July 19, 2024
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Announcing this year’s Latino Business Awards recipients


The Pacific Coast Business Times is proud to announce the winners of our 13th annual Latino Business Awards.

The Latino community has long been a key economic driver in the Central Coast, and since 2011, we’ve had a report honoring that and recognizing the people leading the way. We’re also taking a small moment to light the way for the future, as this section also includes our scholarship winner, Claudia Silva, a rising senior who is looking into several strong schools – and has already been accepted at CSU Channel Islands. We administer the scholarship with the help of the Ventura County Community Foundation.

We’re also recognizing a truly talented group of individuals this year. Irma Lopez, the founder of the Rebozo Festival, has helped raise money for charitable causes for 20 years, while Monica Murrieta, the executive director of the Cancer Support Community Valley/Ventura/Santa Barbara, has been leading the way to support patients and their families as they grapple with a horrible, complicated disease.

Our leaders also support the community’s health in other ways. Dr. Augusto Castaneda, a pediatrician affiliated with Cottage Health, has been watching over the Central Coast’s children for 40 years, while Arturo Dominguez’s La Paz Pharmacy has become a place where people can get important health information – in English and in Spanish.

A community needs good food to stay healthy, which is where Brock Nunez, the operations manager of Mission Produce comes in. Good food deserves something to go with it, and Fiducio Flores’ Esfuerzo Wines takes that spot by combining generations of knowledge and effort with the courage to step into entrepreneurship.

Several of this year’s leaders are also involved in teaching the next generation. Oscar Cobian, the outgoing interim president of Oxnard College, has strengthened and created new bonds in and around the college, and Luiz Vilera, the vice president and senior relationship manager for the Global Commercial Banking Group at Bank of America, has worked within the business community for years, volunteering his time through SCORE to help business owners in the region.

We’re also giving a special shoutout to Rudy Gonzales, the outgoing principal manager of government relations at Southern California Edison — who has spent more than 40 years keeping the lights on for everyone.

Finally, this year’s Latino Leadership Award goes to Ernesto Paredes, the executive director of Easy Lift Transportation and the president of the Santa Barbara International Film Festival.

We’re honoring all of these incredible people at an event on July 18 at the Limoneira Ranch in Santa Paula. Tickets to the event are available at pacbiztimes.com/events.

This special report was produced by Advertising Graphic Artist Courtney Abercrombie and I, with help from Founder Henry Dubroff, Co-Managing Editor Jorge Mercado, Staff Writer Mike Harris and Clarissa Rios and Skylar Bates, both special to the Times.

This report would not have been possible without our incredible sponsors, including gold sponsors Bank of America and CBIZ; silver sponsors CSUCI’s Martin V. Smith School, Montecito Bank & Trust and the Oxnard College Foundation and advertising partner The Port of Hueneme.

If you have any questions, comments or feedback, please feel free to contact Managing Editor of Special Reports at ahair@pacbiztimes.com. If you have any questions about sponsorship, please contact Publisher Linda le Brock at llebrock@pacbiztimes.com.

To see the 2024 Latino Business Awards special report click here. To purchase tickets for this year’s event taking place on July 18 from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. at Limoneira Ranch, click here.