Photos by Jonathan Garcia for Latin Life Denver Media (see photo gallery below) Story from the Denver Post: By Joanne Davidson
Hispanic leaders from throughout the state gathered at EXDO Event Center on September 29th to help the Latino Community Foundation of Colorado mark the 10th anniversary of its founding.
The dinner celebration also was the occasion to present the Lifetime Achievement Award to Ron Montoya, who with his wife, Naomi, helped establish the organization that has since invested $5.3 million in the community and encouraged thousands of others to step up as philanthropic leaders.
Montoya said he was accepting the award with “appreciation and humility” and that the success he has achieved as a businessman and entrepreneur is what inspires him to give back.
Montoya, who was hailed as a “determined but gracious leader” and “an angel who has given so generously,” has served on the boards of the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, the Mexican Cultural Center, Mountain States Employers Council, National Jewish Health, the Denver Convention Center Hotel Authority, Centro San Juan Diego and Rose Community Foundation.
The Denver native also spent nine years as chair of the Latino Community Foundation board and held leadership positions in the manufacturing, telecommunications and aerospace industries.
Chaired by Gloria Schoch, the community affairs manager for MillerCoors, and Elaine Torres, community affairs director for CBS4, the celebration also included congratulatory remarks by Comcast senior vice president Rich Jennings; Anne Garcia, the Rose Community Foundation’s interim president/CEO, and former Latino Community Foundation executive directors Marcelina Rivera and Yolanda Quesada.
The current executive director, Carlos Martinez, and board chair Debora Ortega surprised Elsa Holguin by offering a heartfelt tribute, and the Soul of Leadership Award, for her ongoing support.
Holguin, senior program director at Rose Community Foundation, helped her former boss, the late Sheila Bugdanowitz, transform a dream into reality by ensuring that the LCF had the resources and support it needed to create impact in the Latino community.
After enjoying a Latin-inspired “culinary journey” — a three-course meal that included snapper crudo, blackened white fish and adobo-braised short ribs — guests could select tasty treats from the interactive dessert stations and dance to the music of a band called Making Movies.
Ambassador Berenice Rendon, Mexico’s consul general in Denver, was among those attending the sold-out event, joining with such other community leaders as Hollie Velasquez Horvath, chair of the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce board, and her husband, Bryon; Patricia Barela Rivera, a former regional head of the Small Business Administration; Marcela de la Mar, executive director of the Mexican Cultural Center, and her husband, John Fair; Ann Padilla, founder of Sunny Side/Temp Side and a 2011 inductee into the Colorado Business Hall of Fame, and her husband, Bob Grabowski; Marti Awad, a founder of Cardan Capital Partners; and fitness professional Maribelia Avalos Shisslak.
Joanne Davidson: 303-809-1314, firstname.lastname@example.org and @joannedavidson on Twitter
Photos by Jonathan Garcia for Latin Life Denver Media