The 12th Annual Latino Leaders' Reception and Awards
Attorney and CSU Trustee Melinda Guzman named “Latina Leader of the Year." (Photos at the bottom of the article)
SACRAMENTO, CA -- The Latino Journal hosted its 12th Annual Latino Leaders’ Reception for Constitutional Officers, Legislators and Appointees on February 22, 2011, continuing its tradition of bringing business and political leaders together for an evening of networking and recognitions. Over 200 people were in attendance at Sacramento’s Senator Hotel to hear speeches and witness the recognition of several outstanding individuals whose contributions have elevated the Latino community.
Like in past years, numerous elected and appointed officials dropped by to greet attendees and share private conversations, a key component for the annual gathering. Some of the State Legislators who attended included: Senator Bob Dutton; Senator Lou Correa; Assemblywoman Fiona Ma; Assemblyman Gil Cedillo; and Assemblyman Roger Dickinson. Other elected officials present included: Sacramento Unified School District Board President Gustavo Arroyo and Board Member Diana Rodriguez; and Sacramento County Supervisor Phil Serna. Appointed officials included: California Labor Agency Secretary Marty Morganstern; Health and Human Services Agency Assistant Secretary Wayne Sauceda; Department of Finance Chief Deputy Director Pedro Reyes; and, Director of the Governor’s Office of Economic Development Joel Ayala.
“We’re very pleased to produce this influential and important event for our community every year,” says Jose L. Perez, Founder of the Latino Journal and Master of Ceremonies for the evening. “Corporations, small business, government and non-profits understand the need to be inclusionary and this event helps gather all these folks in a single setting to open doors to our Latino leaders.”
The event highlights included a spirited keynote presentation by newly elected California State Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones and the presentation of awards to individuals whose work has contributed greatly to the Latino community.
“For the past 12 years, we have recognized individuals whose commitment and work have lifted the Latino community in California,” adds Perez. “Past awardees include now Mayor of Los Angeles Antonio Villaraigosa, LBA Chairman Ruben Guerra, Disabled Veteran’s advocate Fred Rodriguez, and many others.”
The 2011 Latino Journal award recipients were:
Outstanding Public Servant Award
Neptaly “Taty” Aguilera - An executive in state government for over 30 years, Taty has worked tirelessly to increase employment and services for the Latino community.
Champion of Diversity Award
Vicki L. Zeiger – As an executive with Southern California Gas Company and Co-Vice Chair of the California Utilities Diversity Council, Vicki has created visionary corporate policies that ensure inclusivity in employment.
Outstanding Judge Award
David De Alba – A Superior Court Judge in Sacramento and Chair of the Hispanic Law Enforcement Task Force, Judge De Alba has championed principles of inclusivity in law enforcement for decades.
Latino Leader of the Year Award
Willie Galvan – As State Commander for the American GI Forum, Willie has pushed, and continues to push, for the inclusion and benefits of Latino Military Veterans.
Latina Leader of the Year Award
Melinda Guzman – A partner in a law firm and a Trustee with the California State University Board of Trustees, Melinda has carved an extraordinarily successful path of inclusion in education and civil rights for the underprivileged.
The Latino Journal’s 12th Annual Latino Leaders’ Reception was made possible with the support of Farmers Insurance and its Co-Hosts: The Latin Business Association PAC; The California Hispanic Chambers of Commerce; The Sacramento Hispanic Chamber of Commerce; The American GI Forum; The Spanish Language Academy; The Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers – Los Angeles Chapter; and, the Association of Latino Physicians.
About Latino Journal
The Latino Journal is the nation’s only publication dedicated to public policy and government from a Latino perspective. Established in 1996 in Sacramento, California as an English print publication, it went online in March 2007, establishing a national and international following of over 1.5 million readers per month. In 1999, the Latino Journal joined former State Senator Richard Polanco in establishing the Annual Latino Leaders’ Reception with a goal of helping California’s 14 million Latinos connect with statewide government officials.