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MDHCC Celebrates Business Excellence Award Winners

Thursday, January 25, 2018   (0 Comments)
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Seth McDonnell

Maryland Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Celebrates
Business Excellence Award Winners

Baltimore, MD—January 25, 2018—The Maryland Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (MDHCC), the leading chamber of commerce representing and connecting over 60,000 Hispanic-owned businesses in the region, celebrated its fifth annual Business Awards Holiday Gala on January 18, 2018 at the Belvedere Hotel in downtown Baltimore. The sold-out event brought together over 250 professionals and community leaders to celebrate Hispanic achievement in Maryland businesses, most especially for the nine individuals and businesses chosen as 2017’s Business Excellence Award winners.

In the MDHCC’s 32 years of serving Maryland’s Hispanic businesses, the chamber has been privileged to recognize some of the state’s most exceptional organizations and professionals. Among this year’s honorees was the Chairman’s Leadership Award recipient, Jose Ortiz. The owner and founder of a successful business, Allstate Floors, Ortiz was selected for his long record of volunteerism and entrepreneurship. Most recently he freely gave his time and money to support relief efforts in Puerto Rico after the fall 2017 hurricane damage, flying in much needed supplies to the island.

After a rousing keynote address by Baltimore Mayor, Catherine Pugh, MDHCC Chairman, Jorge Eduardo Castillo, and Greater Baltimore Regional Chapter President, Corina Morga presided over the awards. Joining them to announce several of the winners were VIP guests, David Diaz, Vice President of Finance for BGE’s Constellation division, Rafael Olazagasti, Vice President of Wells Fargo, Tom Geddes, C.E.O. of Plank Industries and Roger Campos, Assistant Secretary of the Maryland Department of Housing & Community Development.

“We would like to congratulate all nominees, finalists and winners of the 2017 Business Excellence Awards,” said Castillo. “Your dedication to our businesses and community is commendable. You serve as a shining example of American and Hispanic Exceptionalism. May these recognitions serve as inspiration to many who will follow your footsteps,” he concluded.

The 2017 Business Excellence Awards Winners are:

Outstanding Business of the Year
David Rosario State Farm

Outstanding Corporate Partner of the Year
Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, Baltimore Branch

Outstanding Educator of the Year
Javier Miyares

Outstanding Elected Official of the Year
Prince George’s County Executive, Rushern L. Baker III

Outstanding Non-Profit of the Year
Chesapeake Multicultural Resource Center

Outstanding Professional of the Year
Lieutenant Jae Hwang

Outstanding Small Business of the Year
Los Taxes Franchise

Rising Star of the Year
Gabe Cazares

A special award was presented to Beverlee Barthel, MDHCC Vice Chair and Historian, for her decade of service to the chamber. As she took to the podium to accept the surprise award, she explained that she came to lend her talents as a photographer to the MDHCC because “no one was covering the positive achievements of Latinos, and it made me angry.” Ever since, Barthel has been a key figure in cultivating the positive legacy of Latino businesses and professionals throughout Maryland.

Many other community leaders came together to celebrate the award winners, including Baltimore Mayor, Catherine Pugh; U.S. Senator, Ben Cardin; U.S. Congressman, John Sarbanes; Maryland Delegate, Joseline Peña-Melnyk; MD Department of Commerce Secretary, Mike Gill; Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation-Division of Financial Regulation Commissioner, Antonio Salazar; Anne Arundel County Executive, Steve Schuh; Baltimore County Executive, Kevin Kamenetz; Deputy Secretary of State, Luis Borunda; Walter Electric CEO, Donna Kolb Boesl; Hispanic Officers Law Enforcement Association President, Miguel Rodriguez; Baltimore City Mayor's Office of Small, Minority and Women Business Director, Paul Taylor; Baltimore City Mayor's Office of Immigrant and Multicultural Affairs (MIMA) Director, Catalina Rodriguez Lima; Montgomery CountAll photos courtesy and copyright 2018 Beverlee Barthel Photography and the Maryland Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. All rights reserved.y Small and Minority Business Development Director, Daniel Parra; Anne Arundel Economic Development Corporation Vice President of Communications, Rosa Cruz; PNC Bank Vice-President of Community Development, Lourdes Montes-Greenan; Southern Maryland Minority Chamber of Commerce CEO & President, Doris Camack-Spencer; and MD Chamber of Commerce Vice-President for Government Affairs, Larry Richardson.

Also in attendance were representatives from a range of the area’s leading non-profits, including There Goes My Hero, Catholic Charities Esperanza Center, National Federation of the Blind, Anne Arundel Economic Development Center, The Healing Hands Foundation, El Poder de Ser Mujer, Alzheimer's Association, Maryland Multicultural Youth Centers, Chesapeake Multicultural Resource Center, Maryland STEM Festival, The William & Lanaea C. Featherstone Foundation and Moveable Feast.

The Maryland Hispanic Chamber of Commerce would like to offer a special thank you to all of the Gala Sponsors who made the event such a success: BGE, Wells Fargo, Belvedere & Co Events, the Maryland Department of Housing & Community Development, Sagamore Development, Paychex, AHA! Business Radio, D&N Events, Palomino Media Group LLC, Legacy Photography by Beverlee, DelfinoCo Negocios, Adventure Productions, Cameleon Designs, Chesapeake Employers’ Insurance Company, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, Work Printing & Graphics, University of Maryland University College, Maryland STEM Festival, Walter Electric and Saul Ewing Arnstein & Lehr.


Pictured, from left to right: Corina Morga, GBRC President; Daniel Ramos,

Budget Operations Manager, City of Baltimore and GBRC Vice President; Kelly

King, Ph.D., Baltimore City Fire Department

Pictured, from left to right: Juan Barbaran, MDHCC Vice Chair; Rushern L.
Baker, III, Prince George’s County Executive; Jorge Eduardo Castillo, MDHCC
Chairman; Daisy Rickert, Prince George’s County Latino Affairs Liaison

Pictured, from left to right: Alex Nunez, Vice President at BGE; Steve Schuh,
Anne Arundel County Executive; Dania Schuh; David Vahos, Senior Vice President,
CFO and Treasurer at BGE; David Diaz, Vice President of Finance for Constellation

2017 Outstanding Non-Profit of the Year, Chesapeake Multicultural Resource Center

Keynote Speaker, Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh, addresses the ballroom.

Gala guests raise their glasses to recognize Hispanic achievement in 2017.

All photos courtesy and copyright 2018 Beverlee Barthel Photography and the Maryland Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. All rights reserved.


About the Maryland Hispanic Chamber of Commerce: The Maryland Hispanic Chamber of Commerce is the premier state-wide institution for the representation and advancement of business interests before the public and private sectors. The Maryland Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (MDHCC) focuses on developing a business network that provides the Hispanic community and the business community at large with cohesion and strength. The MDHCC delivers its members with the three proven “P’s” to propel businesses towards success: Promotion, Partnerships and Procurement Advice.

Since its inception, the MDHCC has worked towards bringing the issues and concerns of the state’s thousands of Hispanic-owned businesses to the forefront of the state’s economic agenda. Throughout its 30-year history, the Chamber has enjoyed outstanding working relationships with the state’s Administration, the state legislature and its leaders, Members of Maryland’s Congressional delegation and the current and former White House Administrations. Through its association with a network of local Hispanic Chambers of Commerce and Hispanic business organizations, the MDHCC effectively communicates the needs and potential of Hispanic and non-Hispanic enterprises to the public and private sector. For more information visit

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