The Annual Hispanic Business Alliance Achievers Awards luncheon this year will honor area businesses for their struggles and successes.
The Hispanic Business Alliance, which started five years ago, is a program of the Tyler Area Chamber of Commerce that partners with other local organizations that provide services and support to the Hispanic business community.
Price Arredondo, director of the Hispanic Business Alliance, said this is the organization’s fifth year to recognize business owners who have been successful in their respective industries. It also provides an opportunity for the community to find out about the businesses and see the impact they are having economically.
“It’s a way to showcase these businesses that have been successful,” he said.
The nominating committee took the list of 25 nominations made by the alliance’s advisory board and the public and selected two finalists for each of the seven categories. From the finalists, one person will be announced winner of each category, which includes restaurant, general contractor, woman-owned business, micro-business (in business less than three years), established business (in business for at least five years) and professional. A new category was added this year to recognize a nonprofit organization that has made an impact in the community.
The winners will be announced at the luncheon, set for 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Oct. 9 at Green Acres Baptist Church Crosswalk Conference Center, 1607 Troup Highway.
Established Business finalists are Morales Tax Service Owner Luis Morales and Beckham Boot & Shoe Repair owner Jose Lucio.
Restaurant finalists include Don Juan’s owners Juan and Prisca Barron and Pollo Regio owner Manuel Mendez.
The finalists for construction are Hernandez General Contractor owners Luis Hernandez Sr. and Luis Hernandez Jr. and Calvary Plumbing owner Noe Cedillo.
Woman-owned business finalists are Preferred Interpreters owner Norma Liliana Meeks and AVTEC Interiors owner Rosy Guzman.
Finalists for the Professional award are Gilbert Urbina, of the Hispanic American Association, and Elena Gomez, vice president of Austin Bank.
Finalists for the new category of nonprofit organization are Ninos de Promesa and Programa de Alfabetizacion at Birdwell Elementary School.
Before his current position, Haro held various positions at the Department of Emergency Medicine at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., including instructor, chairman, trauma director and chairman of the Practice Management Committee.
Arredondo said Haro was born in and received most of his education in Mexico and struggled in the United States before he was able to get into his career path. He said a lot of the Hispanic-owned businesses in Tyler still are first or second generation, and he felt it was important to have someone speak who can identify with the struggles of building their businesses.
“He can certainly relate to a lot of these business owners,” Arredondo said.
He said it also is important for the community to hear about the struggles and the process Haro went through in obtaining his position at Mother Frances.
“We’re real excited to have him here in Tyler and to be our guest speaker,” he said.
Arredondo said this is the first time the event will be held at Crosswalk, which allows more space for more attendees. Last year’s event at The University of Texas at Tyler’s Ornelas Activity Center was a full house. Every year they see an increase in attendance and he expects that this year as well, he said, adding that he expects at least 40 people to attend.
The cost to attend is $35 and people can register by Oct. 8 at HBA2012@eventbrite.com.
Sponsors include Super 1 Foods-Brookshires; Trinity Mother Frances Hospitals & Clinics; Merrill Lynch; Meads Wealth Management; Suddenlink; Mentoring Minds; First Alternative Fuel Inc.; Sherwin Williams; John Soules Foods; John Merrill State Farm; and Fourth Partner Foundation. For more information, call 903-592-1661, ext. 231.
If you know of a professional woman or business service in Tyler you think should be highlighted in this column, contact me at email@example.com or 903-596-6289.