ORLANDO, FL — Excitement builds for the 25th Annual Don Quijote Awards as the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Metro Orlando (HCCMO) and Prospera revealed the finalists of the four categories, along with this year’s Lifetime Achievement and Hispanic Community Champion award recipients, during a press conference that was held at the Orlando Museum of Art. The press conference was sponsored by Walt Disney World Resort and Wells Fargo.
The Don Quijote Awards recognize businesses and individuals committed to excellence and the development of Central Florida’s Hispanic community. The winner of each category will be announced at the 25th Don Quijote Awards Celebration on Saturday, December 10, 2022, at Epcot’s World Showplace Pavilion from 6:00 pm to midnight.
The 2022 Don Quijote Awards finalists are:
Hispanic Business of the Year, Five Years or Less:
- Guacamole Mexican Grill, Inc, represented by owners Diego Rojas and Gustavo Aristizabal
- Samantha’s Walls, LLC, represented by owner Samantha Senf
- Unik Title, LCC, represented by owner Lynette Quinones
Hispanic Business of the Year, More than Five Years:
- Competitive Edge Partners & Consulting, represented by owner Debbie Rodriguez
- Lim Law, PA, represented by owner Henry Lim
- SkyBuilders USA, represented by company owners Marcela Restrepo and Juan Velez
Professional of the Year:
- Dr. Adriana Cadilla, Infectious Disease Physician at Nemours Children’s Hospital
- Migdalia Figueroa, President and General Manager for Telemundo Orlando at NBCUniversal Telemundo Enterprises
- Luis Nieves-Ruiz, Director of Economic Development at East Central Florida Regional Planning Council
- Josephine Balzac Arroyo, Esq., Assistant Professor of Social Entrepreneurship at Rollins College
- Former State Representative Bob Cortes, Senior Administrator for Government Affairs for the Seminole County Sheriff’s Office
- Major Carlos Torres, Uniform Patrol Division at Orange County Sheriff’s Office
The Hispanic Community Champion and Lifetime Achievement awards recipients are uniquely chosen by the Don Quijote Awards Selection Committee.
Hispanic Community Champion Award
This award is given to a non-Hispanic individual who has led by example in supporting the progress of the Hispanic community in Central Florida. The recipient of this award is chosen by the Don Quijote Awards Selection Committee, focusing on contributions to the Hispanic community; evidence of promoting Hispanic professionals, executives, and board members within the nominee’s respective organization and in the general community; demonstrated leadership or community involvement to benefit the Hispanic community; and honors or awards.
The winner of the 2022 Don Quijote Hispanic Community Champion Award is Dr. Michael Burkett, President at Florida Technical College (FTC) – one of Florida’s largest trade schools with seven campuses across the state and its sister school Dave School, ranked as one of the top schools in the state for animation, visual effects, and game design. FTC is a Hispanic-owned institution that offers diplomas, associate and bachelor’s programs designed to assist the adult learner.
Lifetime Achievement Award
This award recognizes an individual who has made significant and lasting contributions to the development and empowerment of the Hispanic community in Central Florida. The Lifetime Achievement this year goes to Modesto Alcala, Senior Vice President of Global Restaurant Development and Placemaking for Universal Creative at Universal Orlando Resort.
For more than three decades, Modesto has been a catalyst in the global hospitality and restaurant industry. His national impact began when he was part of the ideation and development of Barnes & Noble’s 600-unit café business, including an early partnership with Starbucks. In 2012, he joined Universal Parks and Resorts. As a senior executive at Universal, Modesto leads the efforts to establish new supplier diversity programs to help diverse-owned businesses gain more access to contracts.
The Don Quijote Awards are made possible thanks to the support of Walt Disney World Resort, Wells Fargo, AdventHealth, Bank of America, Universal Orlando Resort, PNC, 1st SOS Staffing, Florida Blue, Orlando Health, OUC- The Reliable One, Travel & Leisure, Cypress Bank and Trust, Orlando Magic, JPMorgan Chase, 26Health, University of Central Florida, iHeart Media, Telemundo 31, Florida National News, La Prensa Newspaper, El Osceola Star, Univision Orlando and El Nuevo Zol 95.3 FM, among many more. For more information on the Don Quijote Awards, please visit www.donquijoteawards.com.
St. Lucian Dona Regis-Prosper Named First Female Secretary-General and CEO of the Caribbean Tourism Organization
BRIDGETOWN, Barbados – The Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO), the premier tourism development agency for 25 Caribbean countries and territories, has appointed Dona Regis-Prosper the new Secretary-General and Chief Executive Officer. Beginning her assignment on September 1, 2023, Regis-Prosper, who hails from St. Lucia, is set to make history as the first woman to assume leadership of the intergovernmental body.
With an impressive career that spans more than 22 years, Regis-Prosper brings an unparalleled depth and breadth of knowledge and experience in the tourism industry to the CTO. She has lived and worked in multiple Caribbean destinations, and served as Director of Marketing and Product Development of the St. Lucia Air and Seaports Authority; Director of Business Development for Margaritaville Caribbean Group in Jamaica; CEO of the Tortola Pier Park in the British Virgin Islands; and General Manager of the Antigua Cruise Port where she is currently employed.
Chairman of the CTO, Kenneth Bryan, who is the Minister of Tourism and Ports of the Cayman Islands, welcomed Regis-Prosper to the regional body. “We are extremely pleased to have Dona Regis-Prosper come on board to lead the CTO. Her vast experience, strategic insight, and impressive track record in the tourism sector make her an exceptional choice to propel our organization into a new era,” he stated, adding that having more women in positions of influence enhances the efficiency of the region’s major economic earner and sends positive messages of encouragement and inspiration for women and girls across the Caribbean.
A dynamic and transformative leader who has built and sustained a strong network of professionals in both the public and private sector (working closely with regional government officials, tourism stakeholders, and industry professionals), Regis-Prosper emerged as the top choice from a pool of more than 60 highly qualified applicants. The rigorous selection process included multiple rounds of interviews and a comprehensive assessment related to addressing some of the most pressing issues faced by the regional tourism industry.
Chairman Bryan disclosed that throughout the selection process, ministers, commissioners and directors lauded Regis-Prosper’s transformational leadership style. “They found her to be innovative, forward-thinking, results-driven, and solution-oriented,” he said, noting that her perspective on managing the climate crisis was particularly well-received, illustrating her deep-seated passion for sustainability and her ability to develop practical solutions to critical industry issues.
Regis-Prosper takes over the organization’s leadership reins from Acting Secretary General and CEO Neil Walters, CTO’s Director of Finance and Resource Management, who has been filling the position following the retirement of Barbadian Hugh Riley in 2019. The other two Caribbean tourism professionals to serve in the region’s top tourism post include the late tourism stalwart Jean Holder and Vincent Vanderpool Wallace, former Bahamas Director General and Bahamas Minister of Tourism.
Of her new role, Regis-Prosper stated, “I am deeply honored to have been selected to serve as Secretary General of the CTO and am grateful for the trust and confidence the CTO Council of Ministers and Commissioners of Tourism and the Board of Directors have placed in me. I eagerly look forward to working with our dedicated team and diverse stakeholders to promote the Caribbean tourism sector, champion sustainability, and continue to foster impactful relationships and deliver ROI for our members.”
With a Master of Business Administration degree, Certified Professional Marketer qualification, and significant experience in business development, strategy, marketing and sustainability, Regis-Prosper is well able to lead the Caribbean tourism sector into a bright and prosperous future, Chairman Bryan asserted.
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