TAMPA, Fla., Oct. 14, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, economic development organization Prospera celebrated its signature annual fundraising event virtually. Duke Energy presented the 2020 Prospera Success Stories in the West Coast of Florida, whose theme was The Power of One. "Today we celebrate The Power of One—the power that each person, each organization, and each donor contributes, so that together we form a more resilient and prosperous community," said Prospera Regional Vice President Fabian Yepez during the event.
Prospera's annual Success Stories event recognizes select Hispanic-owned entrepreneurs who have received its assistance, while raising funds for year-round services. Prospera Statewide Board of Directors Chair Eddie Soler, Senior Finance Officer/CFO Multi-State Division at Advent Health, and Prospera West Coast Regional Board Chair Sheri Eaton, Vice President/Member Care Center Loan Production at Suncoast Credit Union, kicked off the 2020 program. Prospera President & CEO Augusto Sanabria mentioned during his remarks, "Entrepreneurship is a lonely journey in the best of times, and so much harder during times of crisis. I am so impressed by our clients' perseverance and resilience."
The program, which can be viewed here, featured stories and testimonials of the following local Hispanic business owners who have received Prospera services, focused on how their businesses have reacted to the challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic:
- Adriana Martinez, owner of Honka Auto Repair, Clearwater
- Karina Sloan, owner of Early Childhood Learning Center, Lakeland
- Dr. Janet & Carlos Hidalgo, owners of Hidalgo Eye Care, Tampa
- Mario Vargas, owner of MinTwist, Brandon
- Lisbeth Palacios, owner of All Party Art, Tampa
- Ketty Miles, owner of CimentArt Florida, Clearwater
- Julio Rodriguez, owner of Don Julio's Authentic Mexican Cuisine, Tampa
- Luis Ortega, owner of L. Ortega & Associates, Tampa
- Armando Acosta, owner of Rompin' Rovers, Largo
A dialogue among regional leaders about the pandemic's impact and recovery was moderated by Yepez, featuring Lindsey Kimball, Hillsborough County; Denise Sanderson, City of Clearwater; Santiago Corrada, Visit Tampa Bay; and Bob Rohrlack, Tampa Bay Chamber of Commerce. Other event speakers included Michelle Cavallo, Duke Energy; Steve Schultz, Wells Fargo; Robert West, TD Bank; Cristina Abreu, Nielsen; Francisco Huertas, Bank of America; Manuel Solis, The Alternative Board; Carolina Blanco, Hill Ward Henderson; and Jeff Leitman, Wells Fargo.
The 2020 Prospera Success Stories in the West Coast of Florida was sponsored by Presenter Duke Energy; Hosts Advent Health, Bank of America, Nielsen, Truist, Visit Tampa Bay and Wells Fargo; Champions Florida Blue, Helios Foundation, Hill Ward Henderson, MUSI Studio, Suncoast Credit Union and JPMorgan Chase; and Supporters City of Clearwater, GTE Financial, Regions Bank, Florida SBDC at USF, and TD Bank.
Prospera is an economic development, nonprofit organization that has specialized since 1991 in providing bilingual assistance to Hispanic entrepreneurs who want to establish, sustain, or grow their business. In the last five years, Prospera has facilitated over $59 million in loans, trained over 20,000 entrepreneurs, provided business consulting to more than 8,600 entrepreneurs, and helped consulting clients create or retain over 16,000 jobs. Its offices are in Florida's central, south, and west coast regions, and in Charlotte, North Carolina. For more information, visit www.prosperausa.org.
Media contact: Fabian Yepez, 813-230-0059, [email protected]