Over 900 of Central Texas’ most influential leaders are expected to share in the culmination of another successful year for the Greater Austin Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (GAHCC) at their 37th annual signature event, Celebrando Austin.
Congressman Lloyd Doggett and Police Chief Art Acevedo will serve as honorary co-chairs of the March 6 event at the Hilton Austin Downtown Hotel. According to Andy Martinez, President and CEO of GAHCC, the event will “celebrate the success and heart that is Austin, award deserving community members, and formally introduce the new Board of Directors.”
“Attendees are a cross section that truly represents the 9 billion dollar Hispanic market in Central Texas,” said Martinez. “Those attending can expect an exceptional opportunity to establish a presence among key decision makers within the community.”
The gala will feature live music by Esquina Tango, featuring Monica Caivano and Gustavo Simplis performing an Argentine tango and a high-energy salsa.
GAHCC will be presenting this year’s distinguished Lifetime Achievement Award to Gilbert M. Martinez, founding member of the Greater Austin Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. “As committed civic servant, he has improved the lives of many citizens, not only locally but throughout the state,” said Andy Martinez. Gilbert started his career in banking, becoming the first Hispanic bank officer in Austin at Union National Bank in 1972. He and his sons are also entrepreneurs and have opened several businesses together, including Ben White Florist and Martinez and Sons Builders. He has also served on the City of Austin Board of the Office of Economic Opportunity, the Austin Alcoholic Council, and the Board of Directors for the Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA), the Austin Chamber of Commerce, the Austin Symphony, the Capitol Area Council of the Boy Scouts of America, and the National Board of the Southern Region of Boy Scouts of America.
The Businessman of the Year award will go to Peter Saldaña, who worked with former City Council Member and Mayor Pro Tem Gus Garcia and now owns Adelante Solutions Inc., a public affairs firm that tailors to the culture and values of the growing Hispanic/Latino community in central Texas. Adriana Rodriguez, who opened Jardín de Niños Interlingua, which provides children the ability to learn in a fun environment where they are immersed in the Spanish language as well as introduced to the French language, will receive the Businesswoman of the Year award.
The Volunteer of the year award goes to Stefan Molina, a graduate of Hispanic Austin Leadership and a member of the Hispanic Austin Leadership Association, who is also a mentor at Eastside Memorial High School with the GAHCC Mentorship Program. He plays a significant role on the Hispanic Futures Conference planning committee and is one of the founders of the Hispanic Futures Conference Advisory Council. Mr. Molina is a Project Manager at CasaBella Architects.
The Chamber is also giving awards for Small Business of the year to MWM DesignGroup, Corporation of the year to Wells Fargo, and Government Partner of the year to City of Austin Small & Minority Business Resources.By Vicky Garza