By Robin GOLDSWORTHY
More than 250 people attended the annual community awards and installation luncheon of the Glendale Latino Association held at the La Cañada Country Club on Thursday, Feb. 23. L.A. Superior Court Judge Gus Gomez installed the 2012 officers Nancy Guillen, Amy Navarrete, Arlene Villarin, Mae Abou-Chakra, Adriana Rebold, Nasly Zelaya and directors Carlos Carrillo, Miryam Finkelberg, Daniel Gamboa, Martha Rivera and Mercy Velazquez.
After entertainment, provided by Flamenco dancer Karina Velasco and guitarist Alfredo Caceres, the highlight of the afternoon commenced with the presentation of the woman, man and business of the year.
Denise Miller of Glendale Adventist Medical Center was named woman of the year and delivered a heartfelt thank you speech touching on her journey to the GLA.
Miller is director of the Live Well (55+) Senior Program at the hospital and is responsible for navigating seniors and their families toward easier access to healthcare information, resources and wellness and prevention programs in the hospital and in the community. Boasting a Hispanic background, Miller credited the GLA with offering respite when she was taking care of her ailing father three years ago. Her family attended the luncheon to celebrate her award.
Named chief of police for the Glendale Community College in September, Gary Montecuollo was awarded the title of man of the year for 2012.
Following a long and distinguished career in the City of Glendale with the Glendale Police Dept. for 30 years, Montecuollo was hired as the college chief. He works with the faculty and staff on campus issues and is intricately involved with several civic organizations.
“I am very humbled, very honored and blessed,” Montecuollo said, thanking Chief Ron de Pompa for his guidance and mentorship.
The firm of Sadd, Velazquez, Higashi and Shammaa – certified public accounts & advisors – was named business of the year.
The partners are active in several organizations and reminded luncheon attendees that the checks written to the GLA benefit “kids for decades to come.”
John Sadd had kind remarks for his associates and those with whom he works in the community.
“If you are judged by the company you keep, then we’re in good company,” Sadd said in accepting the award.
The Glendale Latino Association awarded $18,500 in scholarships in 2011. Applications for 2012 awards are due March 23.
According to its program, the GLA was founded in 1992 to bring together businesses and professionals, promote activities that improve education and provide scholarships to local students who have demonstrated educational excellence and extraordinary citizenship. The organization hosts monthly networking mixers and is holding its scholarship awards breakfast on May 24.