The year's top Hispanic entrepreneur – as chosen by Hispanic Business magazine – is Enrique A. Tessada, a Mexican immigrant, Navy veteran, and documentary filmmaker whose Tessada & Associates infrastructure solutions company now employs more than 600 people in 17 states.
His selection was announced Thursday night as Hispanic Business magazine's 16th Annual EOY awards gala honored the brightest stars to emerge recently in the field of Hispanic entrepreneurship. Mr. Tessada was chosen from a field of 15 Hispanic entrepreneurs, each of whom was recognized for setting a standard of excellence and for advancing the U.S. Hispanic market.
Mr. Tessada also received the Hispanic Business Entrepreneur of the Year Award for top entrepreneur in the Trade Industry, one of five distinct industry categories also honored at the event.
Winners in other categories were Rainier Gonzalez of Pacer Health Corporation, Rising Star; Bonnie García of Market Vision, Latina; Goodman brothers of Goodman Networks, InfoBusiness; and Tony Rey Sr., Rey Homes, Heavy Industry.
The Lifetime Achievement Award was given to Dionicio Morales, founder of the Mexican American Opportunity Foundation (MAOF) and a long-time advocate for Mexican Americans since the 1960s.
It's Never Too Late
This year's EOY winner is the founder of Tessada & Associates, Inc. an infrastructure solutions company based in Springfield, Va. Mr. Tessada emigrated to the U.S. in 1960 from Mexico City. After graduating from Texas A&M University he went on to earn a graduate degree in international policy at John Hopkins University.
He led a distinguished 20-year career in the U.S. Navy, including time aboard helicopters looking for Soviet submarines. During the Vietnam War, he helped create policies for foreign military sales for the Joint Chiefs of Staff. In his military career, he managed multi-million dollar programs for the Navy, the Army and the Agency for International Development. His government experience would help lay the groundwork for his future business.
In 1993, at the age of 50 – an age when most professionals have settled comfortably into their careers – Mr. Tessada started his company with $500 and a used Compaq computer. Since its inception a lucky 13 years ago, Tessada & Associates has grown into a multi-million-dollar infrastructure solutions company with more than 650 employees and a client list that includes NASA and the U.S. Department of Labor, among others. Tessada & Associates provides a large suite of services that include facilities management, information technology and multimedia services.
In his free time, Mr. Tessada continues his long-time commitment to the arts, funding scholarships at George Mason University's School of Visual and Performing Arts. He also serves on the Arts board of directors at Mason Partnership, an organization committed to keeping the arts a vital part of community life.
Industry Category Winners
Other winners showing excellence in their respective industries included:
•Latina: Since Bonnie García founded Market Vision in 1998, her Hispanic-focused agency – known as a "street smart" marketing firm – has drawn some of the nation's top corporate giants, including Miller Brewing Company, General Mills, and Coca-Cola.
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