Austin Hispanic Chamber names 2015 business award recipients
By Greg Barr
The Greater Austin Hispanic Chamber of Commerce doled out its 2015 business awards Aug. 29 at its annual ‘Celebrando’ gala, honoring recipients in several categories, including top entrepreneurs.
The 42nd-annual event attracted 800 attendees at the Hyatt Regency.
Mark Madrid, the chamber’s CEO, spoke to the crowd several times, using the gala’s theme, “On the Move,” as his starting point to talk about the rapid growth of Hispanic-owned businesses in the area, and their growing contributions to the economic vitality of the region.
Both Madrid and Austin Mayor Steve Adler referenced this week’s controversy over a proposal by a City Council member that would cut city funding to chambers of commerce. Representatives of the Hispanic Chamber and other local chambers were at City Hall on Aug. 27 to protest the proposal, while Adler, during his remarks to the crown at the gala, said that the funding reduction “isn’t going to happen.”
This year’s award winners included:
• Lifetime Achievement Award: The husband and wife team of Lupe and Joe Morin. Married for 42 years, the Morins said they have been involved in chamber activities for as long as they can remember. Joe Morin is now manager, business incentives with the Governor’s Office Economic Development Bank, and was president of the Texas Association of Mexican American Chambers of Commerce for 15 years; Lupe is executive director of the Hispanic Women’s Network of Texas. They urged Hispanic business owners and entrepreneurs to mentor the next generation of Latino entrepreneurs;
• Hispanic Business of the Year: El Rey Network, the English-language cable television channel now in its second year of operation founded by Austin filmmaker Robert Rodriguez. Accepting the award on Rodriguez’ behalf was Cecilia Conti, El Rey’s vice president of marketing;
• Hispanic Male Entrepreneur of the Year: Michael Torres, president and CEO, Greenworld Restoration;
• Hispanic Female Entrepreneur of the Year: Juany Tellez, owner, Juany Cleaning Service;
• Corporation of the Year: Google Inc.;
• Chair’s Award: Rosemary Banda, administrative coordinator, 3M;
Source: Austin Business Journal