The deadline has been extended until Monday, Aug. 15, for nominations for the prestigious awards that will be presented at the annual UMOS Hispanic Awards Banquet coming up in October. UMOS Board Chair Juan Jose Lopez hopes that the people of the city of Madison, in particular, are taking notice.
“It’s important that Latino professionals that are worthy of getting recognized here in Madison and Dane County know about this and send in a nomination,” Lopez tells Madison365. “We just don’t have too many from Madison being nominated, so I strongly encourage people to nominate youths, families, men and women of the year. There is a lot of talent here in Madison that goes unnoticed. There are a lot of people doing great things and great work.”
UMOS, a non-profit advocacy organization based out of Milwaukee, provides programs and services which improve the employment, educational, health and housing opportunities of under-served populations. The UMOS Hispanic Awards Banquet recognizes outstanding Hispanics who have distinguished themselves through their professional and personal accomplishments and/or community involvement throughout Wisconsin. Each year, awards are presented in four categories: Hispanic Man of the Year, Hispanic Woman of the Year, Hispanic Youth of the Year (under the age of 21), and Hispanic Family of the Year.
Lopez says that this year UMOS is especially looking for more youth and family nominations. “We’re looking for people who are making a difference in the lives of the Latino community,” he says. “We’re looking for people who have had leadership roles and who have a long-standing strong reputation and have made strong contributions to the community. We’re looking for young people who are making a difference.”
Lopez cited the 10 talented young Latinos honored at the recent 2016 LUCES Annual Gala Event Scholarship Banquet at the Concourse Hotel as possible nominees. “I would nominate all 10 if I had all of the information on them,” Lopez says. “I think they are worthy. I would nominate many of the youths involved in the Centro Hispano programs, for example.
“It’s not just the youth, though. We have a lot of older people who have done great things here in Madison,” Lopez adds. “People like Sujhey [Beisser], Gloria [Reyes], Fabiola [Hamdan], Rissel [Sanderson], Mayra [Medrano], Dr. Patricia [Tellez-Giron]. [People in the] Latino Health Council and the Latino Education Council. There’s a lot of talent here in Madison. It doesn’t take a long time to nominate people and then just to follow up to make sure everything is complete.”
At last year’s 2015 UMOS Hispanic Awards Banquet awards, Dr. Arturo Martinez won the Man of the Year, Teresa Mercado won the Woman of the Year, Jesse Villarreal won the Youth of the Year Man of the Year, and the Frank and Nancy Gonzales and family won the Family of the Year.
Those who are selected this year will be honored at the 36th Annual UMOS Hispanic Awards Banquet on Saturday, Oct. 29, at Potawatomi Hotel & Conference Center, 1721 W Canal Street in Milwaukee. The evening affair begins with a reception at 5 p.m.; dinner at 6:15 p.m.; and the awards program at 7:30 p.m. The evening will end with music and dancing.
“We’re looking for people who have had a long-standing commitment to the community. Oscar [Mireles] has won. Dora [Zuniga] has won. I have won. Gladis [Benavides] has won. We have several winners from here in Madison,” Lopez says. “I’d like to see several more. You can’t win if you aren’t nominated. We’ve extended the deadline. The competition is fierce, but I hope to see more and more nominations.”
Those who have somebody in mind can access a nomination form right here. Nominees submitted should be Hispanics who have made significant contributions to the quality of life in Wisconsin. The Hispanic Awards Banquet recognizes outstanding Hispanics who have distinguished themselves through their professional and personal accomplishments, and/or community involvement throughout Wisconsin. Nominations must be received by Monday, Aug. 15.
For more information or to make a request for paper submission forms, contact Carmen Lerma at 414-389-6002.