Close to 600 Central Florida community leaders gathered last Wednesday, August 17 in downtown Orlando during the Hispanic Business Initiative Fund of Greater Orlando, Inc.'s (HBIF) largest annual fundraiser, the 10th Annual Success Stories Luncheon, to recognize the year's most successful Hispanic entrepreneurs.

Three Hispanic businesses were selected based on entrepreneurial success, innovation and economic growth within the Central Florida community. All nominees were Hispanic entrepreneurs who received free technical assistance from HBIF.

The Hispanic business owners recognized at the event were the following:

•Daniel Arvelo, owner of Concrete Tops of Winter Park, Inc.
•Ruben Perez, owner of Don Pepe's Habana Grill
•Isabel Perez and Boris Saez, owners of Prime Time Delivery Service, Inc.

Because 2005 marks the 10th anniversary of the organization, the event also reminisced about the organization's 10 years in the local community by providing the attendees with a video about the organization's history and highlights. In addition, Kirsten Palacios, President/CEO of HBIF reported on the organization's performance and local impact.

HBIF has assisted more than 60,000 Hispanic entrepreneurs facilitated more than 950 educational sessions in Spanish, provided over 20,000 hours of free technical assistance, securing over $15,000,000 in loans to Hispanic businesses and created and/or saved more than 1,200 jobs.

“What we highlighted at the event a little bit of the history of the local Hispanic business community not only in terms of numbers and economic growth, but also in terms of the human efforts as community members,” said Palacios.

Mary I. Johnson, former Orange County commissioner, was also honored for her contributions to Central Florida's Hispanic community and support to HBIF.

In addition, Linda Chapin, first elected Orange County mayor and founding member of this organization was the keynote speaker.

Some of the luncheon's attendees included the founding members of HBIF, members of the Board of Directors, Orange County Mayor Richard Crotty, Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer, state representatives Frank Atkinson, Anitere Flores, John Quiñones and Dean Cannon, other county and city commissioners, members of the media, sponsors, volunteers and other local Hispanic business owners.



A special thank you to our event sponsors for their support
and commitment to
Hispanic entrepreneurship.


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