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Latino Impact Awards

The fourth annual event, held at The Westgate Hotel on October 19, honored San Diego's most distinguished Latino leaders and celebrated their incredible accomplishments.

San Diego Magazine and Univision KBNT San Diego are thrilled to have hosted the Latino Impact Awards. The fourth annual event, held at The Westgate Hotel on October 19, honored San Diego’s most distinguished Latino leaders and celebrated their incredible accomplishments. Corporate, entrepreneurial, and civic Latino leaders of all ages and industries gathered to connect with their peers during this evening of inspiration.

This year, 69 people were selected as finalists by our panel of judges—an increase from 48 finalists in 2015. Five distinguished people were honored in the following categories: Cross-Border Leader, Entrepreneur of the Year, Inspirational Leader, and Volunteer of the Year. Sally Carrillo, assistant port director for the San Ysidro Port of Entry, was presented with this year’s Lifetime Achievement Award, and the renowned binational chefs of the Plascencia family were presented with this year’s Legacy Award.

“San Diego is fortunate to be such a thriving multicultural city with dynamic leaders and visionaries,” says Jim Fitzpatrick, CEO and publisher of San Diego Magazine. “We salute the 2016 honorees and nominees for the Latino Impact Awards, who have greatly enriched San Diego and the cross-border region, along with helping the local business, cultural, and artistic communities flourish in so many positive ways.”

Latino Impact Awards

Latino Impact Awards

Sally Carrillo

2016 Lifetime Achievement Award

Ms. Carrillo is currently serving as the assistant port director, GS-15, at the San Ysidro Port of Entry. She has over twenty-eight years of public service experience with U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and the legacy Immigration and Naturalization Service. She began her federal career as an immigration inspector in 1988 in San Diego.

Since then, Ms. Carrillo has held several supervisory and management positions, including INS deputy port director at the San Ysidro Port of Entry (prior to CBP merger), border security coordinator at the San Diego Field Office, port director at the Tecate Port of Entry, assistant port director at the Port of San Diego (Air/Sea), assistant port director at the Otay Mesa Port of Entry, and assistant port director (tactical) at the San Ysidro Port of Entry. Additionally, APD Carrillo participated in a nine-month tour of duty with the Joint Security Program, Mexico City, where she significantly increased the performance of the team. She also served as the assistant director of CBP Officer Basic Training at the Field Operations Academy in Glynco, Georgia.

During her career with CBP, Ms. Carrillo has gained extensive leadership and analytical experience. She served on the National SENTRI (Secure Electronic Network for Travelers Rapid Inspection) team and was instrumental in developing the National Enrollment Center standards; she has worked extensively on building the established relationships that exist with the government of Mexico and local port of entry stakeholders. Ms. Carrillo is recognized annually by CBP and various nonprofit community organizations for the volunteer hours she dedicates to mentoring young Latinas.

Ms. Carrillo’s work experience, leadership ability, community service work, and binational efforts clearly indicate her commitment to the CBP mission.

Latino Impact Awards

Latino Impact Awards

The Plascencia Family

2016 Legacy Award

Born and raised in Tijuana, chef Javier Plascencia grew up in the kitchen of his family’s restaurant, alongside his brothers Juan José, Julian, and their younger sister Margú. Giuseppis, Tijuana’s first pizzeria, was opened in October 1969 by “Don Tana” Plascencia and his loving wife, Martha Plascencia. Grupo Plascencia has been in the restaurant industry ever since, continuously growing on both sides of the border. Their first project in the United States was Romesco Mexiterranean Bistro, which opened its doors back in 2006.

People were refusing to cross the Mexican border during those difficult times, and the Plascencia family saw the opportunity to bring their food to friends and family living in San Diego. From that moment on their passion, hard work, and dedication has been turning heads all over America. Chef Javier and Grupo Plascencia’s restaurants have been mentioned in and received awards from prestigious local, national, and international newspapers and magazines, earning a special place in the public taste.


Cross-Border Leader

Eduardo Acosta

Vice President

R.L. Jones Customhouse Brokers

Dr. Miguel Angel Cardenas

President and CEO

San Diego Global Knowledge University

Roberto Castro


Farmacias Roma

Serge Dedina



Celia Diaz

CEO and Executive Director

Binational Emergency Medical Care Committee

Adriana Eguia Alaniz

Executive Director

CaliBaja BiNational MegaRegion Inc.

Melissa Floca

Interim Director

University of California, San Diego

Denice Garcia

Director of Binational Affairs

City of San Diego

Fernando Gaxiola


Baja Wine + Food

Edith Guerrero

Latin America Program Manager

Qualcomm Wireless Reach

Leticia Oseguera

World Languages Department Chair, Link Crew Moderator, and Summer School Director

Academy of Our Lady of Peace

Alma Tucker


Red Binancional de Corazones

Marisa Ugarte

Executive Director

Bilateral Safety Corridor Coalition

Entrepreneur of the Year

Maxine Chapman

CEO and Founder

BuddhiBox Yoga Lifestyle

Vidal Espinosa

Chief Financial Officer

Invictus Advisors

Alfredo Jaime

Chief Operating Officer

Jaime Partners

Lucia Matthews

Chief Executive Officer

Diálogo Public Relations

Blair Manuel McNeill

Vice President, Market Development

Renovate America

Roberto R. Pozos

Artist, Art Director, and Graphic Designer

Pozos Creative Communications

Elsa Sevilla

Owner, Executive Producer, and TV Host

Sevilla Productions

Francisco J. Valle


Valle Consulting

Inspirational Leader

Mario Aguilar

Executive Director (Volunteer)

The Mexi’cayotl Indio Cultural Center

Olga Álvarez

Estate Planning Attorney

Heisner Álvarez

Sergio Alvarez

Chief Executive Officer

Chuao Chocolatier

Michael Antonorsi

Founder and Master Chocolatier

Chuao Chocolatier

Mary Casillas Salas


City of Chula Vista

Rafael Castellanos


United Port of San Diego

Naomi Chavez

Program Administrator

First Five San Diego

Robert Chávez

Chief Executive Officer

Urban Corps of San Diego County

Rocky Chávez

Assembly Member, District 76

California State Assembly

Albert Clark

Chairman of the Board

San Diego County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce

Guadalupe Corona

Director of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion

Southwestern College

Irma Cota

President and CEO

North County Health Services

Jose Cruz

Executive Director

Barrio Logan College Institute

Jose Cruz

Chief Executive Officer

San Diego Council on Literacy

Olga Diaz

Council Member, District 3

Escondido City Council

Ofelia Escobedo


Barrio Carlsbad Association

Paul Ganster

Director of the Institute for Regional Studies of the California’s Research

San Diego State University

Adela C. Garcia

Senior Business Design Consultant

EC Sourcing LLC

Gloria Goldstein Limas

Hostess, Owner, and CEO

The Gloria Gold Show and Media Magic Marketing

Jaime Alonso Gómez

Dean, School of Business Administration

University of San Diego

Lorena Gonzalez

Assemblywoman, District 80

California State Assembly

Melissa Hernandez

Creator and Founder

PHAT Camp— Push Hard Athletic Training

Barbara Jiménez

Deputy Director

County of San Diego Health and Human Services Agency

Carlos and Linda LeGerrette


Cesar Chavez Service Clubs

Hernàn Luis y Prado

Founder and CEO

Workshops for Warriors

Kathlyn Mead

President and CEO

The San Diego Foundation

Steven Mejia


Northwestern Mutual

Albert Mendivil

Council Member

National City City Council

Leonor Xochitl Perez


Mariachi Women’s Foundation

Carlos Ramirez

Vice President of Safety & Health


Mona Rios

Council Member

National City City Council

Esther Sanchez

Attorney and Council Member

Oceanside City Council

Claudia Sandoval


Claudia’s Cocina

Pedro Santana

Co-Founder and Web Dev Lead


Fernando Sañudo

Chief Executive Officer

Vista Community Clinic

Andrea Skorepa

CEO and President

Casa Familiar Inc.

Volunteer of the Year

Ben Aguilar


Law Offices of Ben Aguilar

Ron Baza


Ron Baza & Associates, Inc.

Rachel Cano

Vice President

San Diego Professionals Against Cancer

Sandra den Uijl

Board Member and Gala Cochair

Rancho Santa Fe Unit, Rady Children’s Hospital Auxiliary

Esteban Duarte

Executive Director and Founder


Macario Gutierrez

Board Chair and Volunteer

San Ysidro Health Center

Juan Llera

Managing Partner

Pounce Consulting Inc

Danny Melgoza

Deputy Chief of Staff

Office of County Supervisor Greg Cox

Enrique Morones

Founder and Director

Border Angels

Esther L. Rodriguez

Chief Executive Officer

Rodriguez Consulting Group

Isaac Zamora

Respiratory Therapist

UC San Diego Health

View the special section.

Latino Impact Awards

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