ORLANDO, Fla., Nov. 8, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Excitement builds for the 22nd Annual Don Quijote Awards as the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Metro Orlando (HCCMO) and Prospera revealed the 12 finalists of four award categories recognized at the event, along with this year's Lifetime Achievement and Hispanic Community Champion award recipients during a press conference held today at Orlando Science Center, sponsored by Walt Disney Parks & Resorts and Wells Fargo.
The Don Quijote Awards recognize businesses and individuals committed to excellence and to the development of the region's Hispanic community. The winner of each category will be announced at the 22nd Don Quijote Awards Gala on Saturday, December 14, 2019 at Epcot's World Showplace Pavilion.
The 2019 Don Quijote Awards finalists are:
Hispanic Business of the Year, Five Years or Less:
- NuCare Therapy, LLC – Carolina Rincón
- Towers Construction Company – Oskar Torres
- Rite Start Home Inspection – Luis Martínez
Hispanic Business of the Year, More than Five Years:
- JIRACOR, LLC – Jeannette and Richard Coronado
- Chiropractic Clinics of Central Florida, LLC – Dr. Josue Maysonet
- SIMETRI, Inc. – Angela M. Albán
Professional of the Year:
- Dr. Fabiola C. Weber-Guzmán, Nemours Children's Hospital
- Ybeth Bruzual, Spectrum News 13
- Dr. Giorgina Pinedo Rolón, City de Orlando
- Louis A. Quiñones, Jr., Orange County Corrections Department
- Flora María García, United Arts of Central Florida
- Dr. Lisgelia Santana-Rojas, Nemours Children's Hospital
The Hispanic Community Champion and Lifetime Achievement awards recipients are uniquely chosen by the Don Quijote Awards Selection Committee.
Hispanic Community Champion Award
This award is given to a non-Hispanic individual who has led by example in supporting the progress of the Hispanic community in Central Florida. The 2019 Hispanic Community Champion is Former Florida Senator and Orlando Health Senior Vice President of External Affairs and Community Relations, the Honorable Andy Gardiner.
For eight years, Senator Gardiner served as a member of the Florida State Legislature, rising to the position of Senate President from 2015 to 2016. During his tenure, Senator Gardiner was a champion in helping Prospera double its program funding from the State. The additional funds helped Prospera serve Hispanics beyond its three regional offices, to offer training and consulting to thousands of additional entrepreneurs across Florida. Under his leadership, Orlando Health has renewed its focus on three key areas: Minority Business Development, Diversity and Inclusion, and Culture and Language Resources.
Lifetime Achievement Award
This award recognizes an individual who has made significant and lasting contributions to the development and empowerment of the Hispanic community in Central Florida. This year the honor goes to the Vice President of Global Supplier Diversity at Wyndham Destinations José Nido. During his career at Wyndham, the company has won numerous awards for the excellence and effectiveness of its supplier diversity efforts. In 2015, he served as Chairman of the Board of the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Metro Orlando and in 2016, he was the co-creator of the Hispanic Chamber's Supplier Diversity Council with Orlando Health.
"Today's finalists represent the best talent of our Hispanic community, and they are all winners. It is an honor for us to count these men and women among us, and it is a privilege to recognize their hard work and commitment to our community as this year's Don Quijote Awards finalists," said Carlos Carbonell, President of the 2019 Don Quijote Awards Committee and President/CEO of ECHO Interaction Group.
"We are glad, as usual, to be working alongside Prospera and collaborating more than ever to foster growth and opportunities for Hispanic business owners throughout Central Florida," said Gaby Ortigoni, President of the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Metro Orlando.
"In Central Florida, we are proud to work hand-in-hand with the Hispanic Chamber, complementing each other's services and supporting thousands of Hispanic-owned businesses and entrepreneurs each year throughout our region," said Prospera President & CEO Augusto Sanabria. "On December 14, in just five weeks, our community will come together once again to honor some of the great success stories in Central Florida. However, this event would not be possible without the support of our very generous sponsors."
The Don Quijote Awards are made possible thanks to the support of Walt Disney Parks & Resorts, Wells Fargo, Florida Blue, AdventHealth, Universal Orlando, Bank of America, Orlando Health, Orlando Magic, JPMorgan Chase, The Boeing Company, Paychex and SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment, among others. For more information on the Don Quijote Awards, please visit www.donquijoteawards.com.
About the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Metro Orlando: The Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Metro Orlando (HCCMO) is a not-for-profit organization whose mission is to provide leadership and support the economic development of the Hispanic business community of Metro Orlando. Since 1993, HCCMO has strengthened the Central Florida business community by providing quality programs through networking, business development, business exposure and recognition. For more information, please visit www.hccmo.org or call 407-428-5870.
About Prospera: Prospera is an economic development, nonprofit organization that since 1991 has specialized in providing bilingual assistance to Hispanic entrepreneurs who want to start, sustain and grow their business. In the last five years alone, Prospera has facilitated over $46 million in loans, trained 22,000 entrepreneurs, provided business consulting to nearly 9,000 entrepreneurs, and helped clients create or retain over 14,800 jobs. It has offices in Florida's central, south and west coasts regions, and in Charlotte, North Carolina. For more information, visit www.prosperausa.org or call 407-428-5872.