40/40 Awards honor
Hispanic Roundtable Alumni Association
By Kevin Milliken, La Prensa Correspondent
The Hispanic Roundtable, a Greater Cleveland nonprofit
corporation formed to advance Latino causes, took a huge step
toward enlisting the help of a new generation of Latino leaders,
by hosting its first-ever
Cuarenta/Cuarenta (40/40) Alumni Engagement event on Tuesday, April 29, 2014 at
The Iris S. and Bert L. Wolstein Research Building, 2103 Cornell
The event, sponsored by University Hospitals, was an
opportunity to encourage past 40/40 honorees to organize as an
alumni organization, and to bring together the group for a
cultural night of networking, food, and musical entertainment.
“This was an opportunity to bring together our past Cuarenta/Cuarenta
recipients to continue their leadership in the community as an
alumni group, and to honor those members who made outstanding
contributions in the areas of Health, Education, Empowerment,
and Economic Development,” said Magda Gómez, President of
Hispanic Community Programs, Hispanic Roundtable.
“The Cuarenta/Cuarenta alumni are the best and the
brightest of our young people. I have high hopes and great
expectations for their future contributions to the development
of our community,” said
Feliciano, Sr., a Cleveland attorney and
Hispanic Roundtable chairman.
“Our event was high-energy and inspiring. I think we will look
back on this occasion as a historic event, which established one
of the key leadership institutions in our community to chart our
future and empower our community.”
Nearly 600 Greater Cleveland Latino leaders have been awarded
designation over the years. Each August, Kaleidoscope
Magazine recognizes 40 Latino-Americans ages 40 and under
who are making significant professional contributions in Greater
Cleveland. All of them have been invited to join the alumni
association, with the hope they will become more actively
involved in Latino issues across Northeast Ohio.
“My personal hope is that they will aggressively address the
Hispanic agenda developed at Convención 2013, sponsored
by the Hispanic Roundtable, and endorsed by the whole of the
Hispanic community,” said
According to Ms. Gómez, nearly 250 people attended the inaugural
alumni association event, which also served as an occasion to
highlight and recognize a number of key young leaders:
Jonathan Rivera (education), Magistrate Judge Pablo
Castro (civic empowerment), Luis Cartagena (economic
development), and Dr. Wanda Cruz-Knight (health). Those
four areas comprise the Convención agenda over the next
Steven D. Standley, Pablo Castro, y
José Feliciano, Sr.
Rivera was recognized “for
his dedication and support” working with Latino youth in
Cleveland’s inner city high schools “to ensure their success,
including their community involvement.”
Castro won “for
his commitment to help increase voter registration and civic
participation among Hispanics” via his leadership on the Spanish
Language Advisory Committee of the board of elections and his
involvement in retaining a bilingual ballot in Cuyahoga County.
Cartagena, business advisor for the Minority Business
Development Agency Business Center, was lauded for his efforts
at strategic planning, managing a Latino portfolio, and where he
was responsible for creating more than 75 jobs and more than $2
million of business value.
Dr. Cruz-Knight received an award “for her commitment to
diversity in the medical field” and her contributions to the
Hispanic community through research and presentations
highlighting specific issues that affect Hispanics individually
and family dynamics.
“They have set a very high bar,” said Feliciano.
The Hispanic Roundtable is a nonprofit organization whose
mission is to act as a catalyst to empower the Latino community
to become full partners in economic, education, political, civic
and social life of Greater Cleveland.
Dr. Cruz-Knight, residency director and associate professor,
Dept. of Family Medicine and Community Health, University
Hospitals and Case Western Reserve University School
of Medicine, later took to the podium and spoke on the issue
of prevention as a key to better health and wellness.
In his welcome remarks,
Steven D. Standley,
chief administrative officer of University Hospitals, spoke
about the interest and action of the hospital system to
strengthen the relationship with the Latino community. He told
the crowd that “embracing diversity and inclusion efforts are at
the core of the mission and long-term vision of University