The Santa Clarita Valley Chamber of Commerce’s Latino Business Alliance hosted its 18th annual Hispanic Heritage Month celebration on Wednesday night.
The celebration filled Tesoro Adobe Historical Park with Spanish-language music, attendees enjoying food from a local taco stand and dancing.
Hispanic Heritage Month runs from Sept. 15 to Oct. 15. The SCV Chamber of Commerce’s Latino Business Alliance utilizes this month as a way to celebrate the success and hard work of those in the local Latino business community.
“The Latino business community has been a great contributor to the Santa Clarita Valley and it’s important to acknowledge their contributions that they’ve given to the Santa Clarita Valley,” said Ivan Volschenk, president and CEO of the SCV Chamber of Commerce.
Attendee Jesse Smith said that diversity in the business world is important and also deserves recognition.
“By having an open mind and open arms to various different opinions, and people of different cultures, is very important in order to include people,” said Smith. “I think the best way to do that is to just open your arms and say, ‘It’s not the differences, it’s the similarities that bring us together.’”
The celebration annually presents two awards to individuals of Hispanic heritage who have made a big impact in the business community – the business of the year award and the community leader of the year award.
“We’re here tonight to not only celebrate our heritage but to really celebrate those individuals who have positively impacted our community and have contributed to a thriving business economy here in the Santa Clarita Valley,” said Liz Seelman, the 2022 Latino Business Alliance chair and recipient of the Hispanic Heritage Month certificate of recognition.
Mayor Laurene Weste and Councilman Bill Miranda presented the community leader of the year award to Frank Oviedo for his valiant work as the city’s assistant city manager.
“I just can’t say enough about this community and what it’s provided to me and my family and the council,” said Oviedo.
The business of the year award was awarded to Henry Rodriguez State Farm Insurance, which has been providing its services to the community since 2011. Rodriguez’s agency has 24-hour availability and he is regularly quoted saying, “Give it 120% every day,” to his team.
In accepting his award, Rodriguez thanked his family for his success, bringing him to tears.
“I do what I do every day because of you guys,” said Rodriguez.