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April 12, 2007 - DHCC Honors Community Leaders

What: 21st annual Denver Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Meeting and Business Awards Luncheon

Where: Seawell Ballroom, Denver Center for the Performing Arts

When: Thursday April 12, 2007

Time: 11:30 a.m.

Beneficiary: Denver Hispanic Chamber of Commerce

Honoree(s): Ivette Dominguez, Jerry Natividad, Detective Virginia Quinones, Perla Gheiler, Gracie Casias, Zee Ferrufino

EMCEE: Channel 7's Ann Trujillo

Co-Chair(s): Luis Colon, Denise Maes

President(s): Jeffrey M. Campos

Staff: Jeffrey Campos, Stephen Hazel, Ann Bayles, Patricia Mejia, Erika Reyes, Renee Sadler, Estella Juarez, Rafael Medina, Monica Rodriguez, Margarita Garcia

Introductions: Anna Trujillo KMGH Channel 7

Invocation: Rev. Father Jorge De Los Santos, CRS Vicar for Hispanic Ministry

Welcome: Ranger Duran, Regional V.P. American Family Insurance

Speaker: Eric Carson, Michael Barrera

Sponsors: American Family Insurance, US Bank, Allstate, BW&E, Cisco, Kaiser Permanente, Metropolitan State College of Denver, Source One Management Inc., MoneyGram International

Menu: Vintners salad, champagne chicken with almonds, key lime tarts, turtle cheesecake

Attendance: 700+

Attire: business casual

Event Coordinator: Estella Juarez

Planning Committee: Florence Diaz, Ivan Frias, Marcia-Lena Hernandez, Cynthia Macias, Mark McCory, Johana Mendoza, Stephanie Miller, Ricardo Small, Sydney Strausheim, Diana Torres, Gabriel Torres, Rashad Younger

Board of Directors: Luis Colon, Denise Maes, Martha Rubi, Don Pacheco, Ismael Guerrero, Jeffrey Campos, Patricia Barela Rivera, Mario Carrera, L.G. Chavez, Nolbert Chavez, Steve DelCastillo, Greg Feasel, Mike Ferrufino, Mario Hernandez, Maria Isquierdo, Christine Johnson, Dr. Craig Keyes, Michelle Leach, Monique Lovato, Larry Martinez, Keith Montoya, Daniel Ortiz, Ric Padilla, Tim Padilla, Carlos Rocabado, Ron Schnur, Gary Schraufnagel, Elizabeth Suarez, Debbie Trujillo, Ginny Williams

Blacktie Photos by: Christine Cool

 Chairman of the Board Luis Colon, Business Woman of the Year recipient Ivette Dominguez, Corporate Advocate of the Year recipient Perla Gheiler  and President and CEO of the DHCC Jeffery Campos
Chairman of the Board Luis Colon, Business Woman of the Year recipient Ivette Dominguez, Corporate Advocate of the Year recipient Perla Gheiler and President and CEO of the DHCC Jeffery Campos

On Thursday April 12, over 700 people gathered at the Seawell Ballroom at the Denver Performing Arts Center to join the Denver Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (DHCC) in celebrating their 21st annual meeting and business awards luncheon presented by American Family Insurance.

The event gave attendees the chance to network with other businessmen and women as well as enjoy an elaborate lunch of champagne chicken with almonds and a choice of key lime tarts or turtle cheesecake. More importantly, the event gave the DHCC a chance to recognize six truly remarkable leaders who have been advocates of the Hispanic businesses and communities of Denver.

Ivette Dominguez was awarded the Business Woman of the Year award. As President of Alpine Buick Pontiac and GMC, Ivette has used her knowledge and experience to increase profit margin as well as break down stereotypes within a male-dominated industry.

This year's Businessman of the Year was awarded to Jerry Natividad, president and CEO of American Facility Services Group. Mr. Natividad has also donated much of his time to community service programs, including sitting on the advisory board for the Denver Urban Renewal Authority and the University of Colorado School of Business. But these are just two programs of a long list of organizations Natividad has donated his time and energy to.

The Government Advocate of the year was awarded to Detective Virginia Quinones of the Denver Police Department. Quinones has been employed for the police department for the past 18 years. Currently she is the public information officer, serving as the liaison between the department and the community.

Perla Gheiler was awarded the DHCC’s Corporate Advocate of the Year. Gheiler is the Multicultural Market Developer for American Family Insurance. It is her job to oversee multicultural sponsorships, special events and community activities.

Gracie Casias was this year's recipient of the Chamber Advocate of the Year award. Casias works as the business development specialist for Title Guaranty Agency of Colorado, whose mission is to provide clients the things they need to achieve the American dream of home ownership.

When deliberating on who would receive the DHCC’s Lifetime Achievement Award, the name that kept coming up was that of KBNO Radio President and CEO Zee Ferrufino. Ferrufino has been a prominent businessman and philanthropist in Denver for the last few decades.

It was a successful year, and DHCC looks forward to new challenges and successes in the future. For more information, log on to

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