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GPHCC Hosts the 2014 Alegría Ball, Colombia: Tierra del Café
Oh what a night it was as The Greater Philadelphia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce hosted the 7th annual Alegría Ball: Colombia: Tierra del Café celebrating Hispanic business success. The largest gathering of Latino business in the region, Friday's ball attracted well over 450 attendees from an array of industries and professional backgrounds. The celebration began when the 5th annual Excelencia Hispanic Business Awards recognized professionals and companies who have made a notable impact on Hispanic business in the region and the Latino community. The GPHCC is grateful to State Farm, The Hershey Company, Visionworks, Wells Fargo and Comcast as major investors to the event.
Remarkable business leaders shared anecdotes and thoughts on the GPHCC's work and the incredible impact that the Hispanic business community has in the region. Event co-chairs David L. Cohen, Executive Vice President of the Comcast Corporation, and James E. Nevels, Founder & Chairman of The Swarthmore Group and Chairman of The Hershey Company, spoke of the work their companies do with the Hispanic community as well as their experiences and collaborations with the GPHCC.
The Excelencia Hispanic Business Awards honored an individual, a small business, an organization, and a corporation. Mr. Humberto Alfonso, President of International Operations, accepted the award for Corporate Advocate of the Year on behalf of The Hershey Company for the world-class confectionary company's extensive promotion of community involvement and diversity efforts. The United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce was given the Trailblazer for Hispanic-American Business award, which was accepted by USHCC President & CEO Javier Palomarez. Owner Mercy Mosquera accepted the award for Hispanic Business of the Year for her North Philadelphia food and entertainment hotspot Tierra Colombiana which also engages and works with numerous non-profits. The Hispanic Professional of the Year award was given to Ana Aguilar of Siemens for her community work, most notably via Siemens Hispanic resource group Amigas.
This year's ball honored the rich cultural traditions of Colombia as those in attendance learned about the historic and economic importance of the Latin American nation. Otto Dance Group helped get the excitement going and warmed up the dance floor before the Anthony Colon band took the stage, enticing guests onto the dance floor.
As many in attendance said, the Alegría Ball gets better and better every year so join us in 2015 for the 8th annual Alegría Ball: Puerto Rico: del Mar y el Sol!
Click here to see more pictures from the Alegría Ball: Colombia: Tierra del Café courtesy of CBS - Philadelphia.
|Professional Mentoring Network Delivers Influential and Impactful 2013 Youth Summit
Connecting Latino professionals with Latino youth has been one of the central purposes of the GPHCC's Professional Mentoring Network since its inception in 2007. Mentoring Latino youth by sharing professional experiences and exposing students to a brighter future and a more stable outlook on life helps address issues such as high school drop-out rates and strengthening the workforce pipeline. On November 13th, the GPHCC partnered with Thomas A. Edison High School to hold the impactful 2013 PMN Youth Summit. Nearly 60 professionals gathered at the high school to share their personal and professional college and career stories. Additional activities included a career fair, Lebron Scholarship Fund consultations and mentoring sessions from professionals to groups of engaged students. Latino professionals served nearly 600 students through the Youth Summit.
The day culminated with a presentation by founder & CEO of Wash Cycle Laundry Gabriel Mandujano, an expert in green business strategies and energy conservation. Mr. Mandujano shared his knowledge with students in a packed auditorium by sharing his entrepreneurial story as well as the importance of a green business and lifestyle. Students asked plenty of questions about energy, business and college financing. Verizon's vice president Douglas Smith shared energy conservation tips and consumer education strategy. The GPHCC gives a heartfelt thank you to all of the 2013 Youth Summit participants and especially Thomas A. Edison High School and students for helping us make this great day possible.
Fiesta Calle Nueve: A Great Success!
Over five thousand people packed into a stretch of Ninth Street for Fiesta Comerciantes Calle 9 in South Philadelphia on September 22nd. The event, co-presented by the Greater Philadelphia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, featured vendors of all types who lined the street selling their products and promoting their businesses to the thousands in attendance. A litany of musical acts and cultural traditions were staged that both entertained the crowd and celebrated Hispanic Heritage Month. A beautiful, sunny day in South Philly helped make Calle 9 a beneficial promotional opportunity for the participating comerciantes and businesses. In addition to the GPHCC the event was co-sponsored by ProSur and Customers Bank.
The GPHCC hosted this year's 29th Annual Celebration of Philadelphia Minority Enterprise Development (MED) Week Tuesday morning. The impressive panel included, Warren Beideman, Customers Bank's Senior Vice President; Luis Liceaga, President of Impact Dimension; Manuel Trujillo, CEO of SwainTech's; and James W. Haile Jr., Supply Chain Management Consultant of the Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA).
The panelists shared their take on corporate advocacy for minority businesses with professionals and entrepreneurs. Sharing the successes, challenges, traits and talents pertaining to business development, transformational leadership and profit driven sustainability, served as a learning experience for participants to cherish through their own career and personal growth.
|GPHCC's 11th Annual Golf Outing - A Hole In One!
Thank you to all members and friends who made the GPHCC's 11th annual Golf Outing a day and evening of business networking fun and successful.
Philadelphia Phillies player Michael Martinez and beloved Phillies announcer Gary "Sarge" Matthews shared in the revelry as guests of the event, and Ricky Ricardo kicked off shotgun to begin the day.
Customers Bank, Beverage Association of Philadelphia, and SugarHouse Casino partnered with the GPHCC to help make the event a rousing success which helped fundraise for the Chamber's Small Business Development and Education program which serves small business owners with technical and financial assistance. Bank of America and the Bank of America Foundation presented a $15,000 contribution to the program securing two months of efforts for Small Hispanic businesses.
The GPHCC is thrilled by our members support and participation.
Dr. José E. Lebron Scholarship Fund Reception
A wonderful evening of celebration was had on Tuesday as the GPHCC's Professional Mentoring Network (PMN) hosted a reception in honor of this year's recipient of the José E. Lebron Scholarship, Thalia Wetherill of Thomas A. Edison High School. The event was held at the Comcast Center and, in addition to welcoming remarks by GPHCC President & CEO Varsovia Fernandez, it featured special remarks by David L. Cohen, Executive Vice President of Comcast, as well as an inspirational keynote address by Comcast's Senior Vice President & Chief Information & Infrastructure Security Officer Myrna Soto.
Ms. Soto shared her own story of professional growth which, like the PMN's scholarship recipients, started at community college. GPHCC Chairman Mario Zacharjasz capped the night offering closing remarks, extolling the growth and impact that the PMN has registered since its inception, followed by an evening of networking and building business relationships. Each year the PMN awards one Latino high school student a scholarship to attend the Community College of Philadelphia for two years and this helps boost the region's workforce pipeline and create the next generation of Latino business leaders.
|A Conversation with Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor
The Greater Philadelphia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce co-presented with the National Constitution Center was honored to bring Justice Sonia Sotomayor to Philadelphia. Varsovia Fernandez, President & CEO of the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce introduced Justice Sotomayor to a packed room where her dynamic charisma and inspiring words provided a stimulating open dialogue.
Her NYT bestseller My Beloved World was used as an outline of her life’s many adventures, hardships, and wonderful opportunities. Her motivating words of growing up in in the projects in the Bronx to working her way up to Yale Law School, and eventually the Supreme Court touched everyone in the room. Justice Sotomayor was so engaging that no matter where you were in the room you felt as if she was speaking directly to you. Justice Sotomayor makes the Hispanic community proud and teaches you that with an education, hard work and courage no goal is too high and anything in life can be achieved.