Last night, I was accompanied by an old friend and a new friend to receive the “Entrepreneur of the Year” award at the Anna Maria Arias Memorial Business Fund Gala and Dinner. This event hosted by LATINA Style Magazine honors several Latina business owners selected from those who applied for the award. The event introduces us to the LATINA Style Magazine ecosystem and gives each honoree a chance to address a very supportive audience. It was a beautiful event of glamorous moments and I was blessed to be surrounded by amazing, business-savvy Latinas.
Very special to me was the opportunity to sit next to the mother (Rita) of Anna Maria Arias. I got to hear childhood stories and learn much more about the late founder of the magazine who was intent on lifting up Latinas. Rita said to me, “My daughter is alive in you and in all acts you do for others.” I will always remember the chills I experienced when she said that to me.
My two invited special guests were Justine Cromer, my dear friend and fellow officer/aircraft navigator from my Air Force days and my new friend Kimberly Herrera from Anne Arundel Community College in Maryland. I was honored that they came to enjoy the evening with me and to expand their own networks of accomplished people.
In addressing the audience in my acceptance speech, I asked for help to get the stories within the pages of my upcoming book into the mainstream media. The events that have unfolded since I asked for this help have been quite extraordinary. These include an invitation to a private lunch where I was introduced to three congressmen and the Presidents and CEOs of several key leadership groups and media outlets.
“When you’re on the right track, the whole world conspires to help you.” I read that quote in a recent LATINA Style article that profiled the two women now holding the reins at the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. I’m finding out this indeed is true. I’m excited for what’s next!