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The Houston Hispanic Chamber of Commerce honored Houston entrepreneurs, corporate executives and businesses for their leadership and impact on the Houston Hispanic business community during its Annual Awards ceremony on Saturday, November 14 at the Hobby Center for the Performing Arts. More than 1,000 attendees joined the event, making it the largest Hispanic Awards ceremony in Houston.

“Houston-area Hispanics have a significant impact on the business community; collectively contributing to Houston serving as the epicenter of entrepreneurship. The Annual Awards is an opportunity to recognize and celebrate Hispanic leaders and their many accomplishments,” said Dr. Laura Murillo, President & CEO, Houston Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.

Ronald DePinho, M.D., President of The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center received the Chairman/President & CEO Award for his extensive contributions to cancer research, most notably, the link between advancing age and increasing risk of cancer

Dr. Ellen Ochoa, Director of Johnson Space Center was recognized as Hispanic Female Executive of the Year. Dr. Ochoa is a former NASA astronaut who has done extensive research on optical systems for automated space exploration. In 1993, she became the first Hispanic woman in the world to go to space.

Manuel “Manolo” Sanchez, Chairman, CEO & US Country Manager of BBVA Compass was recognized as the Hispanic Male Executive of the Year. Mr. Sanchez is a high rank executive who has held key positions inside the BBVA Compass organization internationally.

The Annual Awards recipients also included Robert Tijerina, President of Priority 1 Aviation, Hispanic Male Entrepreneur of the Year; Dr. Yamile Jackson, CEO & Founder of Nurtured by Design; Hispanic Female Entrepreneur of the Year and Patricia & Brenda Boral, Owners of Boral Branders, Emerging Hispanic Business of the Year.

In addition, the Chamber presented the 2015 Graduating Class of the Emerging Leaders Institute (ELI). This group of 24 young and talented professionals is the fourth graduating class of the institute. The Emerging Leaders Institute of the Greater Houston Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Foundation identifies, develops and empowers young professionals.

“The Emerging Leaders Institute has successfully graduated over 100 young professionals since its inception. We are preparing the executives, entrepreneurs, and community leaders that will lead Houston into the next decades,” said Murillo.

About the Houston Hispanic Chamber of Commerce:

The Houston Hispanic Chamber of Commerce is the leading regional advocate for the economic and civic interests of the Hispanic business community. HHCC represents approximately 180,000 Hispanic businesses in the Greater Houston Region (The largest Hispanic chamber in the country).