EOY Awards
EOY Awards
EOY Awards
EOY Awards
EOY Awards

Photos by Matt Graves

Hispanic Business Media´s 2008 EoY Awards Celebration Lights Up Los Angeles.

More than 700 Hispanic entrepreneurs and business luminaries filled the Millennium Hotel in downtown Los Angeles on Nov. 6 for Hispanic Business Media´s 2008 EOY awards celebration.

The event featured panel discussions sponsored by Aflac and ExxonMobil and honored entrepreneurs and risk-takers who have reshaped the business landscape dramatically through their innovative ideas.

Titled "New Directions: A Sea of Change," the all-day event focused on how small businesses will survive and thrive during a time of great economic uncertainty.

"With the onset of the 21st century, change has come upon us with a vengeance," said Jesus Chavarria, editor and publisher of Hispanic Business Magazine, which has become the authority on the U.S. Hispanic market over the near-30 years he´s been at the helm.

"Small business, like big business, must become strategic in planning and growth. Whether we like it or not, we must plan for and adapt to changing times."

Elizabeth Espinosa, a renowned reporter and broadcast journalist, who can be seen on the KTLA morning news in Southern California, served as event´s dynamic evening emcee. The charismatic Espinosa electrified the crowd and praised all of the evening's honorees, including Mr. Chavarria.

"As a Latina, you are definitely a mentor, and I can´t thank you enough," she said of Mr. Chavarria.

Hispanic Business Media continued its tradition of honoring entrepreneurs in the categories of Heavy Industry, InfoBusiness, Trade Industry, Rising Star and Latina. This year, however, Hispanic Business Media gave special recognition to standouts in the new categories of Green Company and Social Entrepreneur.

The night´s most significant distinction went to David Segura, CEO and founder of VisionIT, who was honored with the Entrepreneur of the Year award.

"In the words of President-Elect Barack Obama, when you give Hispanic businesses opportunities, ´Yes, we can!´ " Segura told the crowd.

In another major tribute, Lydia Villa-Komaroff received the Lifetime Achievement award for her wealth of contributions to the scientific community.

Here are all the rest of the night's winners:

Rising Star
Richard M. Gomez, vice president of TGSV Enterprises, a general contracting and construction management company based in Hialeah, Florida. The company has 24 full-time employees and reported $25.7 million in revenues in 2007.

Trade Industry
Al Garcia-Serra, chief operating officer and co-chairman of Machado|Garcia-Serra Communications, a Florida-based, multicultural marketing company. The firm has 64 full-time employees and reported $58.83 million in revenues in 2007.

Elizabeth Chavez, president and CEO of Ponce Contractors, a Texas-based construction company that specializes in asbestos and lead abatement, mold remediation, and demolition. Her company has 51 employees and reported $1.7 million in revenue in 2007.

David Segura, founder and CEO of VisionIT, a Michigan-based information technology staffing and solutions business, which contracts with Fortune 500 companies and government agencies. The firm has 975 employees and reported $107 million in revenues in 2007.

Heavy Industry
Gabino Cuevas, CEO of Cherokee Enterprises, a Florida-based group that specializes in environmental and civil engineering and construction services. The company has 30 employees and reported $8.47 million in revenues in 2007.

Special Recognition
Green Company
William Garibay, president of Environmental, Safety & Health, Inc, a Tennessee-based construction remediation, environmental engineering, industrial hygiene, and administrative company. The firm has 26 full-time employees and reported $7.9 million in revenue in 2007.

Jose Morales, founder, president and CEO of J2 Engineering, a Florida-based general construction, construction management, engineering, and environmental services firm. The company has 80 full-time employees and reported $24.61 million in revenue in 2007.

Social Entrepreneur
Castulo de la Rocha, president and CEO of AltaMed Health Services, a non-profit health center focused on providing affordable and accessible health care to Latinos and the underserved. The organization has 1,400 employees who provide more than 400,000 visits at 30 sites throughout Southern California.

Sponsored by Wachovia, Palladium Equity, KPMQ and Cordoba Corporation, four college students also won Winner´s Circle scholarships to pursue their academic goals.

The recipients were:

  • Elizabeth Padilla, a doctoral candidate in the Georgia Institute of Technology´s Environmental Microbiology program.

  • Alejandro Virrueta, a mechanical engineering student at Stanford University.

  • Elias Popuch, a geography student at Macalester College in Minnesota.

  • Veronica Reyes, a USC student working toward a master´s degree in Public Administration.


Jesús Chavarría

Jesús Chavarría

CEO, Hispanic Business Inc.

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