La Paz Chattanooga Recognizes Latino Leaders

Monday, September 25, 2017

La Paz Chattanooga, a local non-profit organization that works with the Latino community, held its sixth annual Latino Leadership Awards ceremony last Monday, at the Chattanooga Convention Center.

The Latino Leadership Awards brings together members of the community to recognize and honor Latinos and Hispanics from the greater Chattanooga area, and present them with an array of awards for career achievement and community involvement. This year's ceremony once again produced some emotional acceptances from the honorees and recipients of the various specialty awards that were announced.


The 10 individuals who were honored as Latino Leaders at this year's ceremony included Chuy Esquivel (owner of Mexiville), Martha Flores (a commercial banker at BB&T), Neysa Gorgas-Ríos (officer for the Chattanooga Police Department), Carlos Garcia (owner of Victor Holdings LLC), Daniel Ledo (Director of Advertising at Lynch Sales Company), Pablo Mazariegos (Director of the Hamilton County Department of Education's International Family Resource Center), Sheila Ortiz (legal assistant at Grant, Konvalinka and Harrison, P.C.), Dr. Enrique Ordoñez (physician of obstetrics and gynecology at Erlanger Health Systems), Daniela Peterson (Community Engagement Specialist at Chattanooga Neighborhood Enterprise), and Kristina Sanchez-Mills (owner of Artistic Kreations).

In addition to the honorees, La Paz also recognized several of these individuals and others in our community who have made a significant impact in the community with additional honors.

One of the highest honors bestowed at the ceremony, the 2017 Latino Leader of the Year Award, was given to Kristian Sanchez-Mills for her service to the community through her art therapy classes and charity work for children and adult victims of domestic violence. Ms. Sanchez-Mills emotionally and humbly expressed her gratitude for recognizing individuals in our community who often are marginalized and forgotten.

Daniela Paz Peterson was the recipient of the 2017 Chattanooga's Choice Award, for the community's recognition of her efforts in community service, especially through the impact of the "Coming to America" storytelling initiative that she helped to cofound. "Coming to America" draws awareness to the human side of immigration stories of residents in our community.

The Community Champion Award is given to an individual who has personally gone above and beyond to serve the Latino community. This year, it was awarded to Gladys Piñeda-Loher for her advocacy efforts on Latino education and her leadership directing Chattanooga State's Latin Festival and Bridges to Success initiative. The award came as a surprise to Mrs. Piñeda-Loher, who tearfully shared her thankfulness in recognizing her at a time where it has been so tough for many Latino students across the nation.

In addition to the recognition of awards, Dr. Heidi Ramírez, senior advisor to America Achieves, delivered the ceremony's keynote address, pointing out the diversity of the nation's Latino community and the impact American Latinos have had in our nation. La Paz also showed a video message titled "We Are Chattanoogans" that served as a launch to their community support campaign, which will last until Oct. 15.

"This year's Latino Leaders have illustrated the diverse ways our area's Latino residents have contributed significantly to our the strengthening of our community," said La Paz Executive Director Stacy Johnson. "It was such an honor to bring attention to their work and commitment in their service to our city."

For a complete list of award winners, visit latinoleadershipawards.org. 

For more information regarding the 2017 Latino Leadership Awards, contact Christian Patiño at cpatino@lapazchattanooga.org or call the La Paz office at 423 624-8414.


Chestnut Street To Be Closed For Building Maintenance

Chestnut St. will be closed between W. 11th St. and W. 12th St. for building maintenance. Detours will be posted and all property access will be maintained.  In order to view a map of these  closures , visit  http://www.chattanooga. gov/transportation/ traffic -eng ineering-a-operations/ special ... (click for more)

Part Of Central Avenue To Be Closed Next Week

Central Avenue will be closed between E. 42nd Street and Workman Road starting  Monday, at 8:30 a.m.  and will reopen on  Thursday, at 4 p.m.   Detours will be posted.  In order to view a map of these  closures , visit  http://www.chattanooga. gov/transportation/ traffic -eng ineering-a-operations/ ... (click for more)

Signal Mountain To Hold Public Meetings On Idea Of Setting Up Own School System

Discussion about follow-up public meetings regarding the Signal Mountain School System Viability Committee (SMSSVC) report dominated the council’s work session on Friday afternoon. Council member Dan Landrum’s opinion about how to proceed differed from the other four council members. Mr. Landrum argued to end the study and to hold no public meetings. His reason was that of the 738 ... (click for more)

Man Shot Multiple Times In Cleveland; Jesus Teague, 14, Is Arrested

On Saturday, at 6:12 a.m., Cleveland Police Department responded to 1210 Elrod Place SE in reference to a domestic disturbance.   A man sustained multiple gunshot wounds and was transported to Erlanger by Life Force. His condition is stable, at this time.   The suspect, Jesus Tyler Teague, 14, was located and was in custody as of 3:25 p.m. ... (click for more)

October Is Breast Cancer Awareness Month: Myth And Fact Check

My husband and I recently had the privilege of participating in the American Cancer Society’s Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk in Chattanooga. I listened as my husband told the audience about how his mother was diagnosed with breast cancer when he was nine and how she died from the disease when he was fourteen. As a child, my husband didn’t understand what breast cancer ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: It’s All About People

The leaders of Hamilton County’s Mental Health Court held a heart-warming open house Friday afternoon and it was announced that just since February, the creation has saved the county over $3 million in incarceration costs. But to hear County Mayor Jim Coppinger or Judge Don Poole tell it, that’s not what is important. “Soon after the court started, a kind, quiet man I’ll ... (click for more)