Three Tampa Bay area Hispanic business owners were honored at the 2017 Prospera Success Stories Luncheon. Held during Hispanic Heritage Month, this year’s event was the first since the economic development organization’s brand change. This annual event brings together Prospera clients and volunteers with government, business and community leaders to recognize a few remarkable clients while raising funds that help sustain programs offered for free to entrepreneurs throughout the year.
Prospera’s Statewide Board Chair Victor Rivera, President and CEO Augusto Sanabria, and West Coast of Florida Regional Vice President Fabian Yepez delivered remarks during the event. In addition to reiterating their gratitude to Prospera’s sponsors, they emphasized the importance of small businesses and the positive impact of Hispanic entrepreneurs in our economy. Representatives from event sponsors and Prospera volunteers also addressed 400 attendees at the luncheon.
The 2017 Success Stories honorees were selected among entrepreneurs who have received Prospera services, based on business growth and economic impact. “Prospera has provided services to these business owners, who have since then shown impressive results, thanks to their hard work, dedication and talent,” said Yepez.
The following Hispanic entrepreneurs were honored:
- Santiago Cabrera, owner of Natural Esthetics
Established 33 years ago, this dental laboratory is fully equipped with the latest technology to provide its clients with the best quality products. It employs six highly skilled technicians who specialize in all crown and bridge applications, including ceramics and implants.
- Virginia Torres, owner of Cakes Plus Tampa
This family-operated business was established 30 years ago and now has two locations and seven employees. They offer top quality cakes, a variety of baked goods, training and baking supplies for individuals who want to bake at home, and even a coffee shop at their main location. So far, they have trained more than 2,500 people in their baking classes.
- Manuel Marín, owner of LevelUp Flooring
They offer residential and commercial installation of tile, carpet, wood laminate vinyl and natural stone. The business started with two employees and a 1,500-square foot office. Today, they have 25 employees and 75 subcontractors, several locations in Florida, and are expanding outside of the state.
The 2017 Prospera Success Stories Luncheon was made possible thanks to these sponsors’ support: Host – Bank of America, BB&T, Hillsborough County, Nielsen, PNC, Regions Bank, Wells Fargo; Champion – Florida Blue, Suncoast Credit Union, Walt Disney World Resort; Honorary – Art & Sounds, JPMorgan Chase, RC Howard & Associates, USAmeriBank; Media – Centro Tampa, Estrella TV, Rumba 106.5, Spectrum, Telemundo Tampa; and Photo Booth Sponsor Telemundo Tampa.