The Center for the Future of Arizona’s founder and CEO is among the five award recipients to be honored at the Arizona Hispanic Chamber of Commerce’s 55th Annual Black & White Ball and Business Awards later this month.
“Dr. Lattie Coor is one of our state’s most iconic and beloved figures, and we’re honored to present him the 2013 Legacy Award,” said AZHCC President & CEO Gonzalo A. de la Melena, Jr. “The awards ceremony is the highlight of the evening, and this year’s slate of winners prove that people who succeed in business are also among the most generous individuals in our community.”
Awards also will be presented in four other categories:
MaryAnn Guerra, Woman of the Year;
Alfredo J. Molina, Man of the Year;
Israel Torres, Entrepreneur of the Year;
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona, Corporation of the Year Award.
The Black & White Ball is Arizona’s longest running formal gala. It honors the achievements of business and community leaders statewide. The gala also is the Hispanic Chamber’s largest annual fund-raiser. More than 1,200 of Arizona’s most notable business and community leaders are scheduled to attend.
Emceed this year by international celebrity Marco Antonio Regil, the gala takes place April 27, 2013, 6 to 9 p.m., at the Sheraton Phoenix Downtown Hotel, 340 N. Third St. An “after-party” is scheduled at the same location from 9 p.m. to Midnight. Cox Communications continues its support as presenting sponsor for the event, which features an elegant dinner, the business awards, and live music and dancing at an after-dinner cocktail party.
Past Legacy Award winners include Governor Raul H. Castro, Senator John McCain, Jerry Colangelo, former Govenor Janet Napolitano and the late Eddie Basha, Jr., who will be honored with a special memorial tribute at this year’s dinner.
“In addition to the honor of presenting our business awards, the gala’s Brazilian Carnival theme this year promises to make it a great night out on the town,” said De la Melena. “I invite everyone to come and celebrate the good work of our award winners, and afterward relax and dance the night away.”
For information about ticket sales or sponsorship opportunities, contact Christina Arellano at 602-294-6085 or ChristinaA@azhcc.com or visit www.azhcc.com.
Dr. Lattie F. Coor / Legacy Award
Dr. Lattie F. Coor is President-Emeritus, Professor and Ernest W. McFarland Chair in Leadership and Public Policy in the School of Public Affairs at Arizona State University, and is Chairman and CEO of the Center for the Future of Arizona.
For the previous 26 years, Dr. Lattie Coor served as a University President. He was President of Arizona State University from 1990 to 2002, and President of the University of Vermont from 1976 to 1989.
Earlier in his career, Dr. Coor served as an assistant to the Governor of Michigan and held faculty appointments in Political Science at Washington University. His administrative responsibilities there included those of Assistant Dean of the Graduate School, Director of International Studies, and University Vice Chancellor.
He has held positions with a variety of higher education associations, board and commissions, having served as a founding member and Chairman of Division I of the NCAA President’s Commission. He held the position of Chairman of the National Association of State Universities and Land Grant Colleges in 1992-93, and served on the Board of Directors of the American Council on Education from 1990 to 1993 and again from 1999 to 2002. He also served on the Kellogg Commission on the Future of State and Land Grant Universities from 1996 to 2002. He served as a Trustee of the American College of Greece, Athens, from 1988 to 1998, and has served as a member of the Board of Trustees of the Deer Creek Foundation, St Louis, since 1983. He has honorary degrees from Marlboro College, American College of Greece, the University of Vermont and Northern Arizona University.
In Arizona, Dr. Lattie Coor serves on the Board of Directors of Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Arizona, and has served on the Board of Directors of Bank One Arizona, Samaritan Health Services, Greater Phoenix Economic Council, and is a member of the Greater Phoenix Leadership Council. He was a member of the Arizona State Board of Education from 1995 to 1999. He served as Chairman of the Education Section of the Valley of the Sun United Way Campaign from 1990 to 1993, and of the Public Sector of the United Way Campaign from 1999 to 2002.
Dr. Lattie Coor received the Anti-Defamation League’s Jerry J. Wisotsky Torch of Liberty Award in 1994, the Whitney M. Young, Jr. Individual Award from the Greater Phoenix Urban League in 2000, The American Academy of Achievement Golden Plate Award in 2000, The American Jewish Committee Institute of Human Relations Award in 2001 and the Center City Starr award from Phoenix Community Alliance in 2001. He was named Valley Leadership’s Man of the Year in 2006.
An Arizona native, Dr. Coor was born in Phoenix and graduated with high honors from Northern Arizona University in 1958. He pursued graduate studies in Political Science at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri, earning a master’s degree in 1960 and a Ph.D. in 1964.
Alfredo J. Molina / Man of the Year
International jeweler Alfredo J. Molina is Chairman of The Molina Group, based in Phoenix, Arizona. The Molina Group is the parent company of Molina Fine Jewelers in Phoenix and New York and Black, Starr & Frost, America’s first jeweler since 1810, in Newport Beach and New York. Alfredo Molina is one of the nation’s most prestigious jewelers. His ability to secure the world’s rarest gems – such as the historic Archduke Joseph Diamond, the world’s twelfth largest historic perfect white diamond – has earned him guest appearances on numerous television programs, including CBS’ Early Show and NBC’s Today Show.
Mr. Molina’s education and experience in the jewelry industry is extensive. He is a graduate gemologist from the Gemological Institute of America and a Fellow Member of the Gemmological Association of Great Britain with distinction. He is a certified gemologist and appraiser from the American Gem Society. He is considered one of the world’s experts in the determination of country of origin of gemstones. He is past President of the American Society of Appraisers, Arizona Jewelers Association, and the GIA Alumni Association. He served as Vice-Chairman of the Jewelers of America Council and Co-Chairman of the Master Gemologist Appraiser program. Mr. Molina is also a qualified appraiser for the Internal Revenue Service and an alumni of the FBI Citizens Academy. He appears as keynote speaker at seminars and workshops on appraising gems, and discussing the latest gemological trends and developments. He assists law enforcement agencies in recovering stolen gems and serves as an expert witness for U.S. Customs Service as gems authority. In 2002, he was appointed to serve as Honorary Counsul of Spain for Arizona.
Alfredo, his wife Lisa and their four children devote time and many resources to the Arizona and California communities. The Molinas feel that The Molina Group is fulfilling their duty to their community, friends and supporters.
Lisa and Alfredo have chaired numerous charity events including the Arizona Cancer Ball, The Samaritan Foundation, The Symphony Ball, The Arizona Heart Ball, Crohn’s and Colitis, Women of Distinction Gala and Childhelp. They have supported Candlelite, JDRF Dream Gala, Susan G. Komen, the Pacific Symphony, Dodge College of Film and Media Arts and were honorary Chairs of 2009 Orange Country High School for the Arts Gala and the 2011 Banner Health Foundation Candlelight Capers. Lisa and Alfredo have dedicated their lives to the service of others and their children are following in their footsteps. Through their generous sponsorship and support of local and national charities, they seek to improve the lives of those less fortunate. Gratitude, selflessness, love and a firm belief in the legacies of sharing comprises the Molina way of life.
Alfredo was honored in Washington, DC as one of seven caring Americans and was inducted into the Frederick Douglass Museum & Hall of Fame for Caring Americans on Capitol Hill. He was named 2008 Outstanding Business Leader by Northwood University at the Breakers in Palm Beach and he was recently inducted into the National Jewelers, Retailer Hall of Fame in the single store independent category.
MaryAnn Guerra / Woman of the Year
MaryAnn Guerra, MBA is Chairman of the Board, CEO, and co-founder of BioAccel. Ms. Guerra is known for creating novel programs to accelerate the transfer of technology from the lab into new business opportunities. Ms. Guerra spent much of her career operating successful and progressive health, science and technology businesses. She is an expert at business development initiatives that create organizations poised to deliver commercial outcomes. Since the launch of BioAccel in April 2009, 10 companies have been successfully launched with products close to commercial availability. Additionally, BioAccel recently partnered with the City of Peoria to create the first medical device accelerator, embedding the BioAccel model into its operations to ensure positive economic impact.
Prior to founding BioAccel, Ms. Guerra served as President of TGen Accelerators, LLC and Chief Operating Officer at (TGen). While at TGen she facilitated the start-up of six companies and was involved in the sale of three of those yielding significant profits for the organization. As TGen’s former COO she grew the organization from $30M to $60M in less than three years. Ms. Guerra also served as Executive Vice President, Matthews Media Group, where she was responsible for developing and implementing commercial strategic business plans that expanded and enhanced services and extended relationships with the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries. She has had an impressive career at the National Institutes of Health having held various senior level positions, including: Executive Officer, NHLBI and Deputy Director of Management & Executive Officer at the NCI.
Ms. Guerra has received numerous awards for her work, including the Arizona Hispanic Chamber of Commerce 2013 Woman of the Year and Arizona Business Magazine’s 2013 “Fifteen” Women to Watch. Last year BioAccel received the State Science and Technology Institutes’ most Innovative New Initiative Award, a first time national recognition for BioAccel and for the State of Arizona. She has received the Phoenix Business Journal’s “Top 25 Women in Business” award, as well as their “Power People” award, the Girl Scouts “Women of the Future World” award. Ms. Guerra has served on numerous Boards throughout her career. Currently she is a Board member of Planned Parenthood of Arizona and the Mollen Foundation as well as a Commissioner of the Arizona Skill Standard Commission as well as many other board seats. Ms. Guerra holds an undergraduate degree from The Ohio State University and an MBA from George Washington University in Science, Innovation and Commercialization.
Israel G. Torres, Esq. / Entrepreneur of the Year
Israel G. Torres is Managing Partner of Torres Consulting and Law Group, LLC. The firm provides a variety of services, including regulatory compliance, law, and government relations, to clients in the construction trades throughout the United States. His firm has been recognized by the Phoenix Business Journal as one of the Best Places to Work in the Valley in 2011. Torres Consulting and Law Group was also named 2009 Service Firm of Year during the Minority Enterprise Development Week Awards, a program that is part of the U.S. Department of Commerce.
Prior to establishing his firm, Mr. Torres was elected as the Democratic nominee for Arizona Secretary of State in 2006. He was the first Latino candidate in Arizona history to garner more than 600,000 votes statewide.
From 2003 to 2006, Mr. Torres served as Director of the Arizona Registrar of Contractors and as a member of Governor Napolitano’s Cabinet. As the director, Mr. Torres served as the chief regulator of Arizona’s construction industry, regulating the activities of more than 52,000 active commercial and residential construction licenses amidst a time of unparalleled construction activity in Arizona. In that role, he also served as an advisor to the Governor and State Legislature on construction- and development-related issues. Mr. Torres was a national leader in the advancement of regulatory initiatives.
Mr. Torres is a member of the Arizona Bar and is licensed to practice law in Arizona. His educational background includes a Juris Doctorate from the University of New Mexico School of Law and a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Arizona State University. He also holds a Construction Management Certificate from the Del E. Webb School of Construction in the Ira A. Fulton School of Engineering at ASU.
Mr. Torres and his wife, Monica, live in Tempe and are raising two children, Cristian and Alysa. He enjoys outdoor sports, including mountain biking, hiking, boating, camping, and skiing.
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona / Corporation of the Year
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona (BCBSAZ), an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, is the largest Arizona-based health insurance company. The not-for-profit company was founded in 1939 and provides health insurance products, services or networks to 1.3 million individuals. With offices in Phoenix, Flagstaff, Tucson and the East Valley, the company employs more than 1,300 Arizonans. Follow BCBSAZ at www.facebook.com/bcbsaz or on Twitter at @bcbsaz to get information on health and wellness, a knowledgeable perspective on health insurance reform, and become a part of what BCBSAZ is doing in your community.