2017 Estrella  Awards

LATINO Magazine celebrated Veteran’s Day by recognizing Latino veterans in corporate America.  The second annual ESTRELLA Awards were presented during a luncheon at the Austin Hilton that included veterans, community leaders, members of the Greater Austin Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (GAHCC) and representatives of Hilton and BP.

“We all owe a debt to the men and women who serve our country to provide them with good jobs,” said LATINO Publisher Alfredo Estrada, “and so does corporate America. But it’s also good business. With their unique leadership skills and training, Latino veterans have a tremendous economic contribution to make.”

The luncheon began with a welcome by Luis Rodriguez, the new president and CEO of the GAHCC, which partnered with LATINO to present the event. Other speakers included Nora Comstock, founder of Las Comadres, an international networking organization for Latinas. The audience also heard from Maggie Rivas-Rodriguez,  a professor at the University of Texas School of Journalism. In 1999, she founded the Voces Oral History Project, which has videotaped interviews with Latino veterans around the country

The first company recognized for its support of veterans was Hilton. The award was presented by Robert Watson, General Manager, to Paul Delgado, who served in the Air Force from 1987-1997, and is an employee at the Hilton Austin. The second ESTRELLA Award was presented by Karen Moreno, BP, on behalf of Erika Castillo, last year’s honoree. Erika is a Navy veteran who deployed in the Persian Gulf as well as Afghanistan. Her current position is Executive Admin for the VP of PCSM, Global Projects Organization at BP. This year’s award recipient was Carl Salazar, appointed by Mayor Annise Parker as Director of Veterans Affairs for the City of Houston in 2013. He continues in this role with Mayor Sylvester Turner’s administration, working on behalf of veterans and their families, ensuring Houston remains a national leader for support to those who served.  Carl is a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis and an 11-year Navy veteran.

Many thanks to all who attended the 2017 ESTRELLA Awards, including our partners Hilton and BP; the GAHCC, People’s Community Clinic and Las Comadres; and Latino veterans everywhere.