Hispanic/Latino Commission of Michigan Names Outstanding Hispanic Leaders of 2013

Contact: LARA Communications 517-373-9280
Agency: Licensing and Regulatory Affairs

September 25, 2013

Lansing, MI—The Hispanic/Latino Commission of Michigan (HLCOM) today announced nine Michigan citizens have been selected as Outstanding Hispanic Leaders of 2013. In addition, eight winning high school students have been selected to receive scholarships through the Michigan Hispanic Caucus Essay Contest. HLCOM will recognize these individuals Tuesday night (9-24) at the 15th Annual Hispanic Heritage Recognition Event and the 18th Annual Cesar E. Chavez Commemorative Dinner, taking place at the Kellogg Center, 219 East Harrison Road in East Lansing.

Along with HLCOM, co-hosts for this year’s dinner and recognition ceremony are the Michigan Hispanic Legislative Caucus and the Capital Area Cesar E. Chavez Commission.

“Michigan is home to growing and vibrant Hispanic Latino communities, and those communities are producing world-class leaders for today and tomorrow,” said HLCOM Executive Director Marylou Mason. “It is important that we recognize these talented individuals who are working to improve life for their neighbors, their communities, and for all Michigan citizens.”

This year’s Outstanding Hispanic Leader award-winners include:

• Lifetime Achievement Award: Margarito “Mike” Collegio, Van Buren Intermediate School District, Hartford.
• Advocate of the Year Award: John “Juan” Lopez, Ingham County Road Commission Retiree, Grand Ledge.
• Educator of the Year Award: Leonard A. Savala III, College of Ag. & Natural Resources, Michigan State University, Southfield.
• Non-Hispanic Educator of the Year Award: Tonda Boothy, Van Buren Intermediate School District, Paw Paw.
• Business & Economic Development Award: Theresa “Terry” Beltran, Beltran Media, Clarkston.
• Arts Award: Carmen Menchaca, Xochilquetzal Folkloric Ballet, Saginaw.
• Hispanic Entrepreneur of the Year Award: Jesse Venegas, Ideal Setech & Ideal Setech Share-the-Spare, Royal Oak.
• Legislator of the Year Award: State Representative Harvey Santana, Ninth District.
• Immediate Past Chair, HLCOM: Lawrence Garcia, Garcia Law Group, PLLC, Detroit.

Students selected to receive scholarships through the Michigan Hispanic Caucus Essay Contest include:

• Angel Villagomez Garcia, Voyageur Consortium Academy, Detroit.
• Josephina Lopez, Imlay City High School, Imlay City.
• Jaqueline Alcazar, Imlay City High School, Imlay City.
• Sergio Garcia, Imlay City High School, Imlay City.
• Carina Rodriguez, Imlay City High School, Imlay City.
• Jose Perez, Detroit Cristo Rey High School, Detroit.
• Stephanie Velez, Arthur Hill High School, Saginaw.
• Daisy Ortiz, Decatur High School, Decatur.

The recognition ceremony is part of HLCOM’s celebration of National Hispanic Heritage Month, September 15 to October 15, 2013. To see a schedule of events, or for more information about HLCOM, visit www.michigan.gov/mdcr and click on “Other Commissions”.

The Hispanic/Latino Commission of Michigan was created in 1975 to represent the interests of Michigan's Hispanic and Latino population – one of the fastest-growing ethnic groups in the state. The Commission, made up of 15 individuals appointed by the Governor, advises the Governor and state legislature on policy matters and serves Michigan’s Hispanic and Latino population by fostering and celebrating their achievements and promoting their development and welfare.