The New York State Small Business Development Center and the Rockland Community College Foundation presented the sixth annual celebration of Hispanic Businesses Awards and Hispanic Heritage Student Achievement at a celebratory luncheon (La Quinta Steakhouse, Dec 2). Invited guests included many political officials who joined the honorees and their families to offer congratulations. Several of the honorees also spoke and shared their inspiring life stories, many expressing deep recognition and appreciation for the sacrifices and support their families provided that helped them achieve success.
Tom Morley, regional director, Rockland/Westchester SBDC served as the master of ceremonies, and Dr. Cliff L. Wood, the President of RCC, welcomed the student honorees and their guests. Speakers included: Katelyn Israelski for the Honorable Kristen E. Gillibrand; Yma Oria for the Honorable Nita S. Lowey; Myrnia Bass-Hargrove for the Honorable Ed Day; the Honorable Kenneth Zebrowski; Supervisor Andrew Stewart; Supervisor George Hoehmann; and Isidro Cancel for Supervisor Howard Phillips. Additional event sponsors included Key Bank and Olé (Organization of Latino Entrepreneurs).
Sixth Annual Hispanic Business Awards Honorees:
Dr. Jasen A. Ruiz, Advanced Audiology of New York
New Latino Business of the Year
Maura Azanado, Maura’s Kitchen
Latina Entrepreneur of the Year
Kevin Brestolli, Brestolli Remodeling
Latino Entrepreneur of the Year
Eileen Guzzo, Donnelly and Moore Corp
Latina Business of the Year
Fredy Mazariego & Saul Ruiz, Avispa Food Mart & Deli Corp.
Latino Business of the Year
Alexander J. Rosado, Bardonia Physical Therapy
Latino Corporate Citizen of the Year
RCC Hispanic Heritage Student Achievement Awards Honorees:
Associate Professor Josephine Tarsia presented the Hispanic Student Achievement Awards to the following student honorees:
Erika Andrade – Academic Achievement
Andrade maintained an impressive GPA in the rigorous nursing program at RCC while working full time. She also earned her EMT, phlebotomy and EKG certifications in the past 5 months. As a proud immigrant from Ecuador, she hopes to also return to her homeland as a nurse and help the homeless Indians of that country.
Alejandra Henriquez – Personal Accomplishment
A student in the Sam Draper MTS Honors program, Henriquez has a very strong interest in chemistry and hopes to become a doctor in pharmacy and develop new drugs to help the sick. She also volunteers with Keep Rockland Beautiful and recently completed an 8-week internship at Good Samaritan Hospital.
Justin Negrin – Leadership Activities
Earning an impressive GPA of 3.57. He has a strong spirit for helping others, and is pursuing a career in Occupational Therapy. For the last 7 years he has worked as a volunteer for the Special Olympics and his personal essay expresses his commitment to a path of personal improvement and changing the world for the better.
Hugo Ruballos – Personal Accomplishment
A student in the Business and Accounting program, Ruballos was inducted into the Business Honor Society, Alpha Beta Gamma, and has received the Phi Sigma Omicron distinction. At 15, he left his family in El Salvador to come to the U.S. He has worked and learned a new language and saved his money for an entire year to attend college.
Ydelisa Santana – Personal Accomplishment
As a returning adult student, Santana has worked hard to balance her job and her RCC courses with her life as a wife and mother of two children (third and fourth graders). She has excelled at her studies in Business Administration and is on track to earning a high GPA.