Outstanding businesses, professionals vie for Don Quijote Awards
Orlando, FL. — The Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Metro Orlando (HCCMO) and Prospera revealed the finalists for the 25th Don Quijote Awards, recognizing their accomplishments and contributions to the growth and development of the community for the four categories, along with this year’s Lifetime Achievement and Hispanic Community Champion award recipients.
This year’s list of finalists includes several Puerto Ricans living in this Central Florida region.
Gaby Ortigoni, CEO of HCCMO, and Katia Medina, regional vice president of Prospera discussed the legacy and hard work of the Hispanic leaders and entrepreneurs, as the event marks its 25th anniversary of recognizing Hispanic businesses and professionals.
“They made a great impact on the economy of Central Florida,” said Ortigoni, while Medina added that this event signature — the gala — “is one of the best attendees’ events in this community gathering more than one thousand guests in one night where they will announce the winners.”
All three finalists in the “Professional of the Year” category — Adriana Cadilla, Infectious Disease Physician at Nemours Children’s Hospital; Migdalia Figueroa, president and general Manager for Telemundo Orlando at NBCUniversal Telemundo Enterprises; and Luis Nieves-Ruiz, Director of Economic Development at East Central Florida Regional Planning Council are Puerto Ricans living and working in Central Florida, News is my Business confirmed.
“As a Hispanic, a person who has been in the community for so many years, it is an honor to be among so many talented people,” said Bob Cortes, former State Representative, senior administrator for Government Affairs for the Seminole County Sheriff’s Office.
Cortes and Major Carlos Torres, who are both Puerto Rican, are finalists for the “Excellence Award” category.
“It is an immense [source of] pride, to be Hispanic and as a public servant to be recognized for many years contributing to our community. It is not only an achievement for me but for our culture, and our Hispanic people,” said Torres, Uniform Patrol Division at Orange County Sheriff’s Office.
The “Hispanic Community Champion” and “Lifetime Achievement” awards recipients are uniquely chosen by the Don Quijote Awards Selection Committee.
The winner of the 2022 Don Quijote Hispanic Community Champion Award is Michael Burkett, president at Florida Technical College (FTC) — one of Florida’s largest trade schools with seven campuses across the state, and its sister school Dave School.
This year’s “Lifetime Achievement” award goes to Modesto Alcalá, senior vice president of Global Restaurant Development and Placemaking for Universal Creative at Universal Orlando Resort.
HCCMO has more than 1,650 members and is one of the largest in the region and one of the most-recognized Hispanic chambers in the nation. In the last five years alone, Prospera has facilitated more than $60 million in loans, trained more than 20,000 entrepreneurs, and helped consulting clients create or retain more than 16,000 jobs.
It has offices in Florida’s north-central, south, and west coast regions and other states like North Carolina and Georgia.
The 2022 Don Quijote Awards finalists are:
“Hispanic Business of the Year” (established for five years or less):
- Guacamole Mexican Grill, Inc, represented by owners Diego Rojas and Gustavo Aristizabal;
- Samantha’s Walls, LLC, represented by owner Samantha Senf; and,
- Unik Title, LCC, represented by owner Lynette Quinones.
“Hispanic Business of the Year” (established for five years or longer):
- Competitive Edge Partners & Consulting, represented by owner Debbie Rodríguez;
- Lim Law, PA, represented by owner Henry Lim; and,
- SkyBuilders USA, represented by company owners Marcela Restrepo and Juan Vélez.
“Professional of the Year:”
- Adriana Cadilla, Infectious Disease Physician at Nemours Children’s Hospital;
- Migdalia Figueroa, president, and general Manager for Telemundo Orlando at NBCUniversal Telemundo Enterprises; and,
- Luis Nieves-Ruiz, director of economic Development at East Central Florida Regional Planning Council.
- Josephine Balzac Arroyo, assistant professor of Social Entrepreneurship at Rollins College;
- Former State Rep. Bob Cortes, senior administrator for Government Affairs for the Seminole County Sheriff’s Office; and,
- Maj. Carlos Torres, Uniform Patrol Division at Orange County Sheriff’s Office.
The winner of each category will be announced Dec. 10, at Epcot’s World Showplace Pavilion.