Lupe Martinez, president and CEO of United Migrant Opportunity Services (UMOS), was recently inducted into the Association of Farmworker Opportunity Programs (AFOP) Farmworker Advocate Hall of Fame.
Other Hall of Fame inductees honored at the AFOP 2017 National Conference in Las Vegas Sept. 19-21 included Arturo Lopez, Luis Esparza, Ernie Flores, Velma Smith, and Franklin Montgomery. “I am honored to receive this recognition from my peers and humbled to be among such distinguished honorees,” Martinez said.
Martinez has devoted his entire 48-year professional career to improving the living and working conditions of migrant and seasonal farm workers while advocating for under-served populations at the local, state, and national level. Martinez has been president of UMOS, the largest Hispanic-managed, non-profit in the state, since 1974. UMOS provides programs and services which improve the employment, educational, health and housing opportunities of under-served populations.
Martinez serves as chairman of the National Farmworker Alliance; chair of MAFO, a national partnership of farmworker and rural organizations; president of the Wisconsin Farmworkers Coalition; and interim chair of the Governor’s Council on Migrant Labor in Wisconsin. He also serves on the board of EMPLOY Milwaukee Workforce Investment Board.
“Mr. Martinez is more than deserving of this lifetime recognition,” said Jeffery Lewis, president of the AFOP board of directors. “He has dedicated his entire professional career to helping those in need, in particular, those who toil to yield America’s harvest.”
AFOP has been an advocate for migrant and seasonal farmworker in the United States since 1971. AFOP’s mission is to improve the quality of life for migrant and seasonal farmworkers and their families by providing advocacy for the member organizations that serve them.
“As a former migrant farmworker myself, striving to improve the working and living conditions of migrant and seasonal farmworkers has been a lifelong mission,” Martinez said. “Yet, we still have a lot more work to do.”