Chicago Fire Honor 11 of Chicago Most Influential Hispanic Leaders at Hispanic Heritage Night at Toyota Park

CHICAGO, IL (Sept. 2, 2012) – The Chicago Fire Soccer Club has teamed up with La Buena Salud Es Vivir to present the 12th annual Hispanic Heritage Night on Sunday, Sept. 2 during the Fire’s match against the Houston Dynamo at Toyota Park at 6:00 p.m. CT (Galavision/NBC 5.2/97.5 ESPN Deportes). The partnership entitled “La Buena Salud Es Vivir” (Good Health is Living), is a collaboration that brings together Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois, Novo Nordisk, the American Diabetes Association and Walgreens to promote diabetes education and awareness. As part of the celebration, the Fire will recognize 11 Hispanic Heroes. These Heroes were nominated for their extraordinary contribution to Chicago’s Hispanic Community.

This year’s honorees were nominated by their peers for their influence in growing Chicago’s Hispanic community in the realms of education, community wellness, media and local government. The following are the Chicago Fire’s 2012 Hispanic Heroes:

2012 Hispanic Heroes:

Martha Botello

Viva Social Media Entertainment Manager

Martha Botello, a university senior, has helped UNO Charter Schools as a volunteer soccer coach for kids in the Bitty Soccer program. Though she also juggles work and school, Botello does not let that get in the way of teaching these kids to love the beautiful game.

Miguel Cambray

Director of Latino and Latin American Resource Center at North Eastern University

Miguel Cambray has dedicated himself to empowering the various Latino communities throughout the Chicagoland area. Cambray has developed and implemented various programs aimed at providing key services for Latino youth. As the first ever Director of the Latino and Latin American Resource Center, Cambray has never lost his passion for interacting with Latino youth seeking to make a change in their lives.

Sergio Fernandez

President of HACE (Hispanic Alliance for Career Enhancement)

While active in several committees and organizations, Sergio Fernandez also serves as president of HACE where his main responsibility involves supporting HACE’s 29-year mission by leading their short and long term strategy, operations, fundraising, program and business development efforts.

Jorge Linares

Founder of CRECE Foundation

Jorge Linares is the president of the CRECE Foundation, which provides assistance and opportunities to more than 200 children and their families. Through soccer, Linares has been instrumental in keeping kids off the streets and has motivated parents to be more involved in their children’s lives. CRECE is founded on three major fundamentals: Leadership – building self confidence, Education – both nutritional and physical, and Assistance – legal and social.

Abel Nunez

Director of Centro Romero

Abel Nunez is an active community leader Centro Romero, a community-based organization that serves the refugee immigrant population on the northeast side of Chicago that has a mission to provide opportunities for those community residents with the fewest options. Through education, Centro Romero emphasizes the development of the whole family unit, the creation of community leadership and self-reliance.

Juan Orta

Telemundo Manager of Station Relations and Sales Marketing

Juan Orta joined the Telemundo Chicago team two years ago and has since shared his enthusiasm of supporting the community. Orta is an advocate for community presence, strong relationships and supporting the station’s education platform as frequently as possible. He is persistent in his efforts to support not only Telemundo Chicago viewers but the Hispanic community at large.

Michael Ramirez

Vice President of Chicago Teamsters Hispanic Caucus

Michael Ramirez is the moving force behind the Chicago Teamsters Hispanic Caucus, which aims to serve the various communities in which the members live by assisting and promoting the interests of Hispanic Teamsters. Ramirez is instrumental in serving the community by assisting the Caucus’ efforts in awarding of educational scholarships to deserving community youth, contributing to charitable organizations which serve the communities of the membership, conducting community improvements and community education programs and promoting community service by making public awards of a non monetary nature in recognition of meritorious community service.

Gardenia Rangel

Director of Developmental Education at City Colleges of Chicago-Richard J. Daley

Gardenia Rangel is an active member of the Pilsen Neighbors Community Council, chairing Fiesta del Sol’s 5K Run/Walk. She is also a part of Latinos Progresandos Associate Board, a non-profit organization that promotes arts, education and civil rights of immigrants. Rangel was named one of Chicago’s 30 female movers and shakers under 30 by the Chicago Sun-Times in 2008.

Raul Raymundo

Co-Founder of Resurrection Project Organization

In 1990, Raul Raymundo founded The Resurrection Project, a non-profit which began with $30,000 in seed capital from area churches with the mission to create healthier communities in Chicago’s Pilsen neighborhood.

Juan Salgado 

President/CEO of Instituto de Progreso Latino 

Instituto del Progreso Latino was founded in 1977 with a mission to contribute to the fullest development of Latino immigrants and their families through education, training and employment that fosters participation in the changing U.S. society while preserving cultural identity and dignity. Under Juan Salgado’s leadership, Instituto has become the central multi-service resource for low-income families across the Chicago metropolitan region.

Doris Salomon

Director of External Affairs for Cook County

Doris Salomon is well-known in the Latino community for her personal efforts as well as philanthropic commitments. She is currently involved in the Chicago Community Trust Nuestro Futuro initiative, which provides grants for early childhood education and capacity building grants for Latino non-profit organizations.