OC Latino Movers & Shakers

OC Latino Movers & Shakers

OCHCC to honor Business and Community Leaders with Estrella Awards

The Orange County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (OCHCC) hosts the Estrella Awards every year to continue assisting the Hispanic business community and to recognize the outstanding contributions in the fields of business, community and education. Representatives and community leaders from Orange, Los Angeles, Riverside and San Diego counties attend this event and support the Chamber’s overall goals of advancing the Hispanic community.

2013 winners, to be recognized April 13 at the Disneyland Hotel in Anaheim, include;

Corporate Responsibility:

Wells Fargo


High School Inc.

OCHCC Business Member of the Year:

Diverse Staffing Solutions

Community Based Organization:

Girls Incorporated of Orange County

Orange County Volunteer of the Year:

Viola Myre

Small Business of the Year:

Hispanic Lifestyle

Ambassador of the Year:

Mitch Seigel

Community Service:

Consumer Credit Counseling of Orange County

Education Foundation Partner of the Year:

American Honda Motor Company Incorporated

Lifetime Achievement Award:

Gaddi Vasquez

About the Orange County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and the Estrella Awards – The OCHCC represents the interests Hispanic-owned businesses and provides access to 30,000 of these businesses in Orange County. The Chamber supports the development of these businesses by providing opportunities for networking, legislative advocacy, access to capital, and education and training programs.

The 20th annual black tie Estrella Awards will take place from 6 p.m. to midnight, on Saturday, April 13 at the Disneyland Hotel Grand Ballroom in Anaheim. Wells Fargo will serve as the dinner host sponsor.

Past Estrella award recipients include actors Edward James Olmos, Ricardo Montalban and Tony Plana; media professionals Monica Lozano of La Opinion and Alex Nogales of the National Hispanic Media Coalition; Olympic swimming star Dara Torres; Hispanic community notables Henry Mendoza, of Mendoza, Berger and Company, Adalberto Quijada, Santa Ana District Director of the SBA, and Al Mijares, VP of the Western Region of the College Board; and nonprofits Big Brothers Big Sisters of Orange County and the Santa Ana Saint Joseph Ballet, now the Wooden Floor.

If you’d like more information about the Chamber, or sponsorship and program advertising information for the Estrella Awards,

Please call 714-953-4289

email to mail@hcoc.org


Sonia Sotomayor & Eva Longoria Event to be held on January 26th

Writers Bloc is honored to present United States Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor in conversation with actress and activist Eva Longoria on Saturday, Jan. 26, at 2 p.m. in Beverly Hills.

Each ticket-holder will receive a copy of Justice Sotomayor’s book, “My Beloved World.” The first Hispanic woman to sit on the Supreme Court, Justice Sotomayor tells a story that takes her from housing projects in the Bronx to Ivy League schools. Her remarkable story is one that includes the challenges of family, health, relationships and her astonishing career.

Eva Longoria is a social activist without peer. She has devoted herself to the advancement of Latinos and Latinas, as a producer and as a philanthropist.

Writers Bloc Presents is a nonprofit organization dedicated to fostering the significance and importance of literature and the written word as an art form. It creates and fosters opportunities for dialogue and interaction between the general public and writers, thinkers, public figures and others about reading, writing, literature, the literary process, the role and relationship of literature to music, film and other media, and the relevance and impact of literature on modern society.

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor with Activist Eva Longoria

Saturday, Jan. 26, 2 p.m.

Saban Theater

8440 Wilshire Blvd.

Beverly Hills, CA 90211

Tickets: $45 (includes a copy of the book, “My Beloved World”)

For more information and tickets:


Delhi Center networking opportunity with ‘Twilight’ tours

Delhi Center in Santa Ana is presenting the “Tuesday Twilight Tour” an opportunity to enjoy networking, delicious food and great company.

Delhi Center provides a complimentary, hassle-free tour of their organization. See firsthand how the center is advancing self-sufficiency for local community residents in education, health and wealth.

The “Twilight” tours are a chance to visit with the volunteers and staff that are making an impact in the lives of the participants at the Delhi Center.

Upcoming Tour Dates

January 15, 2013 – 5:30 pm to 6:30 pm

March 19, 2013 – 5:30 pm to 6:30 pm

May 21, 2013 – 5:30 pm to 6:30 pm

July 16, 2013 – 5:30 pm to 6:30 pm

September 17, 2013 – 5:30 pm to 6:30 pm

November 19, 2013 – 5:30 pm to 6:30 pm

For those unable to attend the scheduled tours, Private tours are available and take about 20 minutes.

For more information


Maria Zuniga honored by NAHREP

Carrington Holding Company, a subsidiary Atlantic & Pacific Real Estate LLC, recently announced that Assistant VP/Broker Manager Maria Zuniga of Los Angeles has been named among the top 250 Latino real estate agents in the U.S. on a list published by the National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals (NAHREP).

Ranking 86th on the industry’s first comprehensive list of its kind, Maria was recognized at NAHREP’s Membership & Industry Leaders National Convention, held on October 9 at the J.W. Marriott at LA Live in Los Angeles.

The Top 250 list is the result of an analysis conducted on behalf of NAHREP by an independent consultant who reviewed local market data in key U.S. markets with a high concentration of Hispanics. The performances of more than 10,000 agents, and approximately 100 self-nominated agents, were evaluated based on sales production data for the 2011 calendar year. The resulting list of top-performing agents was created based on total transactions closed.

“Congratulations to Maria for being included on this list of the nation’s top producing Latino real estate agents,” said Gerardo “Jerry” Ascencio, NAHREP president. “With the Latino community emerging as a strong buying force within the nation’s housing market, the significance of this list of top performers is going to grow exponentially.”

“Having Maria honored as one of the nation’s top Latino real estate agents is especially meaningful for Atlantic & Pacific Real Estate, because it allows us to celebrate her impressive professional success while simultaneously promoting the importance of sustaining a diverse agent network to maximize our effectiveness and service levels in various markets,” said Wendy Forsythe, executive vice president and head of global operations for Atlantic & Pacific Real Estate. “More than half of our agents and brokers fall into the ‘culturally diverse’ category, which we believe is one of the key factors driving our rapid growth and success over the past three years.”

Atlantic & Pacific Real Estate is a full-service real estate brokerage that uses its network of licensed real estate agents to manage the sale and purchase of residential properties, with particular experience in maximizing the value of REO properties for sale. APRE works with sellers and buyers of residential properties to manage the contract negotiation, sale and escrow processes. The firm is an equal housing opportunity lender.

Carrington Holding Company owns and operates multiple businesses that cover virtually every aspect of single-family residential real estate transactions – investments in U.S. real estate and mortgage markets, loan origination and servicing, asset management and property preservation, real estate sales and rental, and title and escrow services. With more than three decades of experience and guided by a consistent philosophy, Carrington has built the infrastructure necessary to maximize value during any market cycle.

Sheila E. & Arturo Sandoval to perform alongside Orange County Youth Orchestra

Award-winning 80’s pop-music icon Sheila E. and Grammy Award winning trumpeter Arturo Sandoval will perform at Hope Alive on Sunday, November 11, at 5 p.m. at the Santa Ana High School Auditorium. The show is presented by the New Hope Presbyterian Church and will help support music arts and touch the lives of young musicians from Willard Intermediate and Santa Ana High School.

“The Hope Alive! initiative is what faith is all about,” said Pastor Chineta Goodjoin. “The Music Academy at New Hope affirms the strength of partnership and mission. Last year we had eight students participate. This year, 52!”

Instructors and students from Santa Ana High School and throughout Southern California participated in this academy. Classes were presented in musicianship, vocal technique, sight-reading and ensemble performance. The values of HOPE – Honor, Obedience, Perseverance and Equality – were also emphasized.

This academy culminated with the Hope Alive! Youth Orchestra debuting at an outdoor concert last August, which paved the way for the upcoming November 11 show at Santa Ana High.

“As a strong supporter of music arts programs, I am excited to be a part of Hope Alive! and the vision of New Hope Church to keep music alive in schools,” said Arturo Sandoval. Sandoval came from Cuba, surpassed his childhood dreams as a founding member of the Grammy Award-winning group Irakere, and created his own band in 1981. He began studying classical trumpet at age 12. Today he is an active retiree and a tenured professor from Florida International University, after a prosperous 19 years in the music industry.

Sandoval still works nationally and abroad with the music departments of many universities and institutions, offering several scholarships, music-exercise books, clinics and seminars. In addition, he has given a considerable amount of time working with the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences’ educational program.

Sheila E. has a long list of accomplishments include drummer extraordinaire, percussionist, vocalist, songwriter, arranger, producer, composer and humanitarian. Sheila picked up the drumsticks and began performing at the precocious age of 3, after watching her legendary father, percussionist Pete Escovedo, rehearse. She gave her first solo performance to a live audience two years later and has since established herself as one of the most talented percussionist/drummers and performers in the world.

Her hits such as “The Glamorous Life” and “A Love Bizarre” – as well as her pivotal work on other Prince-related projects – contributed to her international stardom. Especially proud moments include her participation in the “We Are The World” session and a memorable performance on the Oscars with virtuoso Placido Domingo.

Sheila stays heavily involved in charitable organizations as a philanthropist, with her passion as co-founder and chair of the Elevate Hope Foundation, which focuses on the needs of child abuse victims, by promoting music and arts education as an alternative form of therapy.

As for the upcoming performance Sheila says, “Music arts is a gateway to academic success. I support New Hope Presbyterian Church in its mission, and I look forward to making music and sharing the stage with the Hope Alive! Youth Orchestra at Santa Ana High School.”

Tickets are on sale now. VIP tickets, which includes the use of a VIP lounge, are $60. Premium seats go for $40, general admission is $20, and balcony seats are $10.

Jackie Santagadea opens her dream restaurant ‘Peru Peru Grill’

Jackie Santagadea has been warned time again that restaurants fail and the chances of success are very limited. Jackie has never been one for odds, and even as a little girl she dreamed of having her own business. Over the past few months opening her restaurant involved many long hours and sleepless nights. The 23 year-old opened her dream restaurant, Peru Peru Grill, in Anaheim in late July.

Peru Peru Grill is her baby and was renovated step-by-step from an old out-of-date restaurant that was located on Gilbert and Lincoln. The transformation includes a white-walled open space, a bar and artwork by one of her friends that represents the famous giant Peruvian patterns that can only be seen from the sky.

Her grandmother, who went back to Peru earlier this year, will be returning with more artifacts to decorate the restaurant. Jackie is looking forward to her arrival because her grandmother has yet to see the restaurant.

When asked about the Peru Peru Grill’s specialties, she mentions the Lomo Saltado, a traditional Peruvian staple with beef strips, sauteéd with onions tomatoes and large french fries. For those who like spicier faire, there is the Pescado a lo Macho, a seafood plate served in a flavorful Peruvian sauce. Then there is the Peruvian Asian-Pacific-inspired meal, Pescado a lo Oriental, a fish plate prepared in a Teriyaki sauce and served with white rice.

As a smart business owner, Jackie knows that it is important to give back to the community. (On a personal note, she is helping my niece, as noted below.) Besides managing the restaurant, she helps to organize fundraisers and other events, and works with local Anaheim schools to introduce the students to Peruvian culture and food.

Jackie has local musicians come into her restaurant and perform for customers during the evening, including Latin jazz, acoustic guitar and a number of aspiring vocalists.

Jackie was brought to my attention because she will host a night of live comedy and music to help fund a trip abroad to London for a Cal State Fullerton student who will be the first in her family to graduate from college in this spring: my niece Jessica Santana. The event, this Saturday, Oct. 13, is a dinner show with pre-sale tickets only through Rosie Santana (Email Here). The evening will feature six comedians – Sebastian Cetina, Rufus Tanksley, Adee McCovy, Skillz Hudson, Marcella Arguello and headliner Mike “Cochino” Rojas – from 7 to 11:30 p.m. plus a live DJ after the show.

Regino Diaz has a passion for banking and community

In March of 2011, Regino Diaz was appointed to the role of area executive, senior vice president of Bank of America. He is currently responsible for the banking centers in the Orange County and Los Angeles areas. In this role, he leads more than 2,500 associates in 143 banking centers. The area holds $28 billion in deposit balances, processes almost 3 million customer transactions per month and contributes nearly $1 billion in annual portfolio revenue to the organization.

During this Hispanic Heritage Month, Diaz has kept his calendar even busier with outreach programs that are hosting events for the advancement of students, volunteer events, and mentor days with various organizations like the Hispanic Scholarship Fund, YMCA and The United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.

Diaz wasn’t sure he’d end up in banking even though he’d worked with some talented leaders and learned as much as he could as he went along. When he thinks about what drives his passion and inspiration, he notes that it began early on with his dad, who passed away a few years ago. He was a key role model who instilled essential values that contributed to his work ethic.

Prior to his current role as area executive, senior vice president, Diaz was the regional sales executive for Southern California, leading customer acquisition and relationship growth in the market. He joined Bank of America in 1999, and by 2005 he had advanced to the role of consumer market executive.

Diaz is active in the community, and he has realized that his responsibilities at the bank can make a difference for others. He knows that his success can help a great deal.

“It has really hit me over the past couple of years the type of influence I can have, not only in the bank but in the community. That is what drove me to find out what else I could do to be more involved with organizations like OneOC and Susan G. Komen.

Last year Bank of America volunteered more than 30,000 hours to Orange County organizations.  With OneOC, Bank of America has been a supporter and a funder since they were the Volunteer Center of Orange County. Diaz understands that OneOC’s priorities are very similar to Bank of America, which makes them a great fit for the bank.

As for the relationship with Susan G. Komen, Bank of America has been a long-time sponsor; the bank has made donations through their “Pink Ribbon Banking program,” which raises awareness by including pink ribbons on account holders’ debit and credit cards.

When Diaz landed his new role, he and his team made it a priority to get out in force for the Race for the Cure and recruited the largest team with more than 600 teammates. This also coincided with awareness events for bank associates within Orange County, and it was then that Diaz really learned a lot about how this disease impacts so many lives.

And this year he and his teammates are once again coming out in force for the race on Sept. 23. They’re also now doing more partnering with the local Susan G. Komen Orange County affiliate to put on awareness events for customers in underserved areas. Through his involvement Diaz has learned that many low-income areas, including the Hispanic community, have much higher mortality rates because they don’t have access to the services that provide timely diagnoses.

Diaz serves on the boards of OneOC and the Orange County Affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure. Additionally, he co-chairs the business-integration committee for the Orange County Market President at Bank of America.

All of this work is fueled by the memory of his father, says Diaz “My dad immigrated to the U.S. from Mexico as an adult with no money and no English, but he had his education and had earned an engineering degree in Mexico. After arriving here he began with entry-level jobs and went to school to learn English. This eventually gave him the opportunity to work in the engineering field. He kept my brother and I focused on hard work, education and honesty. It was those values that helped me pursue my higher education.”

Diaz graduated from California State University, Fullerton with a bachelor’s degree in finance and a master’s degree in business administration. He also holds a Certified Financial Planner designation.

A Southern California native, Diaz resides in Orange County and is active with his children’s sports teams. He enjoys traveling with his wife and two children.

Hispanic Chamber Convention comes to Southern California

The United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce’s 33rd Annual National Convention, the largest gathering of Hispanic business leaders in America, will take place Sept. 16 to 18 at the JW Marriott L.A. Live hotel in Los Angeles.

The convention features several awards banquets, networking receptions and business development workshops. Each year it brings together more than 5,000 Hispanic business owners, corporate executives, chamber of commerce leaders and public officials.

“Los Angeles is the leading center of commerce and entertainment in America,” says Javier Palomarez, president and CEO of the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (USHCC). “We look forward to facilitating strategic connections among all of our corporate partners and Hispanic Business Enterprises, who represent the fastest growing population and most entrepreneurial segment in America.”

Founded in 1979, the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce actively promotes the economic growth and development of Hispanic entrepreneurs and represents the interests of nearly 3 million Hispanic-owned businesses in the United States that in total generate in excess of $465 billion annually. The USHCC also serves as the umbrella organization for more than 200 local Hispanic chambers of commerce and business associations in the United States and Puerto Rico.

YouTube Video

Celebrating the 3rd Annual OC Film Fiesta September 1-16

The OC Film Fiesta is a free three-week cinematic celebration of Orange County’s multicultural heritage that takes place in Santa Ana’s vibrant downtown Artists Village.

The City of Santa Ana presents the 3rd Annual OC Film Fiesta beginning Saturday, September 1 through Sunday, September 16. The event opens with a free outdoor screening of Akira Boch’s award-winning indie-rock film, “The Crumbles” in Santa Ana’s Artists Village. The Crumbles features original songs by Quetzal Flores. Cast and crew from the film will be in attendance for the screening.

On Sunday, September 2 the International Animation Showcase will be held and the Orange County premiere of “Inocente”, the new documentary from Shine Global the producers of the award-winning film The Harvest/La Cosecha. Inocente is the inspiring tale of a homeless Latina teen whose life is healed, transformed and inspired by art.

Sunday also finds actor/playwright Louie Olivos, Jr. starring in “El Abuelo”. The film is directed by Stephen Crutchfield and screening at Orange County Center for Contemporary Art.

This award-winning 20-minute short film brings the storytelling of emerging director Stephen Crutchfield to the screen.

The narrative of “El Abuelo” follows Nick, a young autistic boy, as he surveys the world in silence, eventually finding an unlikely friend in El Abuelo, an elderly Mexican migrant worker. Through the bond formed in their relationship, Nick’s silence is broken.

The film’s star, Louie Olivos, Jr., will be in attendance for the screening

As in the past two years the event will screen classics such as “Gilda” on Saturday, September 8 at 3:30 p.m. in the Santora Arts Building. This 1946 Rita Hayworth classic follows the sinister boss of a South American casino that finds out his right-hand man Johnny (Glenn Ford) and his sensuous new wife Gilda (Hayworth) already know each other.

On a personal note, Last year’s event had a number of passionate young people involved with the volunteer process, there were families bringing young children to the screenings that gave the event a sincere community connection. The best part as an avid cinephile is how exciting it is to see that the films presented in Santa Ana both new and classic getting the opportunity to be adored by new fans.

Visit their website to get information on all the films and screenings at ocfilmfiesta.org.

The Latina Golfers Association helps to enhance careers

The Latina Golfers Association is hosting a “Girl’s Night Out” Golf Clinic in Orange County. It will be held on Saturday, August 18th from 5:30 – 7:30 p.m. at Black Gold Golf Course in Yorba Linda. The fee is $30 per person with registration beginning at 5:30 p.m. and there will be goodie bags for all.

Network with like-minded women who want to learn to play golf and enhance their careers. No Golf Experience Needed! They provide the golf clubs and golf balls. You’ll learn the basic fundamentals of the golf swing and putting from a PGA certified instructor. There will also be complimentary chair massages by Michelle Garcia (The OC Den) before and after the golf clinic.

The mission of the Latina Golfers Association is to introduce women from all over to the game of golf, for their professional development, to establish a healthy lifestyle and for their personal enjoyment

Since 2008 the Latina Golfers Association has introduced hundreds of women to the game of golf. Maybe that is because it is FREE to join the association. Once a new member has joined they receive newsletters and announcements about the many upcoming activities.

Women from all walks of life including attorneys, corporate professionals, entrepreneurs, doctors, educators, housewives, media professionals and students have joined the LGA network. The LGA hosts golf events throughout the United States.

It is your chance to learn the proper stance, how to grip and hold a golf club as well as other basics of golf in a fun and inviting atmosphere. You can find out more information at www.facebook.com/latinagolfersassociation.