La Paz Chattanooga recently held its seventh annual Latino Leadership Awards fundraiser at the Chattanooga Convention Center.
La Paz hosts the Latino Leadership Awards yearly during Hispanic Heritage Month to highlight local Latino individuals who are outstanding in their service to the Chattanooga community.
This year’s awards recognized ten honorees for their commitment to serving the Latino community as well as the Chattanooga community at large.
The honorees were:
-- Carlos Betancourt, Brainerd Baptist Church
-- Carolina Calderón, AFLAC
-- Zuriel Casillas, Gordo’s Bakery
-- Emmanuel Escobar, EPB
-- Monica Griffin, St. Peter’s Episcopal School
-- Gus Hernandez, Silverdale Baptist Church
-- Felipe Lara, Tucker Build
-- Sgt. Alexis Mercado, Chattanooga PD
-- Jessica Oliva-Calderin, Calderin & Oliva
-- Julian Ramirez, CFC Foundation
In addition to the 10 honorees, several individuals were celebrated in a variety of categories.
Yhara Mendoza, a senior at Chattanooga Girls Leadership Academy, was named the 2018 Emerging Latino Leader. Mendoza received a $1,000 scholarship from the Anne Shelton Memorial Fund.
This year’s Volunteer of the Year was Tere Bell. Jonathan Dreiling of Highland Park Commons was named Community Champion, an award given to a community member who has used their role in the community to elevate Latinos.
The 2018 Latino Entrepreneur of the Year was Luz Bohorquez of Punto Latino. This award is given to a Latino member who is the proprietor of a small business in the Chattanooga market. This year’s Latino Business of the Year was Carnicerías Loa.
The Entrepreneur of the Year and Business of the Year awards are new honors voted on by the general public.
The 2018 Chattanooga’s Choice winner was Julian Ramírez of Operation Get Active. The public also votes on the winner of this award.
This year’s Latino Leader of the Year was Gus Hernandez of Silverdale Baptist Church. The Latino Leader of the Year award is chosen by a committee.
This year’s awards had 420 attendees and raised the most funds to date of any previous Latino Leadership Awards.
Source: La Paz