Day of the Americas Special Awards Program 2004

2004 Latino Hall of Fame Inductee - Luis Valdez

 

Foundation Honors Local Luminaries
 
By JASON GUTIERREZ, Special to The Californian

The Heritage of America Educational and Cultural Foundation rolled out the red carpet in honor of Kern County's movers and shakers.

The foundation hosted its third annual Day of the Americas Special Awards banquet Sunday at the Holiday Inn Select, honoring Kern County residents who have made a difference locally in the arts, education, politics and more.

Jess Nieto, foundation executive director, said the event celebrates the diversity found in Kern County and shines the light on those in the community who may not normally get the recognition they deserve.

"This is our one day where we can be thankful for our heritage, our community, our families and thankful to God for our lives not only in America but right here in Kern County," Nieto said. "Together we have made America what it is today and that is something to be proud of."

The event featured musicians, including Mexican recording artist Bianca Dali, local country recording artist Victor Sanz and Celtic band The Rose of Tejon.

Ray Gonzalez, longtime educator and former state assemblyman, was the keynote speaker.

At this year's event, Luis Valdez, founder and director of El Teatro Campesino, was inducted into the event's Latino Hall of Fame, but he was unable to attend the event.

"Valdez is like the Godfather of Chicano playwrights and Chicano theater," said Sam Mercado, who, along with his wife, Maria, received the Performing and Fine Arts Award last year. "His plays are not only inspiring but they break down Latino stereotypes and educate everyone who attends."

The Mercados produced Valdez's "Bandido," at the Bakersfield Community Theatre because they were touched by the play's message.

The following is the list of the Day of the Americas Award 2004 winners:

Day of the Americas Latino Performing & Fine Arts

Robert Martinez, Bakersfield College Music Director of Orchestra & Band

Day of the Americas Latino Business

Frank Dominguez, former President Kern County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce,  former Executive with Aera Energy, & current President of Kern County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Foundation

Day of the Americas Latino Community Development

Art Armendariz, Pro Tem Mayor of Delano & Community Leader

Day of the Americas Latino Education

Dr. Steve Arvizu, former Dean CSUB, former Provost CSU Monterey Bay, former President Oxnard College

Day of the Americas Latino Entertainment

Robert Beltran, actor

Day of the Americas Latino Media / Journalism

Leonel Martinez, reporter Bakersfield Californian & Californiano

Day of the Americas Latino Labor

Paul Chavez, former United Farm Workers of America, CIO organizer, and current Executive Director United Farm Workers of America  Service Center

Day of the Americas Latino Law

Estela Casas, Executive Director- Greater Bakersfield Legal Assistance

Day of the Americas Latino Politics

Senator Dean Florez

Day of the Americas Latino Science & Medicine

Dr. Carlos Alvarez, Valley Medical Group

Day of the Americas Latino Social Services

Martin Castro, Executive Director- Mexican American Opportunity Foundation

Day of the Americas Latino Sports

Louie Diaz, Baseball Coach 32 years, now at Golden Valley High School

Day of the Americas Latino Organization of the Year

Cinco de Mayo- Delano , an organization that has promoted Mexican culture and Cinco de Mayo for decades

 

 Non Latino

Day of the Americas Non Latino Performing & Fine Arts

Jeanette Richardson, Executive Director of the Arts Council of Kern

Day of the Americas Non Latino Business

Dan Smith, President - Holiday Ford, Lincoln, Mercury

Day of the Americas Non Latino Community Development

Morgan Clayton, President - Tel Tec Security Systems, Inc.

Day of the Americas Non Latino Education

Buena Vista Museum of Natural History

Day of the Americas Non Latino Entertainment

Amy Adams, American Idol Finalist, Singer

Day of the Americas Non Latino Media / Journalism

Felix Adamo, Photo-journalist with the Bakersfield Californian Newspaper

Day of the Americas Non Latino Labor

Danny Kane, Labor leader

Day of the Americas Non Latino Law

Anthony Klein, Senior Partner with Klein, DeNatale, Goldner, Cooper, Rosenlieb & Kimball  

Day of the Americas Non Latino Politics

Congressman Bill Thomas

Day of the Americas Non Latino Science & Medicine

Dr. Ravi Patel, Comprehensive Blood & Cancer Center & Associate Clinical Professor of Medicine, UCLA

Day of the Americas Non Latino Social Services

Dr. Michael Clark- Executive Director of Kern Regional Center

Day of the Americas Non Latino Sports

Janet Fenton,  AYSO Regional Coordinator

Day of the Americas Non Latino Organization of the Year

United Way of Kern County

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