Finalists Announced for La Paz Chattanooga’s 2013 Latino Leadership Awards


For Immediate Release: August 26, 2013

Contact: David Martin, or (423) 624-8414


 Online voting for the “Chattanooga’s Choice” Award opens September 1st 

On Monday, September 16th, La Paz Chattanooga will host the 2013 Latino Leadership Awards at the Downtown Chattanooga DoubleTree Hotel from 11AM-1pm, to recognize and honor Latino leaders from the Chattanooga area. Throughout the month of July, La Paz fielded nominations for the awards ceremony and that list was recently refined into a list of ten finalists to be honored at the awards banquet.

For more information about the Latino Leadership Awards, to purchase tickets to the event, read about the finalists, and vote for the “Chattanooga’s Choice” award, visit:

“Our Latino Leadership Awards selection committee had a tough time narrowing the list of nominees down to just ten finalists,” said Stacy Johnson, Executive Director of La Paz Chattanooga. “To me, that’s a great problem to have. It means there are lots of people doing important things across Chattanooga, each working to make our city stronger and more connected. I am really excited that we get to shine a spotlight on the valuable contributions leaders from the Latino community are making across our area.”

All ten finalists will be honored at the Latino Leadership Awards, but only two will take home the event’s signature titles – the “Chattanooga’s Choice” award and “Latino Leader of the Year” award. The “Chattanooga’s Choice” award will be given to the finalist voted for by the broader Chattanooga community as the Latino who best demonstrates outstanding leadership qualities, service, and a commitment to community enrichment. Voting for “Chattanooga’s Choice” will be available online during the first week of September (1st – 8th). The “Latino Leader of the Year” will be chosen by the La Paz Chattanooga board, staff and selection committee.

Each of the 2013 finalists represent a healthy balance between professional success and community involvement. They are:

Marco Diaz – Brainerd Church of Christ

Mario Duarte – Volkswagen

José Luis Loa Garcia – Carnicerías Loa #6, 7, 9

Ani Hernandez Johnson – Richmont Community Counseling Center

Fabiola Ortiz – Tennessee Valley Federal Credit Union

Nahomi Ortiz – Southern Star Immigration/Chattanooga State Community College (Student)

Jorge Perez – Unum

Marco Pérez – Chalmers Center at Covenant College

Geovanny Ragsdale – Southern Adventist University

Ivette Rios – Tennessee Small Business Development Center

Chattanooga Mayor, Andy Berke will be making opening remarks at the event, and Julia L. Perilla, Ph.D., director of the National Latin@ Research Center, and faculty member in the Department of Psychology at Georgia State University, will be the keynote speaker for the awards luncheon. Individual tickets are $40 and can be purchased at For information regarding table sponsorships, email David Martin at


La Paz Chattanooga is the leading organization working with the Latino community in Chattanooga. For ticket and/or sponsor information, please contact For updates on the 2013 Latino Leadership Awards, please visit or