Verizon's 2012 Wireless Latino Entrepreneur of the Year awards gala celebrated the accomplishments of entrepreneur Monica Gonzales on Nov. 7.
Gonzales is the owner of Aldabella Scarpa, a children's fashion and footwear company in Covina, Calif. She was selected from among the entries received from established entrepreneurs, aspiring entrepreneurs and working professionals.
"I am beyond words, excited, humbled, so thankful to have the opportunity to share my story, and hopefully I empower other Latinos to dream big, and don?t let anything stand in your way," Gonzales said.
For every pair of shoes that is sold at Aldabella Scarpa, the company donates a pair to a child in need in the U.S. Aldabella Scarpa donates thousands of shoes annually to schools, hospitals and communities.
The shoes are designed with positive phrases such as "We believe," "Dream," and "Dance." Gonzales said in her acceptance speech, "That's what children should do. They don't need to be bogged down with problems."
The annual gala was held at the Museum of Latin American Art in Long Beach, Calif. Gonzales was awarded a $15,000 grant and 4G LTE Motorola smartphones by Verizon Wireless to help spur technological advancements for her business.
Last year's winner was Margarita Rodriquez, director of Academia del Exito. Her company helps Latinas to access the resources to succeed in the business world.
The evening's special keynote speaker was actress Eva Longoria, who was an active national co-chairwoman in the Obama campaign. Longoria also is the national spokeswoman for PADRES Contra El Cancer.
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"We're labeled as Mexicans, or immigrants, so to see the word 'Latino' announced with 'award' together, is very inspiring, motivating," Longoria said.
The actress said attending such events reflects on her as an individual.
"I'm a Latina and an entrepreneur. I love to applaud other women like Monica who are independent, strong, ambitious and aggressive," she said. "Any chance I get to applaud women like (her), I am just honored."