The Hispanic Heritage Month Gala, held for the fourth consecutive year by the Hispanic Media publishing group, was celebrated in an intimate atmosphere, but with the warmth of the Latino community.
The event recognized the work of five outstanding figures representing the Hispanic community and was held under the Fashion Mask modality to guarantee the safety of the attendees. The Tierra Colombiana restaurant served as the stage for the remarkable ceremony.
The introductory words were delivered by Lissy G who reminded the audience of the importance of maintaining safe conditions during the reception: use of masks and social distance. She extended her thanks to Hispanic Media, El Sol Latino, the sponsors, Telemundo and Prospanica.
“We are experiencing strange signs in today’s world,” with these words Ricardo Hurtado, CEO of Hispanic Media and main architect of the award, began his speech. He welcomed the ceremony which circumstances forced to be held in an atmosphere of intimacy and which aroused mixed feelings. Hurtado expressed that on the one hand, there is a deep gratitude for continuing to live and work but also remains the memory of those who left due to the impact of the pandemic.
Hurtado, used his intervention to refer to the difficult circumstances conjured up by the current complex reality “It is a moment of challenges that we are living”. He pointed out as examples, the protests of the “Black Lives Matter” movement, the looting and the alarming increase in crime. This is a worrying social scenario that is happening not only in Philadelphia, but also in the main cities of the country.
However, in his opinion, with the right attitude we will all come out of this crisis stronger. Hurtado assured that the Hispanic Media team will continue to work tirelessly for the interests of the Hispanic community and that part of that work is to promote and highlight the work of personalities and leaders of the Latino community who have done an outstanding work within society.
He next introduced the first award-winning personality.
The Hispanic Heritage Month Gala photo gallery can be viewed by clicking HERE
Sylvie Gallier Howard
Director of Commerce at City of Philadelphia Sylvie Gallier Howard, said the last seven months have been a hard work for her management due to the enormous challenge posed by the pandemic. But instead of listing the details of her work, she decided to focus her intervention by sharing principles that reflect her personal values.
Among them are living life with intensity, loving family, friends and work. Challenge oneself without fear of failure. Enjoy the pleasures of life. Marvel at nature. Cultivate confidence, laughter and make friendships with different types of people.
Gallier paid special attention to the last principle of her personal guidance, which she said considers of great relevance for today’s difficult times. “Overcome the blows of life. Find the courage. Have faith. Time heals the wounds.”
The next winner was the famous coach, influencer, entrepreneur and media personality of Cuban origin, Ismael Cala, who unfortunately could not attend the event but who was present through a video that he shared with the audience.
The prolific journalist thanked the award and highlighted that the recognition commits him even more as a “communicator, human being and Latino” to serve the interests of the Hispanic community.
Next on the stage came Philadelphia’s award-winning Governmental Affairs Manager-Philadelphia for PECO, José Aguirre. The successful Nicaraguan-born manager shared his personal vision of the responsibilities that include being the leader of a corporation or business.
He underlined the ability to learn from the members his/her responsibility and not to insist that his/her is the only way to perform the tasks. “The leader asks for help when he/she needs it and doesn’t blame others when plans don’t work out,” Aguirre said.
Jennifer Gómez Hardy
The next recognized personality was Jennifer Gómez Hardy, President of the Hispanic Bar Association of Pennsylvania. Gómez Hardy pointed out upon receiving the award that Latin X lawyers represent only 4% of the legal profession in the United States and that of the 75,000 active lawyers in the Commonwealth, only a little more than a thousand are Latinos. This situation is “unacceptable” in her opinion.
She also called for voting and for candidates to address the most urgent issues affecting the Latino community.
María del Pilar Morales
The award ceremony closed with recognition of the famous Latina influencer and host on La Mega 105.7, María del Pilar Morales. The journalist expressed that her task is not really a job, but a daily activity that she enjoys to the fullest. “I have been in the media for 31 years and I have to enjoy it,” she said with satisfaction and pride.
Morales confessed that the beginning of the pandemic generated the possibility of closing the radio station. But she strongly opposed to such measure because during this difficult situation “people need us more than ever and I need them.” Three months later the station’s rating had tripled.
The Puerto Rican radio host also received the Lifestyle Achievement Award in recognition of her three decades of work and service to the Latino community.
Lina Gómez, Vice President of Operations for Hispanic Media, was in charge of the closing remarks of the ceremony. She thanked the guests for attending the event and reaffirmed the presence of Hispanic Media in the market during its 27 years of successful history.
Gómez emphasized the social projection of the medium. “It has been an honor for us to support our community during this pandemic, educating, promoting and communicating in a door-to-door work”.
Among the participants were State Representative Danilo Burgos and Councilmember David Oh, who was in charge of delivering additional recognitions granted by the Philadelphia Council to the personalities honored at the event.
The gala that honored the important Hispanic heritage culminated with an invitation for attendees to enjoy an exquisite dinner that served as a perfect ending to an evening that inspired hope and optimism in Philadelphia’s Latino community.