LPM Staff

CPLC dinner honors 5 for achievements

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Patricia Cisneros

A schoolteacher, a government official, a small business banker, a justice of the peace, a longtime activist and an insurance corporation are among honorees at Chicanos Por La Causa’s annual dinner.

The event is scheduled April 26 at Sheraton Wild Horse Pass, 5594 W. Wild Horse Pass Blvd., Chandler. For information, call (602) 257-0700.

Nevitt Elementary schoolteacher Patricia Cisneros will receive the professional achievement award. Cisneros, the subject of a recent fitness story in Latino Perspectives Magazine, is recognized for her dedication, compassion and inspiration to her colleagues, teachers, parents and students. She has been named a Top 5 educator in math and reading skills.

Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Arizona, which employs more than 1,500 throughout the state, won the corporate award. CPLC cited BC/BS for its support of the Latino community through its work with various business and charitable groups to promote improvements in health and welfare, economic development and social services.

First National Bank Senior Vice President Edward Celaya has been designated the small business advocate by CPLC. He has benefited underserved communities with affordable lending programs. Currently he is pursuing construction lending opportunities for affordable homeownership or rental housing projects to help First National meet it Community Reinvestment Act objectives. He also is active in the community, serving as a member of the Arizona-Mexico Commission and as a board member for Exito, Inc., the Downtown Phoenix Community Development Corporation and the Salt River Financial Services Institution.

As Governor Janet Napolitano’s Deputy Chief of Staff for Urban Relations and Community Development, Anna Maria Chavez promotes the Governor’s policies, programs and initiatives through coordination and partnership with city, county and tribal government, federal agencies and community organizations. CPLC is awarding Chavez its community service award. She also advises the Governor on issues impacting the Latino community and was a catalyst for the creation of the Raul H. Castro Institute, which focuses on issues that affect the Latino community.

Winner of CPLC’s community advocacy award is Justice of the Peace Rachel Torres Carrillo. A native of Phoenix, Torres Carrillo has dedicated her life to social services and education, as well as the empowerment of her community. In addition to her many judiciary activities, she takes part in the National Hispanic women’s Conference, and is a graduate of the Hispanic Leadership Institute.

The prestigious lifetime achievement award will be given to Reynaldo “Ray” Gaño. A staunch activist in the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC), Gaño served for 15 years as the organization’s state director. Former President Jimmy Carter tapped Gaño to participate in public deliberations of the Panama Canal Treaty. He later served as a civil rights investigator for the state attorney general’s office before going to work for central Arizona Shelter Services, Inc.

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