DR TERESA LOZANO LONG TRAILBLAZER AWARDS
The Hispanic Alliance Trailblazer Award honors pioneers and dedicated leaders who are doing extraordinary work and addressing critical issues in the Central Texas area.
CONGRATULATIONS TO THE 2018 DR. TERESA LOZANO LONG TRAILBLAZER AWARDEE:
Martha P. Cotera is nationally recognized as a feminist historian, independent scholar, public intellectual and influental civil rights activist. Martha’s 55-year span of community service includes institution building for women, as founder of Mujeres Pro Raza Unida; the National Women’s Political Caucus, and of the Mexican American Business and Professional Women of Austin. With other Hispanic leaders, Martha and her husband Juan were founders of the Greater Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, the Department of Small and Minority Business Resources, the MBE WBE Program of AISD, and the UT Center for Mexican American Studies, and the Mexican American and Latino Studies Department. Martha also served on the first Austin Lyric Opera Board, and she and Juan were supporters of Noche de la Opera. Martha and Juan consider their participation in building the Mexican American Cultural Center their most loving and lasting contribution to the Austin community, to whom they’ve given their youth, their middle age, and now their best years. Martha also served as vice chair and chair on the first MACC City Advisory Board for over a decade. Currently, she’s an active volunteer with Nuestro Grupo, which funds and administers Cuauhtli Academy, a language and cultural arts Saturday program at the MACC campus.
2018 MONICA PERAZA LEADERSHIP AWARDEE:
Gerardo Interiano is Google's Head of Local Market Staffing after serving as the lead public policy representative in Texas for the previous six years. He recently co-founded and is Chair of the Hispanic Impact Fund, a giving fund that has raised over $750,000 to support the economic security and advancement of Hispanic Central Texans. In addition, Gerardo serves on the Boards of Directors of the Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce, the Austin Community Foundation, and the Dell Children's Medical Center Foundation. He has been happily married for twelve years to Aynsley and they have three beautiful children, Isabela, Sofia, and Sebastian.
PAST TRAILBLAZER AWARD RECIPIENTS:
Gary Valdez is the President of Focus Strategies Investment Banking, a Texas-based investment banking firm focused on serving the unique needs of privately help businesses seeking capital or ownership transition solutions. Mr. Valdez is an active member of the community and serves on the Board of Directors for Berry Aviation, Inc., American Bank and St. Edward's University. He is a member of the Austin Area Research Organization and plays an active role with the Hill Country Conservancy. Gary has been recognizes by Texas Lutheran University and the Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce for his achievements and involvement in the Austin Community.
Senator Zaffirini is the first Mexican American woman elected to the Texas Senate, the second highest-ranking senator, the highest-ranking woman and Hispanic senator, and the highest-ranking senator representing Austin and Central Texas. She has received more than 900 awards and honors for her legislative, public service, and professional work, including more than 260 in communication. Texas Monthly has named Senator Zaffirini one of Texas "10 Best Legislators" four times, and Hispanic Business magazine named her among the "100 Most Influential Hispanics.
Cecilia Abbott is the first Hispanic woman to be the first-lady of Texas, and believes strongly in giving back to our communities. She serves on the board of several organizations and educational institutions and is a member of numerous philanthropic groups. The granddaughter of immigrants from Mexico, Cecilia was raised in San Antonio by parents who were both educators, and who instilled in Cecilia a love of learning and helping others. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology, a Master’s degree in Education and a Master’s degree in Theology from University of St. Thomas in Houston, TX. She was a teacher, vice-principal and principal at several Catholic schools across Texas.
Eugene Sepulveda is the CEO of the Entrepreneurs Foundation, helping entrepreneurs build corporate cultures and promoting entrepreneurship in schools and universities. Mr. Sepulveda’s volunteer leadership roles include serving as President Obama's LGBT Leadership Council co-chair, as co-chair of the DNC's LGBT Council, as treasurer and finance co-chair for Mayor Steve Adler's Election Campaign. He has been recognized as the Best Austin Booster (Austin Chronicle), Best Professor (Alpha Kappa Psi), as a nominee for Outstanding Elective Professor (UT MBA), the Human Rights Campaign’s Lifetime Achievement Award, and was an Austin Under Forty award winner.
Amalia Rodriguez-Mendoza served as Travis County District Clerk for 24 years and is now a consultant with INTRESYS, a software company which provides e-government solutions in 19 states. Ms. Rodriguez-Mendoza is one of the founders of the Hispanic Women’s Network of Texas (HWNT) organization, and was the recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Greater Austin Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. She received the “Community Leadership Circle Award” from the University of Texas at Austin and was featured in the “Backwards in High Heels, Getting Women Elected: 1842-1990” exhibit at the Austin History Center.
Jesús Garza is President and Chief Executive Officer at Seton Healthcare Family, and Senior Vice President, Ascension’s Texas Ministry. Jesus is an experienced manager of complex organizations and is known for implementing strong community partnerships. He was recognized as Public Administrator of the Year by the American Society for Public Administration/Centex Chapter and Public Official of the Year by Governing magazine.
GUIDELINES & ELIGIBILITY
Nominees must have made a significant impact on Central Texas through demonstrable contributions to its advancement.
● Candidates may not be current members of The Hispanic Alliance Board
● They must have contributed to solving critical issues in our community
● They must have played leadership roles in influencing change or bringing leaders together to resolve challenges.
● They must be recognized leaders in their professions and/or in public service.