Dec. 11, 2017 – Prospera (prosperausa.org) and the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Metro Orlando (hccmo.org) co-hosted, for the twentieth consecutive year, the annual Don Quijote Awards gala. The event, whose top sponsors are Walt Disney Parks and Resorts and Florida Blue, took place on Dec. 9 at Epcot’s World Showplace Pavilion. The gala has become the premier event for the region’s Hispanic business community, where businesses and individuals are recognized for their vision, courage and impact on Central Florida—qualities exemplified by the classic literary character of Don Quijote.
A selection committee chose the winners among community nominees, based on professional accomplishments, financial success and growth, innovation, contributions to industry and community, demonstrated leadership, and professional honors and recognition. The 20th Don Quijote Awards recipients are:
- Lifetime Achievement: Yolanda Londoño
- Hispanic Business of the Year, Five Years or Less: Hispanic Family Counseling, Inc.
- Hispanic Business of the Year, More than Five Years: Advanced IT Concepts, Inc.
- Professional of the Year: Dr. Adalberto Torres, Jr., Nemours
- Excellence: Adriana Comellas-Macretti
- Hispanic Community Champion: Dr. Ron Piccolo, University of Central Florida College of Business Administration Department Chair
“It has been my privilege to serve as Chair of the 20th Don Quijote Awards,” said Senator Mel Martinez. “Central Floridahas been my home, my workplace and my community, and I am proud to be part of an event that recognizes and celebrates talent, service and leadership in our region’s Hispanic business community. I have witnessed the partnership between the Hispanic Chamber and Prospera throughout the years, and the positive impact of their work in Hispanic-owned businesses and our community at large.”
The 2017 gala featured a red carpet as guests entered the cocktail reception, talented performers throughout the event from Disney and the community, a live band and DJ after the program, and a special tribute in honor of the unsung heroes of recent disasters, as well as the reconstruction of Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria’s devastation.
The 20th Don Quijote Awards were possible thanks to the support of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, Florida Blue, Florida Hospital, Orlando Magic, Universal Orlando Resort, Wells Fargo, Bank of America, CenturyLink, Orlando Health, Fields Auto Group, JPMorgan Chase, UPS, Univision Orlando, 98.1 Salsa y Más, AT&T, Herzing University, Nemours, OUC – The Reliable One, Tupperware Brands, University of Central Florida, and more sponsors. Learn more at donquijoteawards.com.