Recognize outstanding LEADERS, ENTREPRENEURS and professionals

 Don Quijote Awards Finalists and Lifetime Achievement Award Recipient Announced

ORLANDO, FL.—November 20, 2014—At a press conference sponsored by Florida Blue today, the Hispanic Business Initiative Fund of Florida, Inc. (HBIF) and the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Metro Orlando announced the Lifetime Achievement Award recipient and the 15 finalists for the 17th Annual Don Quijote Awards.

 The award winners will be announced at the Don Quijote Awards Gala on Saturday, Dec. 6, 2014 at the Epcot World Showplace Pavilion. Each year, the Don Quijote Awards recognize business excellence, dedication to serve and outstanding professionalism among Central Florida’s Hispanic community.

 “This year’s finalists and Lifetime Achievement winners are trailblazers in their respective industries and in our region,” said HBIF President & CEO Augusto Sanabria.  “This group superbly illustrates the scope and economic impact of Hispanics in Central Florida, and each embodies the spirit of Don Quijote de la Mancha in their own way.”

“This event, which has become an annual tradition in our community, is a great celebration for the Hispanic community of Central Florida. We cherish the opportunity to recognize the accomplishments of outstanding business and civic leaders, whose contributions to our community and demonstrated success serve as inspiration to many in our region. We are honored to be part of such an amazing community filled with such amazing people,” said Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Metro Orlando President Diana Bolivar.

Blanquita Trabold will receive the Lifetime Achievement Award for her impact on the Hispanic community in Central Florida. Blanquita first arrived in Orlando 50 years ago at a time when her Mexican heritage and culture made her unique.

The values of culture and compassion are hallmarks of Blanquita’s way of life.  They also serve as the foundation for Blanquita’s work as the executive director of Casa de México. As the nonprofit arm of the Mexican consulate in Orlando, Casa de México is committed to charitable giving and to the promotion of Mexican culture.

In addition to the Lifetime Achievement winner, three finalists were named in each of five categories. The 17th Annual Don Quijote Awards finalists are: 

Hispanic Business of the Year, Five Years or Less
Avilder, LLC
BlackRain Partners, LLC
Monica Oganes & Associates, LLC

Hispanic Business of the Year, More Than Five Years
Allgen Financial Services, Inc.
Deland Bakery

 Professional of the Year

Dr. Cyndia Morales
Elisha Gonzalez Bonnewitz
Lillian H. Aguirre 

Hispanic Community Champion
Helen Donegan
Dr. Kathleen Plinske
Shawn Bartelt

 Excellence Award
Dr. Angel Colón Molero
Dr. Gregor Alexander
Dr. Jesús F. Jara

The Don Quijote Awards are made possible thanks to the support of the Central Florida business community.  The event sponsors include Walt Disney World Resort, Florida Blue, CenturyLink, Darden, Florida Hospital, Orlando Magic, Wells Fargo, Bank of America, Orlando Health, Chase, OUC The Reliable One, and jetBlue, among others. 

For more information on the Don Quijote Awards, please visit www.donquijoteawards.com. 

About the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Metro Orlando

The Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Metro Orlando is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to provide leadership and support the economic development of the Hispanic business community of Metro Orlando. For more information about the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, please visit www.HispanicChamber.net or call 407-428-5870.

About the Hispanic Business Initiative Fund of Florida, Inc.

The Hispanic Business Initiative Fund of Florida (HBIF) is the leading Hispanic economic development, nonprofit organization specializing in providing free bilingual assistance to Hispanic entrepreneurs trying to establish or expand their businesses in the state of Florida. Since 1991, HBIF has promoted the Hispanic entrepreneur, offering programs and creating partnerships to advance economic development and foster job creation. HBIF is headquartered in Orlando and has offices in Miami, Tampa and Kissimmee. For more information, visit www.HBIFFlorida.org or call (407) 428-5872.