In observance of the National Hispanic Heritage Month, La Movida 1480AM, Mid-West Family Broadcasting, and the Latino Chamber of Commerce will host the 7th Annual Hispanic Heritage Luncheon Celebration Wednesday, Oct. 11, at the Monona Terrace Community and Convention Center.
“We are on our 7th year already. Can you believe it? Remember when we started this at the Warner Park Community Center? asks Lupita Montoto, co-owner of La Movida Radio. “We have really grown.”
The 7th Annual Hispanic Heritage Luncheon Celebration is an opportunity for La Movida to honor seven outstanding Madisonians for their work in the community.
“There are so many amazing people doing wonderful things for our community right now,” Lupita Montoto says. “These are people who are really working hard and care so much about the community. It’s very hard to pick just one for each category. We have so many great people to choose from.”
The 7th Annual Hispanic Heritage Luncheon awardees are as follows:
◆ Community Institution of the Year: Madison Metropolitan School District – Jennifer Cheatham, Ed. D., Superintendent
◆ Community Leader of the Year: Jessica Cavazos – President and CEO of the Latino Chamber of Commerce
◆ Hispanic Achievement of the Year: Jason González – Mayor, City of Fitchburg
◆ The Amigo Award: Damon Zumwalt – Owner and Promoter of Los Dells Festival
◆ Hispanic Entrepreneurs of the Year: Dr. Daniel and Scarlett Tataje – Owners of Middleton Family Dental
◆ Making a Difference Award: Verónica Figueroa – Executive Director, UNIDOS Against Domestic Violence
◆ Believe and Succeed Award: Lilliam Post – Bilingual and Educational Coordinator, Catholic Multicultural Center
“Look at Lilliam Post. She has been working so hard for so many years helping people find jobs and helping families. She’s somebody who I think that has never really been recognized. I felt like she had to be an awardee this year,” Lupita Montoto says. “I think we have a good list of awardees. Latinos are definitely making an impact in our community
“Looking at the list of awardees, we really like the diversity,” she adds. “Lilliam Post is from Nicaragua. Veronica Figueroa is from Puerto Rico. Dr. Daniel and Scarlett Tataje are from Peru. Damon Zumwalt is from San Diego originally. Jason Gonzalez is from Wisconsin. Jessica Cavazo is originally from Texas – she’s Texican.
Over the years, the Annual Hispanic Heritage Luncheon has become the place to be for Latinos and non-Latino leaders alike in the greater Madison community. Leaders and representatives of local Latino and non-Latino institutions are expected to attend including special guests, Madison Mayor Paul Soglin, Fitchburg Mayor Jason González, and members of the City of Madison and Fitchburg Common Council who will give the proclamation for the event.
“A lot of the big events that we host have large Latino audiences but the Hispanic Heritage Luncheon has people from all kinds of backgrounds,” Lupita Montoto says.
But who’s idea was this to have this big Hispanic Heritage Month Luncheon celebration? Luis? Lupita?
“Actually, to be honest with you, back then we were chatting with [Mid-West Family Broadcasting] general sales manager Ted Waldbillig and he was talking with us about new ideas and new promotions for the station that we could do and he mentioned doing something for Hispanic Heritage Month,” Lupita Montoto says. “And we started brainstorming from there.”
Attorney Mario Mendoza of Murphy Desmond S.C. will once again serve as master of ceremonies for the event. This year’s keynote speaker will be Cónsul Julián Adem Díaz de León, Consulate of México in Milwaukee.
“Last year, we had [Centro Hispano Executive Director] Karen [Menendez Coller as keynote speaker] and she was just great and she focused on the achievements and culture and values of Latinos in our community,” Lupita Montoto says. “This year, thinking about everything that is happening with immigration and the sadness because of the DACA news, we thought it would be a great to have Julian to come and speak. He’s great. We have a great relationship with him. He agreed to do La Viva Mexico Festival for us last year and again this year, too.”
Luis Montoto, co-owner of La Movida Radio, says that he hopes that events like the Hispanic Heritage Luncheon help create awareness of Latino culture.
“Events like this show that we are so much more than tacos and chimichangas and Coronas. We’re a very diverse community who is making an impact in this community and in the United States,” he says. “We really want to highlight the Latino community with this event and to reinforce that the Latino community has always been here. We didn’t just get here. There are 3rd, 4th, and 5th generation Latinos in the United States. I think that’s great.
“This event is a fun way to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month,” he adds. “One of the things that I really enjoy about the Hispanic Heritage Month Lunch is that we recognize non-Latinos that help our community and help many communities. I think we’re a melting pot here in Madison and here in the United States. It’s fun when we all come together to celebrate.”