By Angela Barbosa
On February 5, Latinos United for Professional Advancement (LUPA), a professional organization that seeks to raise the profile of the Latino business community in Connecticut, held the Connecticut’s 50 Most Influential Latinos in 2014 recognition ceremony at the Lyceum Resource & Conference Center in Hartford.
According to a 2010 report from the U.S. Census Bureau, Latinos represented 94 percent of Connecticut’s population growth over the past decade.
LUPA’s founder, Héctor Bauzá, CEO of Bauzá & Associates, whose work at the organization is voluntary, proudly highlighted the power of Latino influence and the importance of continuing to work hard and giving back to the community.
“LUPA’s recognition is about helping the community to get stronger and helping Connecticut’s growth. What we like about the 2014 LUPA recipients is that they come from all walks of life -policemen, teachers, social workers, nonprofit directors, entrepreneurs/CEO’s, and politicians – a true group of community members.”
Keynote speaker, Lieutenant Governor Nancy Wyman, emphasized the words of LUPA’s founder by congratulating the 50 “Lupians” and recognizing the importance of Latino organizations, their leadership, support and dedication, and the benefits they bring to the community.
The Lt. Governor also presented the Lupian of the Year Award to Ingrid Álvarez-DiMarzo, the state director of the Hispanic Federation of Connecticut.
Among the fifty LUPA Awardees were Joan Cruz, Director of Special Projects at the Hispanic Health Council, Emanuela P. Leaf, LAPRAC Commissioner and Editor of Tribuna Newspaper, Sandra Treviño, Executive Director of Junta for Progressive Action, Carlos Valenzuela, Executive Director of the Hispanic Center of Greater Danbury, Rick Cruz, Chair of The Greater Bridgeport Latino Network and other recipients from different parts of the state.
Regarding how to nominate a candidate to be part of the Connecticut’s 50 Most Influential Latinos list, Bauzá explains that the process is simple. “We start the nomination process in November. People can get the information by login to LUPA’s Facebook page, lupanetworking, and nominate the person they understand deserves the recognition – the more nominations, the better. A team gathers all the information and selects the final list.”
“Sometimes we are so involved in the day to day that we don’t stop to analyze and understand our role and the importance of that role in our communities. These awards are intended to recognize the excellent labor Latinos are doing in the community and in their jobs,’ said Bauzá. “It is good to stop and celebrate that you are making a difference and people see you as a catalyst of change in our communities. Celebrate; enjoy the moment and keep helping others change lives.”
Ready to use the power of social media platforms to share information and network with multiple people at one time, LUPA has a Facebook page, a Twitter account and a LinkedIn account for their followers to join, stay connected to fellow group members and remain aware of LUPA happenings.
Congratulations to all recipients of the 2014 LUPA’s 50 Most Influential Latinos in Connecticut awards!