With the purpose of rewarding entrepreneurs and tireless fighters, the Central Florida Puerto Rican Chamber of Commerce (PRCCCF) announced the ceremony of the El Josco Awards Gala and the nominee selection process.
“This year we not only had a large number of nominations (70) but also the quality of the leaders who were nominated for the different categories. People who work behind the scenes and no one knows about them because they are not in a leadership position. Heroes who selflessly contribute to the well-being of all,” said Luis M. Martínez, president of the El Josco Awards Gala.
The Josco is a short story by the Puerto Rican writer Abelardo Díaz Alfaro. That name is about the story of a proud Puerto Rican pimp (stallion) bull, who is replaced by an American bull.
The story narrates the anguish of this vigorous Creole bull when he is supplanted by an imported bull. After a great battle, the Creole bull defeats the American bull.
“This story can be understood as the status between Puerto Rico and the United States, but also how small businesses can be surpassed by large companies. It shows the resilience of that bull not to be replaced, to keep his place of saying ‘I am worth it too’ and it is important because all those people who are recognized are people who are sometimes underestimated”, commented Jorge Figueroa, president of the PRCCCF .
“We are a Puerto Rican chamber but we have also seen an increase in businesses that are led by businessmen of other nationalities and we have also seen volunteers, collaborators and sponsors from other Latin American countries. So expect more events with other chambers, organizations from other places,” Figueroa commented.
Martínez pointed out that this chamber carries out its service with volunteers committed to the community and to small and medium-sized businesses. For this reason, he urged businessmen who need a helping hand to contact the organization. They also want to provide more services for members and for anyone who wants to expand their business or establish themselves in Florida.
“We need business people to join the chamber of commerce and volunteer for county leadership committees. We ask for financial support through corporate memberships to continue bringing educational events and programs to our community,” added Martínez.
The El Josco Awards Gala is the most prominent event of the Puerto Rican Chamber of Commerce of Central Florida (PRCCCF) that honors Puerto Rican and Hispanic business and community leaders in nine categories, who have shown excellence in their areas of expertise, leadership and commitment to the well-being of our community.
The finalists in the nine categories are listed below:
- Luisa de los Ríos, Vice President of Value Your Life Ministry
- José L. Dieppa, External Communications Manager at AdventHealth
- Cecilia Figueroa, CEO of Twins Digital Media Group
- Jackie Méndez, General Director of Tu Revista Mujer
- Anthony Diaz, Owner of Revive Your Credit
- Manuel Hernandez, Language Arts High School Teacher at Osceola County
- Sonia Ledger, Teen Parenting Program Coordinator at OCPS Alternative Education Centers
- Dr. María Vázquez, Superintendent of Orange County Public Schools
- Dr. Wilmer Alvarez, Senior Executive for Grants Administration at Orlando Health
- Dr. William Felix, Sports Medicine Physician
- Dr. Ramón L. Rodríguez, Physician, Neurologist
- Dr. Rafael Toro, Surgical Oncologist at Orlando Health
- Diana Font, Visit Orlando and Orange County Disability Advisory Board Member
- Yamile Luna, Chief Operating Officer at AdventHealth
- Anthony Peral, Vice President and Community Impact Relationship Manager for Fifth Third Bank
- Angel Tosado, President of Mind Credit, LLC
- Horacio Maysonet, President/CEO of Cyber Security Solutions
- Beverly Rodríguez, President of the National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals (NAHREP), Central Florida chapter
- Ivelize Santiago, CEO of Prime Time TV
- Samantha Senf, CEO of Samantha’s Walls
Professional of the Year
- Roberto López, Senior Immigration Attorney at Complete Immigration Solutions
- Andrés Maldonado, Chef/Owner of Nona Bistro
- Rosa Ruiz-Bunker, Store Manager at TD Bank
- Manuel I. Ruiz, Art Director of Pro D Signs, LLC
Women-Owned Business of the Year
- Urbander, Sami Haiman-Marrero
- MG Medical Center, Dr. Melanie Melendez
- Vanessa’s Coffee Show, Vanessa Ortiz
- House of the Artisan, Darlene Ramírez
Small Business of the Year
- AJ Production Events, AJ González and José Bethencourt
- Nona Bistro, Chef Andrés Maldonado
- Samantha’s Walls, Samantha Senf
- El Cilantrillo Restaurant, Hiram and Dianne Turull
Lifetime Achievement Award
This award recognizes an individual who has demonstrated significant leadership abilities and has made outstanding and sustained contributions to their profession and/or community throughout their lifetime. Additionally, he has been a role model within his profession and exemplifies personal qualities that make him stand out from his peers.
Rosado has extensive police experience and was one of the first officers to respond to the 9/11 attack.
After moving to Orlando, Rosado has served as an advocate for underrepresented communities like Latinos, LGBTQ+, and first responders.
Following the Pulse nightclub tragedy, he provided bilingual and culturally competent mental health services to support survivors and families of victims, as well as training local officials.
In addition, he helped with the transition of Puerto Rican refugees to Central Florida after Hurricane Maria.
Nancy has a Master of Social Work from Fordham University with a concentration in suicide prevention, traumatic stress, and has worked as a professor at Florida Technical College, where she taught Criminal Justice, and as a social worker at Children’s Arts and Science Workshops in New York.
Nancy is the first LGBTQ+ person to receive the El Josco Awards Lifetime Achievement Award, demonstrating this chamber’s ongoing commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion.
The El Josco Awards Gala has been possible thanks to the support of the following sponsors:
Complete Immigration Solutions, Orlando Health, Let Us Claim, AdventHealth, CenterWell Primary Care, Avalon Park Group, Aetna Medicare Solutions, Four Pro Energy, City of Orlando, Kidsville Pediatrics, Bravo Supermarket, JPMorgan Chase Bank, NUC University – Online Division, FL Bakery Orlando, Gentech Security, Advanced Physical Medicine, Ana G. Mendez University, Alianza, Aspire Health Partners, Wellcare, Regal & Nautique of Orlando, TrueLife Wellness, Florida Blue , Osceola County Public Schools, Daisy’s Events & Rentals, Poof Productions and The Osceola Star newspaper.
The El Josco Awards Gala will take place on Saturday, May 20, 2023 at Caribe Royale Resort, 8101 World Center Dr, Orlando, FL 32821. The event begins at 6:00 pm with a cocktail reception followed by the awards ceremony at 7:15 pm For more information and to purchase tickets, visit: premioseljosco.net
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