Blue, CenturyLink, Florida Hospital, Universal Orlando, Wells Fargo, Bank of America, Orlando Health, Orlando Magic, Darden, JP Morgan Chase & Co., Fields Auto Group and UPS, among others. For more information on the Don Quijote Awards, please visit www.donquijoteawards.com.
About Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Metro Orlando
The Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Metro Orlando (HCCMO) is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to provide leadership and support the economic development of the Hispanic business community of Metro Orlando. For over 20 years, HCCMO has strengthened the Central Florida Business Community by providing quality programs through their business model of networking, business development, exposure and recognition. For more information about the HCCMO, visit www.hccmo.org or call 407-428-5870.
Prospera (formerly HBIF) is an economic development, nonprofit organization that for 25 years has specialized in providing bilingual assistance to Hispanic entrepreneurs who want to establish or expand their business. In the last five years alone, Prospera has facilitated over $19 million in loans, invested over $600,000 in grants for services, trained over 21,000 entrepreneurs, and helped clients create or retain over 8,000 jobs. Its offices are located across Florida’s central, south and west coast regions. For more information, visit www.Prosperausa.org or call 407-428-5872.