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American Latino Influencer Awards Honor National Leaders in San Antonio

SAN ANTONIO, TEXAS - The Friends of the American Latino Museum (FRIENDS), a 501(c)3 exclusively committed to advancing the creation of a national Smithsonian American Latino Museum in our nation’s capital, will host it's annual American Latino Influencer Awards in San Antonio on Saturday, October 24, 2015. Sponsored by Target and AARP, the awards honor Latino pioneers in public service, business, and the arts who have paved the way for new generations of aspiring Latinos.

This year's honorees, who will receive their awards at a ceremony Saturday at Noon at the St. Anthony Hotel, are profiled below. Media members interested in attending the event can contact Jonathan Kent at jkent@rabengroup.com for more details.

Legacy Honorees: The Castro Family, Rosie, Joaquin, and Julian

The Castro Family has paved the way for Latinas and Latinos in politics through their work. Joaquin and Julian became interested in public service at a very young age due to their mother, Rosie Castro. A community mentor, educator, and political and civil rights activist, Rosie helped establish the Chicano political party, La Raza Unida, during the 1970s. Today, she continues to be a very active member within the Latino community through her involvement in several organization, among them the AARP, LatinasRepresent and the Texas Organizing Project.

Both of her twin sons Joaquin and Julian attended Stanford University, majoring in political science, and continued their studies in Harvard Law School. Upon graduation, they worked for a law firm until 2005, when they started their own law practice. Since then, Joaquin served as a representative in the Texas Legislature, where he served as the Vice Chair of the Higher Education Committee and member of the Judiciary and Civil Jurisprudence Committee for ten years (2003-2013). Currently, Joaquin serves in the United States House of Representatives, representing Texas's 20th congressional district since 2013.

Julian, at the age of 26, became the youngest city councilman in San Antonio history in 2001, and became the fifth Latino Mayor of San Antonio in 2009. During his term, he helped the community through different projects such as SA2020 and Coffee College. He ran for re-election and won in 2011 and in 2012, he became the first Latino to deliver the keynote address at a Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina. He ran and won a third time for San Antonio mayor in 2013, and resigned in 2014, becoming the United State Secretary of Housing and Urban Development.

Public Service Honoree: Hope Andrade, Former Texas Secretary of State

Former Texas Secretary of State for the State of Texas, Esperanza “Hope” Andrade was an entrepreneur and business leader in San Antonio before entering politics. She has been recognized by her community for her over three decades of work and leadership by receiving the San Antonio Leadership Hall of Fame Award and the Lifetime Achievement Award from the San Antonio Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.

Andrade was appointed to the Texas Transportation Commission in 2002 and in 2008, she was appointed interim chair of the Commission. In 2008, Andrade became the first Latina woman to hold the office of Texas Secretary of State where she served as Texas’ chief elections officer, chief international protocol officer, and Mexican Border Commerce Coordinator for the Governor. In 2013, she was appointed to the Texas Workforce Commission.

Corporate Pioneer Honoree: Sosa, Bromley, Aguilar & Associates

Lionel Sosa, an advertising and marketing executive and political consultant, opened his graphic design studio, Sosart, after serving in the United States Marine Corps. His small studio, after a partnership, soon became an agency called Ed Yardang. Sosa’s agency proved its success in 1978 when it helped Tower’s campaign attract Hispanic attention and consequently votes. This successful advertising lead to several national companies such as Bacardi and Coors to seek his advice for reaching to Hispanic audiences. In 1980 Sosa created the largest Hispanic advertising agency in the United States -Sosa and Associates,which later became known as Sosa, Bromley, Aguilar & Associates. He is currently retired. E

rnest Bromley, son of a Canadian father and Puerto Rican mother, developed the Acculturation Influence Groups (AIG). This model, which was the agency’s research and Hispanic Marketing approach, challenged conventional thinking and was the foundational model for all language segmentation to date in the industry. In 1985 , after successfully leading the Research/Account Planning department, he was named Chief Operating Officer. In 1990 he became a partner of Sosa, Bromley, Aguilar & Associates holding the Chief Executive Officer position He recently announced the closing of Bromley agency.

Al Aguilar, the third founding member is currently the co-founder and CEO of Creative Civilization. He has recently been nominated as a candidate for the 2015 chairman position for the San Antonio Hispanic Chamber of Commerce due to his agency’s work. Creative Civilization offers a full range of advertising, marketing and public relation services.

Arts & Culture Honoree: Network for Young Artists

Network for Young Artists provides affordable classes in voice, guitar, percussion, keyboard, and dance for San Antonio area youth ages 4-20. Their programs empower youth and help to build self-esteem, self-confidence, and leadership skills. NYA also provides venue opportunities for our youth to showcase their talents through public performances throughout the San Antonio metroplex. The organization was founded in 1999 by Terry “Coach” Lowry, a former educator with the Edgewood Independent School District. Today, NYA has grown from the initial 30 members in 1999 to over 250 with open enrollment throughout the year.

Last year in ceremonies in Houston, Las Vegas and Miami, American Latino Influencer Awards were presented to U.S. Senators Harry Reid and Dean Heller; Miami Symphony Director Eduardo Marturet; Miami Mayor Tomas P. Regalado, Museum of Fine Arts-Houston Curator, Mari Carmen Ramirez; and Nevada Attorney General Catherine Cortez-Masto accepted a posthumous award on behalf of her father, the late Manuel J. Cortez.

Friends of the National Museum of the American Latino, Inc., a 501(c)(3) incorporated in Washington, D.C., strives to create a museum in our nation’s capital to educate, inspire and encourage respect and understanding of the richness and diversity of the American Latino experience within the U.S. and its territories by highlighting the contributions made by Latino leaders, pioneers and communities to the American way of life. (www.americanlatinomuseum.org)


Jonathan Kent