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On the Town: Latino organization holds annual luncheon, awards ceremony

On the Town: Latino organization holds annual luncheon, awards ceremony
Irene Bourdon, middle, is awarded 2019 Woman of the Year by the Glendale Latino Assn. Presenters are Paula Devine, holder of last yearls title and Assn. President Albert Hernandez. (Ruth Sowby Rands / Glendale News-Press)

Members of the Glendale Latino Assn. know how to work hard and to play hard.

The organization’s annual awards and installation luncheon demonstrates that philosophy more than any other event the group holds throughout the year.

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Last Wednesday, some 200 members, guests and supporters gathered at the Oakmont Country Club to celebrate outstanding members and organizations in the community.

As mistress of ceremonies, Amy Navarrete, past president, kicked off the program with style and good humor.

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She introduced Albert Hernandez, the group’s president, who, in turn, introduced city dignitaries attending including Glendale Mayor Zareh Sinanyan, who gave greetings from the city, and Glendale Police Chief Carl Povilaitis.

More VIPs included Glendale Community College Police Chief Gary Montecuollo; Ann Ransford, president of the college’s board of trustees, Armine Hacopian, college trustee.

Last year's Man of the Year and City Atty. Michael Garcia, at left, awards the Glendale Latino Assn.'s 2019 Man of the Year title to Dr. David Viar, superintendent/president of Glendale Community College. Assn. President Albert Hernandez joins the presentation.
Last year's Man of the Year and City Atty. Michael Garcia, at left, awards the Glendale Latino Assn.'s 2019 Man of the Year title to Dr. David Viar, superintendent/president of Glendale Community College. Assn. President Albert Hernandez joins the presentation. (Ruth Sowby Rands / Glendale News-Press)

Also introduced was Lisa Brooks, the foundation’s executive director. The college had a large contingent present in support of David Viar, the college’s superintendent/president, accompanied by wife, Jane.

Viar was announced as the association’s 2019 Man of the Year. He was presented the award by last year’s Man of the Year City Atty. Michael Garcia.

Viar has been the college’s head since 2013. Since that time, the college received the highest level of accreditation and passed a $325-million facilities bond measure.

Viar is a member of the Glendale Sunrise Rotary Club and on several community boards including the Glendale YMCA where he chairs the Strategic Plan Committee and the Governance Committee.

Irene Bourdon, president of the Adventist Health Glendale Foundation, was announced as the association’s 2019 Woman of the Year. Her award was presented by Glendale City Councilwoman Paula Devine, last year’s Woman of the Year.

Bourdon oversees fundraising for the 515-bed medical center. Over the years, she has served in two Rotary Clubs, was a board member of two city Chambers of Commerce and a regional YWCA.

The 2019 officers of the Glendale Latino Assn. are presented at the organization's Community Awards and Installation Luncheon.
The 2019 officers of the Glendale Latino Assn. are presented at the organization's Community Awards and Installation Luncheon. (Ruth Sowby Rands / Glendale News-Press)

Rebecca Palacios accepted the association’s 2019 Business of the Year. She is senior curriculum adviser of the Age of Learning, a business specializing in education technology.

Palacios was presented her award by John Kelly of Jenkins Property Management, last year’s Business of the Year.

The three award presentations were held after the association’s 2019 officers’ installation by Gus Gomez, a Los Angeles Superior Court judge.

Top association’s officers are Hernandez, Jennie Quinonez-Skinner, president-elect; Miryam Finkelberg, vice President of Membership; and Irma Villegas, Vice President of Scholarships.

Villegas, along with Mercy Velazquez, the association’s advisory board chair, emphasized the organization’s role in providing scholarships to excelling, local high school students and Glendale Community College students.

Velazquez announced that the association gives at least $20,000 in scholarship funds every year.

Guest speaker Andrea Dominguez followed the installation. She is a Glendale Community College student, majoring in electrical engineering.

Dominguez also emphasized the importance of scholarships in motivating students to achieve.

Glendale Latino Assn. members hold events through the year to raise scholarship funds. Last year, 17 scholarships, totaling $20,500, were awarded to outstanding students.

This year’s scholarships will be awarded at the association’s annual breakfast on May 23 at the Oakmont Country Club. Save the date.

Ruth Sowby Rands may be reached at ruthasowby@gmail.com.

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