The Joseph A. Unanue Latino Institute's annual La Gala, one of the Institute's most anticipated events of the year, will take place at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, October 24, 2019 at the New York Athletic Club. All proceeds raised from this annual event benefit the Institute's scholarship endowment supporting initiatives including, but not limited to, scholarship aid, cultural programs, professional development and leadership training and outreach programs for first generation college students.
La Gala will be hosted by Rafael A. Pacheco, presenter at the National Broadcasting Company's (NBC) Telemundo, and Adriana Vargas, news anchor of Univision.
At the gala, three talented, Latino leaders representing the business, diplomacy and banking industries will be honored for their accomplishments.
The Excelencia Award, awarded to a Latina who has achieved superior accomplishments in her corporate field, will be given to Stacie de Armas, vice president of strategic initiatives and consumer engagement at Nielsen. De Armas has 23 years of communication and media experience and was named one of Latina Style Magazine's Top Latina Executives in 2014.
The Magno Award, previously known as the Lider Award, which is presented to a Latino who has achieved superior accomplishments within his corporate field, will be given to Jeffrey Martinez, executive vice president of PNC Bank. Martinez is responsible for retail bank distribution across 145 branches in New Jersey.
The Humanitarian Award, given to a philanthropic Latino individual who has devoted his or her life to public service, will be given to Claudia Romo Edelman, special adviser at the United Nations and the We Are All Human Foundation (WAAHF). Edelman is the founder of the WAAHF, a non-profit organization that is steadfast in advancing the agenda of diversity. An advocate for change, Edelman pushes for inclusion and equity to help unify the U.S. Hispanic community.
According to the Institute: "La Gala is dedicated to our Latin and Hispanic roots and students whose lives are impacted by the generosity of others. It is an event that draws inspiration from outstanding Latino leaders, scholars and humanitarians in our community. A night filled with dinner, dancing and silent auction bidding is to be anticipated."
Previous Latino Institute galas have incorporated themes such as Caribe and Rumba, honoring such accomplished Latino leaders as Bishop Manuel Cruz of the Archdiocese of Newark and Ernie Diaz, Executive Vice President for TD Bank.
The Unanue Latino Institute was created through a charitable gift from Joseph and Carmen Unanue in 2005. Joseph A. Unanue, the eponym of the institute, was the former CEO of Goya Foods. His vision was to further the Institute's influence to inspire students in the Latino and Hispanic community to reach their fullest potential. Currently, the Unanue Latino Institute continues to execute Joseph's mission of advancing, educating, and transforming Latino students into the next generation of leaders – equipped for professional life, eager to serve others and proud of their lineage.