On Tuesday, Oct. 3, three Central Florida Hispanic business owners were honored at the 2017 Prospera Success Stories Luncheon presented by OUC – The Reliable One. This annual event is hosted by the economic development, nonprofit organization to recognize a few remarkable clients while raising funds that help sustain its programs throughout the year. Held during Hispanic Heritage Month, this year’s event theme was Redefining Success and it was the first since the organization’s brand change.
Prospera’s Board Chair Victor Rivera, President and CEO Augusto Sanabria, and Central Florida Regional Vice President Gaby Ortigoni 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. They also encouraged the community to continue working together to support the victims of recent disasters and stressed the importance of preparing for the potential influx of Puerto Ricans who might arrive at Florida. Prospera has the structure and programs to help business owners relocating their businesses from Puerto Rico to Florida, either temporarily or permanently, and is collaborating with partners at the National Entrepreneur Center to prepare to serve and guide those who seek a new start by establishing a new business in Florida as a result of the hurricane devastation on the island.
Representatives from event sponsors and Prospera volunteers also spoke at the luncheon. Despite having to reschedule the event due to Hurricane Irma, this year’s Success Stories Luncheon attracted more than 500 attendees, including Central Florida government, business and community leaders, as well as Prospera clients and volunteers.
The 2017 Success Stories honorees were selected among entrepreneurs who have received Prospera services, based on business growth and economic impact. “These entrepreneurs demonstrate dedication, hard work and that sometimes you have to take a step back in order to grow. They redefine what success means and how to achieve it,” said Ortigoni.
The following Hispanic entrepreneurs were honored:
- Esteban García, owner of Nebbia Technology
After working as a Systems Engineer for 15 years, he realized he wanted to provide his own technology solutions. The team of 10 at Nebbia Technology specializes in Azure-based solutions and DevOps best practices.
- Cecilia Cáceres, owner of Luvarel
Her passion for helping people began as a young volunteer at the hospital. She now has 40-member staff who offer caregiving for the elderly and people with disabilities in the comfort of their homes.
- Antonio Cruz, owner of Cruz Institute
After owning a business for 15 years in Puerto Rico, he sought new opportunities in the U.S. Using his experience as an AC technician and electrician, his institute has trained and certified more than 300 students and now has nine employees.
The 2017 Prospera Success Stories Luncheon was made possible thanks to these sponsors’ support: Presenting Sponsor: OUC – The Reliable One. Premier Sponsor: Univision Orlando / 98.1 Salsa y Más. Host Sponsors: Bank of America, Fields Auto Group, Florida Blue, Florida Hospital, Orlando Health, Orlando Magic, Walt Disney World Resort and Wells Fargo. Champion Sponsors: AT&T, Duke Energy, JPMorgan Chase and University of Central Florida. Honorary Sponsors: Charter Communications – Spectrum, Conrad Santiago & Associates with Ameriprise Financial, PNC, El Osceola Star, iHeart Media, Telemundo Orlando and Art & Sounds.