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					                                                                                                 Volume 5 \ Fall 2006




Memories of Manny Latin Chamber of Commerce’s
\ By Tom Rodriguez
                                                 2006 La Oportunidad EXPO                                                 \ By Jennifer Mehner

                                                     Thank you to all of our sponsors, speak-      with our well-received keynote speaker, Ja-
                                                 ers, exhibitors, members, and of course, the      vier Loya, President and CEO of CHOICE!
                                                 Expo Committee team that made this year’s         Energy in Houston, Texas. Mr. Loya, who
                                                 Latin Chamber of Commerce Expo such a             is a minority owner of the NFL’s Houston
                                                 great success. Whether it was making a new        Texans, told us the story of his life, from
                                                 business contact, or being inspired by our        his meager beginnings with immigrant par-
                                                 keynote speaker, everyone who participated        ents that strongly emphasized the value of an
                                                 in the Expo events gained something.              education, to his great success. The day was




The late Manuel “Manny” Cortez

    Almost everyone who has lived in Las
Vegas for more than five years has heard of
Manny Cortez, a four-term Clark County
Commissioner and President and Chief Ex-
ecutive Officer for the Las Vegas Conven-
tion and Visitors Authority for 13 years prior
to his retirement in May of 2004. It was
not surprising, therefore, to see Las Vegas’
“movers and shakers” give high praise to
Manny in newspaper interviews following          Expo attendees sample different products offered at the 4th Annual La Oportunidad EXPO 2006.
the news of his untimely death. He knew
them all and called many of them friends.            Our “Whole Enchilada” Sponsors in this        pulled off with only the slightest of technical
    As someone who knew Manny for over           year’s Expo included: American Family In-         difficulties.
twenty years, I too would like to share some     surance, EMBARQ, Harrah’s Entertainment,              We concluded our events on June 17th
of my memories about this remarkable man.        Inc., MGM MIRAGE, and Wells Fargo.                with the La Oportunidad Expo at Cashman
My life first intersected with Manny’s in        Thank you all for your investment in our His-     Center. We had participation on all levels,
April of 1981, the month that I arrived in       panic Community.                                  from large corporations, to small businesses,
Las Vegas to become the Director of Plan-            On June 16th, our exciting events kicked      to consumers and their families.
ning & Evaluation for the Las Vegas/Clark        off with business development seminars held           Maggie Petrel, a local consultant for
County Consortium, the federally funded          at Bellagio. The presenters were phenomenal       Global Professional Medical Consulting,
Job Training Program serving Southern            and they shared very practical and valuable       stated that La Oportunidad brought a lot of
Nevada. At the time, Manny was a County          information with us. Presentations included:      opportunities to get clients and businesses
Commissioner and was also the Chairman           Where’s My Money? Getting Your Deal Fi-           together for her and for others, as it was a
of the Executive Board overseeing the Las        nanced, Using Technology to Increase Your         relaxed setting with an exciting, almost so-
Vegas/Clark County Consortium. In that           Profits, and Procurement Las Vegas Style.         cial, business environment. We had a record
                     Continued on page 6 >
                                                     From there, we had a wonderful luncheon                            Continued on page 2 >

Fall 2006                                                                                                                                       
Helping Hispanic entrepreneurs                                                                        In this Issue
succeed in business.                                                                              Memories of Manny                     1
What are some of the biggest challenges          fy the technology applications that will best
Hispanic business owners will face in the        serve their business needs.                      La Oportunidad EXPO
next few years?                                      The U.S. Hispanic Chamber’s 2005 an-
    There are nearly 2 million Hispanic-         nual convention in Milwaukee hosted sev-         Hispanic Entrepreneurs                2
owned businesses in the United States; these     eral technology workshops that focused on
                                                                                                  La Oportunidad EXPO continued
businesses are increasing in number at a rate    business growth through technology adop-
nearly three times the national average. One     tion. They also partnered with technology        Chairman’s Corner                     3
of the biggest challenges they face is access    companies such as Avaya, Cisco Systems,
to capital. The U.S. Hispanic Chamber has        Intel, SBC Communications, and Verizon           LCC Awarded USHCC Award
partnered with U.S. Bank to form “Capi-          Communications on several educational
tal!,” a strategic loan program providing        and outreach efforts to help Hispanic-owned      A Center to Hone Skills               4
more than $1 billion over a five-year period     businesses better understand the importance      Membership Committee
to support small businesses in high-growth       of integrating technology into their business
Hispanic markets across the country.             models. Through these and similar partner-       Save the Date Awards Gala             5
    Access to useful and affordable technol-     ships, Hispanic business owners can maxi-
ogy is important for small businesses. This      mize the potential of their businesses and       Toni DeAztlan
is especially true for Hispanic-owned busi-      better position themselves in the global mar-
                                                                                                  Memories of Manny continued           6
nesses, which tend to have less capital to in-   ketplace.
vest in technology and less knowledge about                                                       Small Business Capacity Program       7
which technologies can best meet their busi-     Has technology improved your ability to
ness needs than non-Hispanic-owned busi-         serve your constituents?                         Women Business Enterprises
nesses.                                              Technology has created an entirely new
                                                 way for us to communicate with our mem-          Education Committee
How can technology help minority busi-           bers and for chambers of commerce across
                                                                                                  Director’s Corner                     8
nesses compete?                                  the country to network and do business. For
     The production power of Hispanic-           example, the Hispanic Vendor Directory,          Liliam Lujan Hickey School...
owned businesses continues to grow, but          run by U.S. Hispanic Chamber’s charitable
still lags behind that of non-minority busi-     foundation, is an international database that    Chamber’s Directors Media 0         9
nesses. Businesses should view technology        links our chamber members to Hispanic
as a long-term investment that will pay for      businesses around the world. The directory       A Good Friend Retires
itself by increasing efficiency and growth       also serves as an online strategic resource
                                                                                                  Funds for UNLV Dropout Study
potential.                                       for members seeking financial, educational,
                                                 and business procurement opportunities.          John Pacheco                    10 & 11
What can small-business owners do to             For more information on the U.S. Hispanic
take advantage of technology solutions?          Chamber’s technology efforts contact our         Green Card Marines                  12
    Knowledge is important. Hispanic busi-       U.S. Hispanic Chamber representative Mrs.
ness owners must take the initiative to edu-     Elizabeth Gallagher.                             Immigrant Elected to Assembly
cate themselves on best practices and identi-                                                     Hearing for Rural Groundwater       13

                                                                                                  Fall Water Restrictions
Latin Chamber of Commerce’s 2006                                                                  From the Back of the Truck

La Oportunidad EXPO \ From Page                                                                  Harrah’s Diversity Plan Overview    14

                                                                                                  Did You Know?
breaking number of exhibitors this year.         first customers and I was able to get him into
More than 100 companies and organizations        contact with the Nevada Small Business De-       Jose Melendrez Joins UNLV
came together to make La Oportunidad the         velopment Center so that he could register
excellent event that it turned out to be.        his company as a minority business.”             Nineteenth Annual Golf              15
  Christina Fuentes, Manager of Diversity           This was by far the best Expo we have had
                                                                                                  Latino Youth Leadership
Relations at MGM MIRAGE, found a new             and the next one can only be even better. We
vendor at La Oportunidad that she used for       are in the process of assembling our 2007        Past Events Gallery             16 & 17
an event soon after, and he was able to make     Expo Committee. If you are interested in
several banners for them in just 48 hours.       joining the 2007 Expo Committee, feel free       New Members                     18 & 19
“He is just getting started trying to get work   to contact the Latin Chamber of Commerce
with the casino industry. I was one of his       at (702) 385-7367.                               The Passing of a Remarkable Lady    20


2                                                                                                                  Comunicación Newsletter
Chairman’s Corner                                                                                    race for assembly District 11, and Mo De-
    There have been so many blessings be-                                                            nis, who served with distinction during his
stowed upon our chamber over the past sum-                                                           first term as the Assemblyman for District
mer that I am not certain where to begin in                                                          28 at the State Legislature, In addition, I am
writing this message. I guess a good place                                                           especially proud of my fellow Latina board
to start is to tell you the chamber has finally                                                      members Elizabeth Gallagher and Irene
implemented its first Health Insurance Pro-                                                          Bustamante, who were both recognized at
gram. In addition, this summer we had our                                                            the national level, “you go girls.”
second consecutive sold out golf tourna-                                                                  Of course I cannot go on without men-
ment. It was a wonderful, fun-filled event                                                           tioning the unprecedented and generous
with beautiful weather and well over 250                                                             donation made by Latin Chamber member,
participants. We also had our most success-                                                          Aner Iglesias, which will surely continue to
ful La Oportunidad conference with over                                                              propel the Chamber’s mission to the next
3,000 attendees who visited and sampled                                                              level.
                                                  Robert Gomez - Chairman of the Board
the wares of over 130 vendors. It seems                                                                   I consider myself fortunate to serve our
the event gets better with each passing year.     was successful in creating an economic de-         organization with so many talented board
Another proud milestone that we reached           velopment corporation that will invest in          members. Together, we work in unison to
this summer was our 12th Annual Latino            our respective communities. The program            make the chamber stronger every day. To
Youth Leadership Conference, held on the          is called the Valley Center Opportunity Zone       date, I believe that we have accomplished
campuses of the University of Nevada, Las         (VCOZ).                                            what I envisioned when I took office as
Vegas, the Nevada State College and the               I also take pride in mentioning the note-      Chairman but it could not have been done
Community College of Southern Nevada.             worthy achievements made by many of our            without the help and support of this great
Also, for the first time ever in the history of   members over the past couple of years. In-         membership and staff. I thank each and ev-
any chamber in Las Vegas, the Latin Cham-         dividuals such as Ruben Kihuen, who re-            ery one of you for all you do to make our
ber, in partnership with the Urban Chamber,       cently won the Democratic Primary in the           chamber one of the best in the nation!


                                                  August 24, 2006


                                                  Mr. Otto Merida
                                                  President & CEO
                                                  Latin Chamber of Commerce
                                                  300 North 13th Street
                                                  Las Vegas, NV 89101

                                                  Dear Otto:

                                                  On behalf of the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (USHCC), I want to
                                                  extend my sincerest congratulations for the selection of the Large Hispanic Chamber
                                                  of the Year - Region I for the USHCC 2006 Hispanic Leadership and Business
                                                  Excellence Awards.
    “The Latin Chamber
                                                  We hope that you can attend the Regional Awards Presentation which will be
                                                  announced at the “Technology & Procurement Town Hall” at the USHCC 27th Annual
            of Commerce                           National Convention & Business Expo on Thursday, September 21st at 8:30 a.m. in
                                                  Philadelphia, PA. From this impressive group of regional winners, the National Award
                                                  Winners will be chosen and announced at the Awards Gala on Saturday, September
             is awarded                           23, 2006 at 7:00 p.m. Please register for the convention at www.ushcc.com.

                                                  The growth and impact of your chamber is a wonderful example of this year’s theme
                                                  “Let’s Make a Deal: Hagmos Negocios” and the USHCC Convention is an excellent
             the USHCC’s                          opportunity for us to showcase your achievements. This year’s Convention and Expo
                                                  is expected to be one of the largest celebrations in the history of the USHCC and is
                                                  expected to generate millions for the city of Philadelphia. More than 3,500 attendees
            Large Hispanic                        are expected to participate in a series of workshops and plenary sessions where
                                                  experts will offer insight on issues that impact Hispanic businesses in the global
                                                  marketplace.
   Chamber of the Year                            Please contact Gina Manley at (202) 842-1212 to confirm your attendance at our
                                                  convention.

       Region I Award”                            Again, I want to extend my deepest congratulations and look forward to seeing you
                                                  soon.

                                                  Sincerely,


                                                  Michael L. Barrera
                                                  President & CEO

Fall 2006                                                                                                                                        
Board of                                                Latin Chamber: Creating A Center Where
Directors 2006                                          Members Can Hone Their Business Skills
Chairman
Robert Gomez | Magic Brite Janitorial                       The leadership of the Latin Chamber of       the skills that they need to become stronger
                                                        Commerce has met with college and univer-        businesspersons.
Vice Chairwoman
Irene Bustamante-Adams | MGM MIRAGE                     sity leaders from Nevada State College and           Among the points of discussion with
                                                        CCSN to discuss the maximum utilization of       college officials are what classes should be
Secretary / Treasurer
Dr. Aldo Aguirre | Alianza Consulting Group
                                                        the Chamber’s learning facilities, which are     offered at the LCC Learning Center, when
                                                        located directly upstairs from the Chamber       they should be offered and whether courses
Assistant Secretary Treasurer                           Offices. If you have not visited our class-      should be short or long term commitments.
Elizabeth Gallagher | SAVI Construction
                                                        room and computer facilities, you are urged      Ideas for classes included Basic Business
Immediate Past Chairwoman                               to do so!                                        Skills, Accounting Skills, Interpreter/Inter-
Eloiza B. Martinez | Wells Fargo Bank
                                                            The goal of the Chamber leadership is        pretation Classes, Basic Computer Skills
Directors | One Year                                    to meet the learning needs of the member-        and ESL classes. The LVLCC wants to offer
Alejandro Alvarez - Don Alejandro’s Texan Grill
Kelly D. Benavidez - City of Las Vegas                  ship and surrounding community. The am-          classes that you can use, and that will help
Domingo Cambeiro - Domingo Cambeiro Corporation         bition of current Chair, Robert Gomez, the       you in your business or career.
Dr. Rene Cantu - Nevada State College
Carlos Collado - Bellagio Resort & Casino
                                                        business committee, and the education com-           A survey will be sent to the membership
Amy R. Cornelison - KB Home Nevada, Inc.                mittee, is to offer learning opportunities at    shortly to inquire about what would best
Judith Fleischman - Congresswoman Shelley Berkley
Nancy Frago - Verizon Wireless
                                                        the chamber that help meet the membership        serve their needs. We urge you to respond to
Erick Lopez - LYLA Representative                       and community’s practical learning needs.        this survey as it will determine what classes
Larry Mason - Nevada System of Higher Education         We want to help our business members with        will be offered at the Chamber in the future.
Daniel Tafoya - Carlk County School District
Sylvia Vasquez - University Medical Center
Jorge Viote - Clark County Health District

Directors | Two Years
Brian Ayala - Ayala’s Inc.
                                                        “Coast to San Diego” Vacation Contest
Maximiliano Couvillier, III - Lionel Sawyer & Collins     \ By Amy Cornelison
Peter Guzman - Coldwell Banker Wardley
Maria Marinch - Brown & Partners                            The Membership Committee has an ex-          able service to your fellow LCC members.
Tony F. Sanchez, III - Jones Vargas                     citing offer to make to all LCC members.         You’ll also gain valuable exposure on the
Judge Valorie Vega - Eighth Judicial District Court
Alma Garcia Vining - University of Nevada, Las Vegas    How would you like to experience warm            LCC’s website and it is at no cost to you! So
                                                        ocean breezes, enjoy cool evenings, mar-         come on, sign up today; you have nothing to
President & Chief Executive Officer
Otto Mérida                                             vel at beautiful scenery and savor excel-        lose and new business to gain!
                                                        lent dining ALL FOR FREE??? Well, guess              Are you a new member to the LCC?
Senior Executive Vice President
Victoria Napoles                                        what, your ship has come in! The committee       We’d love to meet you and have you sit at
                                                        is looking for the best of the best. Do you      our ‘New Member Table’ at our next lun-
Business Delevopment & Membership
Carlos Gomez
                                                        have what it takes? The “Coast to San Di-        cheon. Please contact the LCC staff to let
                                                        ego Contest” will begin September 1st and        them know you’ll be attending and we’ll
Business Development Specialist
Paul Quiroz
                                                        end December 1st. What’s the catch? Be the       see you there! It’s a great way to meet new
                                                        LCC member to recruit the most members           friends while exchanging business cards.
Administrative Assistants                               to join the Chamber and you win! It’s that           Looking for another great way to mix
Beatriz Saenz
Ricardo Reyna                                           easy. Please contact Carlos or Paul at the       and mingle with your fellow LCC members?
Michael Tulimero                                        LCC when referring new members and they          The Membership Committee is working on
                                                        will take care of the rest! Whoever wins the     upcoming mixers and details will soon fol-
                                                        contest will receive free roundtrip South-       low. Keep checking the website for updates.
                                                        west Airlines tickets for two to San Diego           If you have any questions, concerns or
                                                        and a two night stay at a San Diego property.    comments about the LCC, don’t hesitate
Published by:                                           (You’re responsible for rental car expenses      to contact me directly at my office. Your
Latin Chamber of Commerce, Nevada, Inc.                 and meals.)                                      feedback is greatly encouraged and I look
Chairperson / Editor / Writer:                              Are you one of the businesses who are of-    forward to hearing from everyone. If you
Daniel J. Tafoya, Clark County School District          fering a discount, benefit, incentive or prod-   would like to volunteer to serve on this
Co-Editor / Writer:
                                                        uct exclusively to LCC members through           committee, please phone or send an e-mail.
Tom Rodriguez, Clark County School District             our “Member to Member Benefit Program?”          Thanks for being part of the Latin Chamber
Chief Graphic Designer / Photographer:
                                                        If not, please contact the Membership Com-       of Commerce.
Edward Dorville, Latin Chamber of Commerce              mittee Chair, Ms. Amy Cornelison via e-
                                                        mail at acornelison@kbhome.com or you            Amy R. Cornelison, Director
LCC Office:
00 North th Street, Las Vegas NV 890               may reach her directly at her office (702)       Latin Chamber of Commerce
Phone (702) 85-767                                    266-8041. This is a great way to expose your     Membership Committee Chair
Fax (702) 85-26
E-Mail info@lvlcc.com                                   business to new clientele and provide valu-
Web Page www.lvlcc.com


                                                                                                                            Comunicación Newsletter
            Toni DeAztlan:
            Harrah’s Manager of
            Diversity Relations
            \ By Tom Rodriguez

                 One of the new
            and attractive faces
            on the Las Vegas
            Strip is Toni DeAzt-
            lan, the new Man-
            ager of Diversity Relations for Harrah’s
            Entertainment, Inc., the largest provider of
            casino entertainment in the world. In her
            new role, Toni works closely with local and
            national diversity organizations on behalf of
            Harrah’s, and acts as an official representa-
            tive of the company in identifying oppor-
            tunities for strategic relationships with key
            organizations and individuals.
                 Toni is a California girl, who grew up in
            the desert resort community of Palm Springs,
            which she says in many ways is a smaller
            version of Las Vegas, Nevada. Toni’s moth-
            er was born in Mexico and her father is a
            fourth generation Mexican from California.
            Toni told this writer that her mother was and
            still is very active in California politics and
            is presently working on a Congressional
            race. Toni holds a BA Degree in Political
            Science from the University of California,
            Los Angeles (UCLA), and a J. D. Degree
            from DePaul University School of Law.
                 Prior to joining Harrah’s Entertainment
            in 2005, Toni was an associate in a Los An-
            geles law firm, where she assisted city at-
            torneys in evaluating and drafting city or-
            dinances, codes, and resolutions. Toni also
            collaborated on city lobbying efforts at the
            local, state and national levels.
                 Toni is very proud of the fact that she
            served as the official Spanish language
            Spokesperson, and as the affiliate television
            liaison for the 1996 Inauguration of Presi-
            dent Bill Clinton. In that role, she organized
            and coordinated Spanish language televi-
            sion stations covering the inauguration.
            Later, Toni served on the advance team of
            then First Lady Hillary Clinton in 1995 and
            again in 1996, spearheading political rallies
            and fundraisers, supervising volunteers, and
            directing media relations.
                 It is our good luck that Toni is now liv-
            ing and working in Las Vegas. Already she
            has worked closely and generously with the
            Latin Chamber of Commerce to help our
            organization with the upcoming Annual
            Awards Banquet, but more on that and on
            Toni at a later date.

Fall 2006                                                 5
Memories of Manny
role, I regularly came in contact with Manny
and quickly grew to admire his unique talent
for solving problems.
     In early 1984, I informed Manny that I
was in the process of writing several grants
to obtain funding for a Bilingual Senior Cen-
ter targeted to Hispanic persons. Manny told
me to notify him when the grants were sub-
mitted and that he would lobby for their ap-
proval. As things turned out, with Manny’s
support, and that of Ron Lurie and the late
Al Levy, two City of Las Vegas Councilmen,
LULAC Council #11081 received $450,000
from the County of Clark, the City of Las
                                                “Cinco de Mayo” Day: 1986 - Manny Cortez speaking at the dedication of the LULAC Senior
Vegas, and the Nevada Division on Aging,
                                                Center (now known as the Arturo Cambeiro Senior Center).
to construct the first Bilingual Multi-Pur-
pose Senior Center in the State of Nevada.      a doubt Manny Cortez left his mark on the         local and national politics, local Hispanic
On May 5, 1984, LULAC Council #11081            Clark County we live in today. His name           issues, and always, about our respective
held a formal ground breaking ceremony at       is enshrined on dedication plaques on many        families. It was and still is a totally stress-
the future site of the LULAC Multi-Purpose      buildings constructed by votes of the Clark       free environment where good friends come
Bilingual Senior Center. Manny, of course,      County Commission. Less visible but much          together to share a few hours of quality time.
was there and gave an insightful speech         more significant, Manny’s impact is felt ev-      Somehow, I don’t think it will be the same
about the cooperation that had occurred in      ery day by Clark County residents as they         without Manny.
order to build the center. Today the Senior     drive on modern highways, drink safe water,           At his viewing services, I spoke to his
Center is operated by the Latin Chamber of      flush their toilets, catch a plane at McCarran    wife, Joanna, and told her that I was a mem-
Commerce under the name of Manny’s good         Airport, pull a slot machine handle, make a       ber of the “Breakfast Club” and she smiled
friend, the late architect, Arturo Cambeiro.    bet in a licensed casino, and sleep safely in     and said “When Manny would go to your
     Later, when I went to work in the County   local hotels protected by the strictest fire      breakfast meetings he never called it the
Manager’s office as a Senior Management         safety codes in the world. For all of these       Breakfast Club. Instead, he would tell me
Analyst, I often worked closely with Manny.     reasons, and many more, Manuel “Manny”            ‘I’m going to see the Mexicans ‘and we
One example that I still remember fondly        Cortez has earned his place in Nevada’s his-      would both laugh. I know that he enjoyed
was helping to write a speech Manny gave        tory books.”                                      going there.”
at an international gaming conference held           As much or more than any person in this          Manny also had a long association with
in Shannon, Ireland, in June of 1987. The       city’s long history, Manny Cortez has left his    the Latin Chamber of Commerce and was a
speech went over so well that when he got       mark on Las Vegas and for that he will never      featured speaker at many of the Chamber’s
back to Las Vegas, Manny came up to my          be forgotten. There was another less public       famous monthly luncheons and annual ban-
office and thanked me for my assistance. In     side to Manny, however, one tied to his La-       quets. Manny’s first speech was at a lun-
October of 1989, I left the County for the      tino roots. For Manny, that was a part of his     cheon held at the Kung Fu Restaurant where
Clark County School District where I be-        life that held a special place in his heart un-   his topic was “The Future of Clark County.”
came the first full-time Diversity and Af-      til the day he died. In fact, on the Saturday     In 1986, Manny was awarded the “Out-
firmative Action Officer. Manny supported       before his death, Manny spent the morning         standing Hispanic of the Year” Award by the
me for that job by writing a wonderful letter   attending a meeting of the “Breakfast Club,”      Latin Chamber of Commerce.
and calling my future boss, Dr. Brian Cram.     which was formed in February of 2001 and              Like everyone who knew Manny, I’m
That was the type of stand up guy Manny         is comprised of a small group of Hispanic         going to miss him, and even though he lived
was. If he liked you there wasn’t anything      friends that meet once a month on the first       a relatively long life, I still cannot shake
he wouldn’t do for you if you asked.            Saturday of the month.                            this feeling that he died far too young. In
     A few years later in 1991, I co-wrote a          On that last Saturday morning, Manny        remembering Manny, I will always remem-
book with Dr. Melvin “Tony” Miranda, titled     was in high spirits and he talked a lot about     ber how much he loved this city. He loved
Hispanic Profiles in Nevada History: 1829       his daughter Catherine’s race for Nevada          the deserts and the mountains, and the golf
– 1991. Manny was one of five individuals       Attorney General and how good the race            courses. He also loved the energy, excite-
that I profiled in Part II of the book titled   was going. He also had fun teasing his old        ment and creativity of the remarkable city
“Contemporary Hispanic Profiles.” In the        friend, former casino executive, Tony Ala-        that he helped to build. This was his home
last paragraph of Manny’s profile, I wrote      mo, about Tony’s private jet. Tony, in turn,      for over 60 years and he never wanted to be
the following which seems very appropri-        teased Manny about his “golden parachute”         anywhere else, and now, he will be here for-
ate following his death. It read, “Looking      retirement package. We had some fun times         ever - in the spring, summer, fall and winter
back on Manny Cortez’s life and career,         at those breakfast meetings, talking about        - in the only place he called home. Rest
one has to be impressed with the scope and      upcoming boxing matches, our favorite             well old friend, it was a true pleasure know-
breadth of his accomplishments. Without         football and basketball teams, our vacations,     ing you! – Tom Rodriguez

6                                                                                                                       Comunicación Newsletter
The LCC proposes small business capacity                                                                      Education Committee
building program \ By Aldo Aguirre, Peter Guzman, and Robert Gomez                                            Update
    Small business owners will soon have an       of both institutions. While the LCC has                     Over the last year, the Education Committee
opportunity to expand their business capaci-      amassed a database of small business owners                 has been quite active on a number of fronts.
ty with a new training program proposed by        who have completed training classes, CCSN                   A short summary follows:
the LCC Business Development Committee            has a strong reputation for management edu-
and accepted by the Community College of          cation. Together the two organizations will                 Latino Youth Leadership Conference:
Southern Nevada.                                  be able to provide non-traditional students                 Over the spring and summer, the commit-
    The program will provide LCC Mem-             and small business owners an opportunity to                 tee worked actively on improving the La-
bers and other small business owners an op-       earn a Certificate in Business Management,                  tino Youth Leadership Conference, which
portunity to enhance business management          learn about general management and ethics,                  took place this past June. About 45 students
skills that will lead to a Certificate in Busi-   finance and accounting, marketing, logistics                from across the valley participated in this
ness Management. According to Dr. Rand            and human resources.                                        conference, which is designed to prepare to-
W. Key, Vice President for Planning and De-           This new program will provide a great                   morrow’s Latino leaders. The Latino Youth
velopment for CCSN, “the LCC’s proposal           opportunity for many small business owners                  Leadership is now in its 12th year.
to create this class for small businesses fits    who suffer from inadequate business infor-
right into CCSN’s current strategic outreach      mation. Look in next month’s LCC News-                      Latin Chamber Scholarships/Career Day:
plans, as we are looking for ways to increase     letter for greater details on the LCC-CCSN                  In 2006, the Latin Chamber of Commerce
the utilization of our satellite campuses.”       Certificate of Business Management.                         awarded an unprecedented number of schol-
    The idea is to capitalize on the strengths                                                                arships to students attending UNLV, CCSN
                                                                                                              and Nevada State College. Over 130 schol-
                                                                                                              arships were awarded in 2006 to help recent
The Women Business Enterprise                                                                                 high school graduates pursue their dream of
                                                                                                              higher education. Planning is now under
National Council (WBENC)                                                                                      way for the 2006-2007 Career Day which
                                                                                                              takes place this coming November.
     The Women Business Enterprise Na-            5. U.S. Citizenship or U.S. Resident Alien
tional Council (WBENC) certification for             Status                                                   Policy Recommendations to the NSHE:
women-owned businesses is one of the most                                                                     Although Hispanics are one of the largest
widely recognized and respected certifica-        Certification Process                                       populations in Clark County, they are among
tions in the nation. Accepted by over 700             The first step to getting certified is                  the most underrepresented in higher educa-
major corporations across the country and         completing the online application. In order                 tion. The Education Committee worked
a number of federal and government agen-          to do this, you will need to go to Instruc-                 closely with academic and community lead-
cies, your WBENC certification will be an         tions/Application. Once the online applica-                 ers across the valley to formulate a set of
important marketing tool for expanding            tion has been submitted, you will receive                   recommendations to improve Hispanic ac-
your company’s visibility among decision          an email (within 24 hours) directing you to                 cess and success in Nevada colleges. These
makers in corporate supplier diversity and        your Partner Organization. Upon receipt of                  were presented to the leadership of the Ne-
procurement.                                      the notification you need to mail the “Re-                  vada System of Higher Education. The LCC
     Special programs and initiatives de-         quired Attachments”, notarized sworn affi-                  Education Committee was very pleased
veloped by WBENC also provide certified           davit, printed copy of your application and                 when Chancellor Jim Rogers reviewed the
WBEs with added information, training and         non-refundable processing fee to your as-                   committee’s recommendations and signed
resources for growing their business op-          signed Partner Organization. WBENC has                      a pledge to improve Hispanic and minority
portunities in both the public and private        14 Partner Organizations across the country                 success at all NSHE schools. Among the
sectors. Moreover, WBENC exclusive ini-           that handle WBENC certification in all 50                   policy recommendations set forth by the ed-
tiatives like WBENCLink, WEBuy, the Ac-           states.                                                     ucation committee were: increased scholar-
celerator Program are designed especially             There is a non-refundable processing fee                ship support, increased Hispanic faculty and
for certified women’s business enterprises.       that ranges from $300 to $350 depending on                  staff representation, early college outreach,
                                                  where your business is located. There are no                and changes in teacher preparation to help
Criteria for Certification                        other fees for processing, but you will be ex-              future teachers better serve our growing His-
1. Fifty-one percent ownership by a woman         pected to pay a processing fee annually as                  panic population.
   or women.                                      your company must undergo a recertifica-
2. Proof of effective management and con-         tion process every year.
   trol of the business (operating position,                                                                           upcoming events @
   by-laws, hire-fire and other decision-         The certification process takes 60-90 days from the time
   making role, signature role on loans and
   contracts)
3. Contribution of capital and/or expertise
                                                  your Partner Organization receives your completed ap-
                                                  plication packet. Feel free to contact the Partner Orga-
                                                  nization at any time to confirm they have received all of
                                                                                                              www.lvlcc.com
4. Independence                                   the necessary documentation from your company.


Fall 2006                                                                                                                                                7
Director’s Corner                                 Liliam Lujan Hickey school dedicated                                  \ By Tom Rodriguez
By Maria Marinch
                                                                                                  tion of her dream caps off a truly remark-
   As we mentioned in the last edition of our                                                     able career and life. Her life story reads like
newsletter, the Latin Chamber of Commerce                                                         an adventure novel starting with her escape
(LCC) board of directors would like to use                                                        from communist Cuba in 1959 with her
this space to answer your questions, listen to                                                    late first husband, a former Cuban Olympic
your comments and provide you with some                                                           weight lifting coach. After living for short
information about your LCC leadership.                                                            periods in Florida, Pennsylvania, and Cali-
   This edition, we are featuring Kelly D.                                                        fornia, in 1962, Liliam and her family ended
Benavidez, LCC board member and city                                                              up in Las Vegas. Tragically, not long after
council liaison for City of Las Vegas Coun-                                                       they arrived in Las Vegas, Liliam’s husband
cilman Lawrence Weekly. Here are some of                                                          died suddenly of a heart attack and left her
the answers to your questions:                                                                    with three young children to raise. Being
                                                                                                  the indomitable fighter that she is, Liliam
Why did you decide to get involved with                                                           did what she had to do to survive and care
the Latin Chamber of Commerce? I feel a                                                           for her children. Despite the many demands
great sense of gratitude and responsibility to                                                    on her time, however, Liliam still made time
give back to an organization that has given                                                       to volunteer in the Cuban Refugee Program
me the opportunity to grow and learn.                                                             and did such an outstanding job in that pro-
                                                                                                  gram that in 1970 she was asked to go to
In your opinion, what is the number one                                                           work for the Nevada Welfare Division where
issue facing Hispanics in Nevada today?               On April 19, 2006, the Liliam Lujan         she remained for the next 20 years.
The lack of political involvement. We are         Hickey Elementary School was officially             In the late 1970’s, Liliam met and fell in
the largest minority, but still do not have the   dedicated. Its namesake, Liliam Lujan           love with Nevada Assemblyman, Tom Hick-
political impact that we should.                  Hickey, has lived in Las Vegas for over 35      ey, who later became a Nevada State Sena-
                                                  years. In those years, she has been a strong    tor. It was a good match and from the time
What inspires you? My inspiration comes           advocate for education and for the advance-     that they joined forces in marriage, Liliam
from the people around me, my friends and         ment of all students, especially Hispanic       and Tom have given much to make Nevada
family move me to work harder and strive          students.                                       a better place to live.
for better and they never let me give up.             In 1985, Liliam founded the Latin Cham-         In 1988, Liliam was elected to the Ne-
                                                  ber of Commerce’s Career Day Scholarship        vada State Board of Education, where she
Tell us about a defining moment in your           Program. In the 21 years since, the program     became the first Hispanic woman to be
life. The night I received the Latin Cham-        has awarded over $908,000 in scholarships       elected to a statewide office. Liliam also
ber Community Service Award. It was very          to local Hispanic students. In addition, Lil-   served on the Governor’s Advisory Board
powerful to be recognized by an organiza-         iam’s other step-child, the Las Vegas Class-    for the Division on Aging, the State Health
tion that I have so much respect for and to be    room on Wheels, aka the COW program,            Coordinating Council, the State Job Train-
surrounded by my friends and family.              continues to travel to poor neighborhoods       ing Coordinating Council, the Southern Ne-
                                                  offering early education and free medical       vada BEST Coalition, the Girls and Boys
Anything you would like to share with             and dental care to children. Liliam contin-     Scouts of America, the Clark County Fair
LCC members? No one succeeds on their             ues to serve as the President of the Class-     Advisory Council, and the Martin Luther
own, we should never forget the people that       room on Wheels program.                         King, Jr. Holiday Commission. Liliam was
helped us get where we are and always look            On hand to help Liliam celebrate the        also selected by the Nevada 125th Anniver-
for those that need our help as well.             dedication of her school were her three         sary Commission as one of the women who
                                                  daughters, Mrs. Liliam Shell, Mrs. Silvia       has had a significant role in making Nevada
  Next edition, we will be featuring Peter        Walsh, and Ms. Mary Hickey, plus many of        what it is today. For all of those accomplish-
Guzman, co-chair of the Business Develop-         Liliam’s friends, to include this writer, who   ments, and for all of her outstanding quali-
ment Committee. Guzman is a senior sales          attended the event with Victoria Napoles        ties as a caring human being, Liliam Lujan
executive/partner with Coldwell Banker            and Eloiza Martinez.                            Hickey is definitely a person worthy of hav-
Wardley real estate. Born in Florida, Guz-            Having a school named after her has been    ing a school named in her honor. Congratu-
man came to Las Vegas 36 years ago. He            a longtime dream of Liliam and the realiza-     lations Amiga!
has been deeply involved with the LCC and
prides himself in helping people achieve the
dream of home ownership. He is a dedicated
man with a vision for the chamber and the                                  employment opportunities @

                                                                        www.lvlcc.com
Las Vegas Hispanic community.
  Please send your questions for Peter Guz-
man to info@lvlcc.com. We hope to hear
from you.


8                                                                                                                     Comunicación Newsletter
Chamber directors get 0 on media relations                                                        LCC contributes funds
\ By Judith Fleischman and Maria Marinch
                                                                                                    to UNLV to study high
    The Public Affairs Committee (PAC)
hosted a special media-training seminar for
                                                 • Use the skills and knowledge of your             dropout rate
                                                   public relations professional
Latin Chamber of Commerce (LCC) direc-           • Target your message                              \ By Gian Galassi (702) 895-02
tors and staff the first week of July. The ob-   • Adapt to the media outlet
jective of the training was to provide a quick   • Create a message line and talking points             Researchers at UNLV’s Center for Busi-
guide on media relations, interview tips and     • Mind your body language and tone                 ness and Economic Research (CBER) have
to share examples of good and bad media          • Be clear, sincere and precise                    been awarded a grant from the Annie E.
relations.                                                                                          Casey Foundation to study the reasons be-
    The feedback of participants was over-           The PAC may be offering an open ses-           hind the high dropout rate of youth in Clark
whelmingly positive and the PAC hopes to         sion in media training for all LCC members         County. The $10,000 grant was matched by
continue providing support and training on       in the upcoming months. We are currently           contributions of $5,000 each from James E.
this area as needed. Some of the interview       exploring the level of interest for this type of   Rogers, chancellor of the Nevada System of
tips shared were:                                training. If you are interested in participat-     Higher Education, and the Latin Chamber of
                                                 ing, please send us an e-mail to info@lvlcc.       Commerce Nevada.
• Know your interviewer and his/her style        com and give us your name, title, organiza-            The project will be managed through
• Prepare for the interview                      tion name and current or past experience in        Nevada KIDS COUNT, a program based out
                                                 public and media relations.                        of the CBER, and will involve researchers
                                                                                                    from CBER, the UNLV College of Educa-
                                                                                                    tion’s Department of Educational Leader-
A good friend of the Latin Chamber retires                                                          ship, the William S. Boyd School of Law,
                                                 \ By Tom Rodriguez                                 and officials from the Clark County School
                                                                                                    District.
                                                 it to the Career Day Breakfast, worked with            Using census data and focus groups, re-
                                                 Victoria and the Career Day Committee to           searchers will develop a set of characteris-
                                                 match the students to employer-sponsors,           tics common among dropouts and work to
                                                 and even worked the receiving lines at the         increase public awareness about the chal-
                                                 annual Career Day Breakfast to give stu-           lenges those students face. Ultimately, the
                                                 dents name tags and assign them to their           researchers hope their work will help influ-
                                                 employer-sponsor tables.                           ence policies that will lead to higher reten-
                                                      On July 1, 2006, Joyce Woodhouse offi-        tion of that student population.
                                                 cially retired after working for 40 years with         “There is no existing research that ad-
                                                 the Clark County School District. Joyce            dresses the unique factors leading to the high
                                                 began her career in 1966 as an elementary          dropout rate of students in Clark County,“
                                                 school teacher at C. C. Ronnow Elemetary           said Keith Schwer, executive director of Ne-
                                                 School. Along the way, she also taught at          vada KIDS COUNT. “We need to better un-
                                                 Vegas Verdes and Pat Diskin Elementary             derstand the challenges these students face
                                                 Schools, worked as an Assistant Principal          so that we can work more efficiently toward
Joyce Woodhouse
                                                 at Walter Long, Harley Harmon, and Gene            improving their future.”
    Joyce Woodhouse was there in 1985 for        Ward Elementary Schools, and was the                   The research is an extension of a previ-
the first Latin Chamber of Commerce Career       Principal at J. M. Ullom Elementary School.        ous study conducted by a multi-disciplinary
Day Program and she was there for the next       In 1989, Joyce became the Director of the          team of UNLV researchers chaired by Pro-
21 years and for that she deserves to be rec-    School-Community Partnership Program               fessor Sylvia Lazos of the William S. Boyd
ognized and honored by our organization.         where she remained until her retirement this       School of Law. Completed in Fall 2005,
    Without exception, every year for the        year.                                              the project examined Clark County’s rap-
past 21 years, Joyce worked closely with              Joyce also has a long and distinguished       idly growing immigrant population and its
Victoria Napoles and past Career Day Com-        history of community service and served            impact on the educational, social, and eco-
mittee Chairpersons, Liliam Lujan Hickey,        as a member of the Board of Trustees of            nomic systems of Southern Nevada.
Tom Rodriguez, Alma Garcia Vining, and           the Public Employee Retirement System of               The Nevada KIDS COUNT project is
the current chairman, Larry Mason, to de-        Nevada for 16 years and was recently elect-        a statewide, collaborative effort that brings
termine the number of students from each         ed as a Board Member of the Silver State           together a wide range of organizations and
high school who are selected to attend the       Schools Credit Union. Joyce recently won           agencies involved with children and fami-
Career Day Breakfast and the “Day on the         the Democratic primary to contest for a seat       lies in Nevada. By providing policymakers
Job” work experience. Joyce also met reg-        in Nevada Senate District 5 against incum-         and citizens with the best available data on
ularly with high school counselors to help       bent Sandra Tiffany (R). Good luck Joyce           the educational, social, economic, and phys-
them select students from their respective       and thank you for your many years of ser-          ical well-being of all children in our state,
schools, handled all communications with         vice to our Career Day Program. You will           Nevada KIDS COUNT seeks to improve the
the counselors to make sure students made        be missed!                                         lives and the futures of all our children.

Fall 2006                                                                                                                                       9
The ever so colorful John Pacheco                                                                    \ By Daniel Tafoya

                                                                                                 dia over the years. He has created large scale
                                                                                                 murals for buildings and masterfully created
                                                                                                 ceramic and bronze sculptures. It is not un-
                                                                                                 common to find him involved in projects
                                                                                                 like airbrushing pieces on cars and vans, and
                                                                                                 occasionally, abstract art just for his own
                                                                                                 amusement.
                                                                                                     Pacheco, while still delving in creat-
                                                                                                 ing with different forms of artistic media,
                                                                                                 concentrates more on murals and commis-
                                                                                                 sioned works. Pacheco’s work can be seen
                                                                                                 from coast to coast, with creations includ-
                                                                                                 ing a sports mural in Myrtle Beach, S.C., a
                                                                                                 gambling history mural in San Diego and a
                                                                                                 100-foot whimsical mural for Bad-Ass Cof-
                                                                                                 fee Company in Salt Lake City.
                                                                                                     Last year Pacheco left his artistic mark
                                                                                                 on a Henderson Redevelopment Agency’s
                                                                                                 downtown beautification effort. About 30
    Among its kaleidoscope of talent, the            These are John’s words concerning this      trash cans were decorated and placed around
Chamber has been blessed with many indi-          painting:                                      downtown Henderson for public use. He
viduals who change the way we think, feel                                                        also does design work. In addition to the
and imagine. One of those individuals, John         “My father was my hero. I was torn           downtown development effort, he designed
Pacheco, a long time Chamber member and             apart when he passed. I did this paint-      signs and a new logo for the Little Chapel on
local art celebrity, has enriched our lives         ing in honor of him. I would see him         the corner in downtown Henderson.
with the portraits he paints. These portraits       moving building materials in the yard            Much of Pacheco’s work has taken on
capture the Latin flavor and passion of our         (image in painting). He built our house      historical significance in the Las Vegas area.
local community.                                    himself on 27th street (1942). He made       Along with all of this other achievements,
    In a visit to John’s art studio, which also     his own cement finishing tools, I can        Pacheco has also received Presidential rec-
serves as his home, John informed me that           still hear the sound of him pounding         ognition for his rendition of former Presi-
he has lived in the same neighborhood and           metal on his anvil. His tools, the paint-    dent Ronald Reagan that was placed onstage
practically the same house he was born in,          ing and photo of the house was dis-          with President Reagan when he spoke dur-
for the past 60 years. You can say John is          played at the Lied Discovery Museum          ing a visit to Las Vegas.
a homeboy in the true sense of the word. I          as part of a folk program. Everyone              John may not live the jet-set lifestyle that
quickly discovered that John does not seek          loved my father. Everyone who looks          others do. I believe, however, that John’s
wealth or glory, but freedom to create and to       at the painting comments on his gentle       true reward in life is doing what he loves
channel what is a seemingly limitless supply        smile. The Church steeples in the back-      best, regardless of monetary gain. John,
of creative energy on to the canvas.                ground are in Guaymas, Mex., where           I believe I speak not only for myself, but
    In sitting with him during this interview,      my Mother was born and where I was           members of the Las Vegas Latin Chamber
I noticed that John is continually creating         Baptized. My grandfather Juan Robin-         of Commerce, when I say that we truly ap-
and contemplating his next creative work.           son and his brother owned a silver mine      preciate the richness you provide us through
About the only thing that pulls John’s atten-       in Cooper Canyon but sold it in 1880.        your spirit and talent.
tion away from his work is the mention of his       They also owned mines in Alamos and
two lovely daughters, Amber and Ashleigh.           my uncle Juan had a ranch outside of
I could only imagine the wonderful work of          Guaymas. He was killed by the Indians.
art that John would create if he captured the       My grandmother was born in El Rancho
emotion that he expresses when their names          de Los Angeles (Los Angeles, before
are mentioned. Although I could fill pages          Cal. statehood) and my grandfather was
upon pages with the portraits John has cre-         born in Hermosillo, Mex.”
ated, I decided to put my focus on present-
ing one in particular that seems to be the            The painting was a finalist in the 1986
favorite of many. This painting (pictured on      National Hispanic Heritage poster design
the opposite page) is entitled “Heritage;” an     contest for the Congressional Hispanic Cau-
acrylic on canvas that depicts both Pacheco       cus Institute’s official exhibit in Washing-
as a baby and Pacheco’s father, as well as        ton, D.C. This painting reminds me of my
the church in Guaymas, Mexico in which            own father.
Pacheco was baptized.                                 John has done work in a variety of me-

0                                                                                                                    Comunicación Newsletter
Green Card Marines                                                     \ By Daniel Tafoya

    In March of 2003, the first official Amer-     authorities detained him.                          rez had dreams of becoming an architect, but
ican death in Iraq was reported around the             The United States doesn’t deport Gua-          put college plans on hold to join the Marine
globe. The only error in the report was that       temalan minors who arrive without family.          Corps to serve a country that he was proud
the young soldier who was killed was not           Gutierrez was made a ward of Los Angeles           to be a part of and according to one of Jose’s
an American citizen, but a legal resident          Juvenile Court. He was placed in a series of       family members, “Jose wanted to give the
alien. U.S. Marine Lance Cpl. Jose Gutier-         group homes and foster families. During this       United States what the United States gave
rez (Green Card Marine), 18, who was killed        time, he learned English and finished high         to him. He came with nothing. This country
March 21, 2003 near the Iraqi port city of         school. When he reached the age of 18, he          gave him everything.”
Umm Qasr was serving his country as a le-          acquired the needed residency documents to             There are many other “Green Card Ma-
gal resident alien who, under an executive         stay in the U.S.                                   rines” who have paid the ultimate sacrifice
order, was eligible for accelerated citizen-           According to the LA Times Marcelo              during the war in Iraq, not to mention that
ship without the once required mandatory           Mosquera, a machinist from Ecuador, and            throughout our history there have been sev-
three-year waiting period; this according          his wife Nora, were the last couple that shel-     eral Hispanic Congressional Medal of Honor
to the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization         tered the tall, thin teenager. They cared for      recipients who were also resident aliens.
Service. Thus, the term Green Card Marine          two younger foster children as well, at their          I suggest you cut this article out and pin
was coined. A 2002 article in Modern Leath-        home in suburban Lomita as stated by Hec-          it up some place to keep their memory alive.
erneck Magazine contained the following            tor Tobar, a family friend.                        Let us remember those who so gallantly
quote from President Bush, “the new order              Neighbors told the Los Angeles Times           serve this country, both citizens and non-cit-
will reward those men and women who are            that Gutierrez acted as the big brother to the     izens alike. Remember, freedom is not free,
born in other countries, but who now spend         neighborhood, often taking younger kids to         just ask a “Green Card Marine.”
each day in honorable service to their ad-         the nearby McDonald’s. Tobar said Gutier-
opted land.”


                                                   Ruben Kihuen: Immigrant Elected
                                                   to Nevada Assembly                                          \ By Tom Rodriguez


                                                       When the Nevada Legislature convenes
                                                   in January of 2007, it will have a new face,
                                                   a face that looks a lot like me and like hun-
                                                   dreds of thousands of other Latinos who
                                                   live in Nevada. The name on that face is
                                                   Ruben Kihuen, a young, handsome, intelli-
                                                   gent new member of the Nevada Assembly,
                                                   representing District 11. Ruben will join
                                                   his colleague, Mo Denis, the Assemblyman
                                                   from District 28, as part of a new Hispanic
                                                   tandem in the Nevada Assembly. The only
                                                   other times in my memory that two His-
U.S. Marine Lance Cpl. Jose Gutierrez              panics have served at the same time in the
     I remember the day Jose Gutierrez pic-        Nevada Legislature was when Senator Bob
ture appeared in the Review Journal. His           Coffin and former Assemblyman, Brian
picture and story instantly touched my heart.      Sandoval, served together, and again when
I highlight his story here in hope that his sac-   Senator Coffin and Dario Herrera served at
rifice is not quickly forgotten.                   the same time. None of them, however, was
     Born in Guatemala, Gutierrez held per-        an immigrant.
manent U.S. resident status, which he ob-              Ruben, a Mexican immigrant who came            Assemblyman Ruben Kihuen
tained in 1999.                                    to this country at nine years of age, is the son
     At 14, with both his parents dead, Guti-      of Armando Kihuen, an eastside Hispanic            cratic campaigns. Ruben won his Assembly
errez followed the path of 700,000 of his          activist and a teacher in the Clark County         race by gathering 992 votes (60.4%) of the
countrymen to California. He made the              School District. Ruben is a graduate of            1,642 votes cast in the District 11 primary
2,000-mile journey from his Guatemala              Rancho High School and UNLV. Ruben                 race. Because Ruben faces no opposition
City neighborhood without entry papers.            served his political apprenticeship working        in the November General Election, he au-
He hopped 14 freight trains to get through         with Dario Herrera in his run for Congress,        tomatically becomes the Assemblyman in
Mexico. Ultimately, the U.S. immigration           and on several local and national Demo-            District 11. Felicidades Ruben!

2                                                                                                                        Comunicación Newsletter
Hearings slated for                                Stories from the Back of the Truck
rural groundwater                                  \ By Daniel Tafoya


applications
     This September, the Nevada State En-
gineer is scheduled to open hearings on the
first group of applications that the Southern
Nevada Water Authority has submitted for
consideration for unused groundwater in ru-
ral and east-central Nevada.
     While the snow-covered mountains of
east-central Nevada are 200 miles away, the
rich groundwater basins in the valleys below
hold a sustainable, naturally replenished wa-
ter supply that can help Southern Nevada re-
duce its dependence on the drought-stricken
Colorado River, which provides about 90
percent of our current water supply.
     By law, unused groundwater in Ne-             A familiar scene in Las Vegas of Hispanics going to work by riding in the back of a truck.
vada—no matter where it is located—be-
longs to the state as a whole and is to be used         While navigating the busy streets of Las        he gets enough he will send for his family
for the benefit of the public at large. The        Vegas, many of us have been witness to               and try to obtain his citizenship. I asked him
State Engineer’s office will consider that,        immigrant workers, predominately Mexi-               what he is thinking about when he sits in the
along with the needs of the counties where         cans, sitting in the back of work trucks; be         back of the truck and stares into traffic. He
the basins are located, environmental issues       it landscaping, maintenance or construction.         indicated that sometimes he is scared that
and more throughout the hearings.                  I sometimes find myself stuck in traffic be-         someone will find him out and send him back
     The SNWA’s development of ground-             hind a work truck and wonder what are these          to Mexico, but most of the time he thinks
water in northern Clark, Lincoln and White         peoples’ stories, what adversities did they          about home. He started off as a day laborer
Pine counties could potentially yield up to        overcome to get here and what dreams are             and then a friend of his was able to get him
180,000 acre-feet of water for the Las Vegas       they pursuing? I decided one day to follow           started with more permanent work, “The
Valley, providing additional stability and ca-     a truck with about five laborers in the back         bosses are good people and it encourages
pacity to the valley’s water supply.               and ask one of them if they would share their        me to stay.” Sometimes as they are stuck
     One of the most important water re-           story with me. I met a man who was willing           in traffic, he hears people driving by, yell-
sources available to all Southern Nevadans         to talk to me; he asked that I not use his real      ing, “Go back to Mexico wetback.” He said
is water conservation itself. Through inno-        name. For the purpose of this article we will        he found the Mexican community is help-
vative programs that promote efficient out-        call him Miguel.                                     ful, but much of what happens is more of an
door water use and decrease water waste,                Miguel came from a small pueblo just            underground network. In my interview with
the SNWA encourages the community to               outside of Mexico City almost 2 years ago.           Miguel, it leads me to question how many
be Water Smart and conserve – which has            He said it was not easy getting to America           of us are here because of someone willing
a direct impact on the amount of future re-        and that it cost him everything he had. He           to ride in the back of the truck? The intent
sources that are needed.                           misses his pueblito, his family and friends,         of this story is not to place a stamp of right
     To learn more about SNWA in-state re-         but knows that this is the only way to pro-          or wrong on illegal immigration, it is an at-
source projects, visit nvgroundwaterpro-           vide for his family. “The money I make here          tempt to tell one human being’s story that I
ject.com.                                          goes back to Mexico to support my family.”           saw sitting in the “Back of the Truck.”
                                                   stated Miguel. He further stated that when
 Fall watering                                     Sept. 1 through Oct. 31. Groups A, C and E          Individual watering group assignments may
 restrictions under way                            may sprinkler water only Monday, Wednes-            also be looked up by address at snwa.com.
                                                   day and Friday. Groups B, D and F water             Watering on the wrong day of the week or
      With fall watering restrictions in effect,   Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. Watering            excess watering could lead to a water-waste
 it’s time to change your irrigation clock. Be     is prohibited on Sunday. Drip irrigation may        fine, underscoring the importance of adjust-
 sure to set your clock to three days a week       be operated any day of the week, but cannot         ing clocks properly.
 (according to your watering group) or, if you     exceed three days per week. Starting Nov.               For fixed spray sprinklers on lawns,
 have a landscaping service, make sure they        1, watering will be limited to one assigned         the SNWA recommends three, four-minute
 are setting it correctly.                         day per week.                                       watering cycles at least one hour apart to
      Drought restrictions limit sprinkler wa-         All customers are assigned to a watering        prevent runoff. For more information, visit
 tering to three assigned days per week from       group with specific, assigned watering days.        snwa.com.

Fall 2006                                                                                                                                          
Harrah’s Diversity                                Jose Luis Melendrez begins new job at UNLV
Plan – Overview                                                                                    \ By Tom Rodriguez

    Harrah’s Code of Commitment is the                                                             cision was made, Jose began to actively look
foundation for our diversity and inclusion                                                         for a job in Las Vegas. In April of 2006, Jose
initiative. Our Code provides a focused                                                            came to Las Vegas to interview for a posi-
method for acknowledging, valuing and em-                                                          tion at UNLV. As it turned out, he did not
bracing every segment of local, state, and                                                         get that job but so impressed the interview
national stakeholders in Harrah’s family.                                                          panel that they contacted him in Michigan
    The Code, along with Harrah’s Diver-                                                           and offered him an opportunity for a better
sity and Inclusion vision, helps ensure that                                                       job in a new program UNLV was starting.
we create an environment where everyone                                                            After several weeks of negotiations, Jose
is respected and included. We leverage                                                             accepted the job offer and on July 1, 2006,
similarities and differences, both visible                                                         Jose began his new job with the University
and non-visible, to enhance our workforce,                                                         of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV) as the Direc-
workplace, and marketplace.                                                                        tor of Student Diversity Programs and Ser-
    Harrah’s is focused on diversity and in-                                                       vices in the Division of Student Life.
clusion in the areas of Human Resources,                                                               In his new job, Jose will help to cre-
Supplier Diversity, Operations, Construc-                                                          ate and foster the development of policies,
tion Contracting Diversity, Community Re-                                                          procedures, programs, and activities which
lations Diversity, and Marketing-Branding.        Jose Luis Melendrez                              enhance campus diversity and multi-cultural
    At Harrah’s, diversity is a major compo-          As hard as it is for me to believe, almost   student engagement. By fostering in-class
nent of how we operate. Diversity and In-         five years have passed since Jose Luis Me-       and out-of-class learning in diversity, and
clusion are central to the Code’s three tenets;   lendrez left Las Vegas for Ann Arbor, Michi-     promoting a healthy, respectful institutional
our employees, the communities in which           gan, where his wife, Magda, enrolled in her      climate that effectively responds to the needs
we operate, and our customers.                    Ph.D. program at the University of Michi-        and concerns of under-represented student
    To find out more about our diversity pro-     gan. Prior to leaving Las Vegas, Jose was        constituencies, the contributions of all stu-
grams, please visit www.harrahs.com and           employed as a Regional Representative for        dent populations will be recognized and
click on the “Diversity” Link. To register as     United States Senator Harry Reid.                honored and students will be actively sup-
a minority, woman or disadvantaged suppli-            As it turned out, after arriving in Ann      ported in realizing their academic, civic, and
er, please visit www.harrahsdiversity.com         Arbor, Jose decided to work on his Masters       personal goals. In addition, in order to en-
                                                  degree in Social Work, which he received in      hance the student experience on the UNLV

Did you know?                                     2003. With his new Master’s Degree, and
                                                  his BA Degree in Political Science from
                                                                                                   campus, the Office of Student Diversity will
                                                                                                   also work to build supportive relationships
      the Hispanic Population in...               UNLV, Jose applied for and was hired for         with community leaders and organizations
                                                  the job of Project Coordinator, Research &       and invites all community members who
 Clark County:               26%                  Community Outreach with the Healthy Life-        are interested to get involved by contacting
                                                  styles Project at the University of Michigan.    Jose.
                                                  A year later, he applied for and got the job         Jose informed me that his wife, Magda,
                                                  of Project Manager for the REACH Detroit         will complete her Ph.D. dissertation while
 Clark County School District:                    Partnership Program.                             living in Las Vegas. He said that the focus
                                    38%               The original plan was for Jose to con-       of Magda’s research is on Latinos in higher
                                                  tinue working while Magda finished her           education and the role that family support
                                                  Ph.D. In early 1994, however, Magda and          plays in their success. Magda will be work-
                                                  Jose found out that Magda was pregnant and       ing with first year Latino college students
 Community College of Southern Nevada: 18.8%      on December 22, 2004, Jose and Magda be-         to document their experiences and tell their
                   18.8%                          came the proud parents of Eva Magdalena          stories.
                                                  Melendrez, their first child.                        The Latin Chamber of Commerce ex-
                                                      The new parents, of course, came home        tends a warm “welcome home” to Jose and
                                                  to Las Vegas to show their respective fami-      Magda Melendrez, two native Las Vegans
 Nevada State College: 16%                        lies their beautiful new daughter. While         whose education and talents will undoubt-
                                                  here, they decided that they wanted to raise     edly have a positive impact on our commu-
                 16%
                                                  their daughter close to family. Once that de-    nity.


 University of Nevada, Las Vegas:                                               search for members @
                                 11%
                                                                        www.lvlcc.com
                                                                                                                      Comunicación Newsletter
Nineteenth Annual LLC Golf Tournament                                                                \ By Daniel Tafoya

                                                                                                    to help them win the tournament.
                                                                                                        The players and volunteers gathered for
                                                                                                    lunch after the tournament to hear the an-
                                                                                                    nouncement of winners and to take home
                                                                                                    one of the many raffled items. Jose Tron-
                                                                                                    coso, of TCCS Limited, was the master of
                                                                                                    ceremonies for the event and had the plea-
                                                                                                    sure of announcing the winners of the Golf
                                                                                                    Tournament.

                                                                                                    Nevada Power Company
                                                                                                    First Place Golf Tournament 2006 - Jose
                                                                                                    Troncoso, Richard Stephenson, Curtis An-
                                                                                                    derson and Hector Morales

                                                                                                    Ruth’s Chris Steak House
                                                                                                    Second Place Golf Tournament 2006 - Brad
                                                                                                    Tacich, Frank Tousa, Mark Maniscalco and
Players measure their shot at the Nineteenth Annual Golf Tournament, on July 29, 2006.              Jesse Medellin

    This summer, the Latin Chamber held           Mountain and Wolf courses, where every-           Todd A. Williams
its Nineteenth annual golf tournament at          one competed for first, second and third           Third Place Golf Tournament 2006 - Todd
the beautiful Las Vegas Paiute Golf Resort.       place cash prizes and coveted First Place         A. Williams, Mike Morgan, John Laikan
It was wonderful to see the level of sup-         bragging rights. In addition to cash prizes       and Hank Rattz
port that Chamber supporters offered to this      the event included hole-in-one challenges in           Congratulations to our winners and all
year’s tournament. This year’s event was an       which golfers competed for many wonderful         who participated in the tournament making
almost sold out event.                            prizes. It was a fun and eventful day where       it the most successful to date.
    The day was spent on the beautiful Snow       the teams were counting on the “Best Shot”


Latino Youth Leadership Conference 2006
 \ By Ricardo Reyna
   Sunday July 25th, 2006, was a day many
students who attended the Latino Youth
Leadership conference will never forget. It
was a culmination of a week-long leader-
ship conference, where students are exposed
to a wide variety of leadership workshops,
speakers and college preparation seminars.
On the last day of the conference, students
experienced a wide range of emotions. For
many it was a feeling of melancholy trig-
gered by the reality that they might never
see each other again. For others, however,
it was a happy and gratifying moment see-
ing their parents again for the first time in a
week.
   Over fifty students from various area high
schools embarked upon UNLV early on the
morning of Wednesday, June 21st. Students
were exposed to both UNLV and CCSN
campuses. The conference for the first time       Participants and facilitators form a pyramid on their last day at the Latino Youth Conference.
also visited Nevada State College, where
students were introduced to this new and          Latino Youth Leadership Alumni Associa-           Conference was made possible by contribu-
rising higher-education institution.              tion, where they will continue to apply their     tions from UNLV, MGM MIRAGE and the
   The success of this year’s conference once     skills and gain new values in leadership and      Latin Chamber of Commerce.
again sparked interest from students in the       education. The Latino Youth Leadership

Fall 2006                                                                                                                                          5
Exhibitors and guests walk to the booths at the   Harrah’s Entertainment representatives along     Guests look through the exhibitors’ products
Joint Chambers Alliance Day                       with three Chambers of Commerce Presidents       and services




Steve Schorr explains the rules at the “Using
Technology to Increase Your Profits” seminar




                                                  Chairman Robert Gomez, Senior Executive Vice President Victoria Napoles and President Otto Me-
                                                  rida watch Fred Keeton from Harrah’s Entertainment cut the ribbon at the Joint Chambers Alliance
Guests look through packets of information        Day
provided by Connecting Point




Juergen Barbusca writes notes as he listens to    Citibank representatives at their table at the   Javier Loya, Minority Owner of NFL’s Houston
the speakers at the EXPO Seminars                 EXPO luncheon                                    Texans, is the EXPO Luncheon main speaker




Students listen to facilitators introducing the   Familia Group Picture at the 2006 LYLC           Familia Group Picture at the 2006 LYLC
LYLC week’s program
6                                                                                                                      Comunicación Newsletter
Outside the EXPO doors at Cashman Center          Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority at   Harrah’s Entertainment at La Oportunidad EXPO
                                                  La Oportunidad EXPO 2006                         2006




Products from Mexico at La Oportunidad EXPO       Ben Lopez, U.S. Bank, surrounded by Mariachi     The EXPO coordinators gather to take a group
2006                                              Plata de Las Vegas                               picture




                                                                                                   Domingo Cambeiro is the master of ceremonies
                                                                                                   at the Golf Tournament Luncheon




Chairman Robert Gomez (far left) and President, Otto Merida (third from left) pose with MGM
MIRAGE representatives at La Oportunidad EXPO 2006
                                                                                                   Nevada Power team takes first place
                                                                                                   at the 19th Annual Golf Tournament




Isabel Pfeifer and Sandy Peltyn present a check   Congresswoman Shelley Berkley receives plaque    Ruth’s Chris Steak House team takes second
to the LCC Career Day Scholarship Fund            at August Luncheon                               place at the 19th Annual Golf Tournament
Fall 2006                                                                                                                                       7
Bienvenidos! Welcome! New Members...
 American Casino & Entertainment       Chaps Mobile Wash & Detail      Farmers Insurance Group
 Properties, LLC                       Michael Chapa                   Michael Williams
 Chris McGivern                        620 Meadow Lark Lane           0 East Russell Road # 05
 2000 Las Vegas Blvd.                  Las Vegas, NV 890             Las Vegas, NV 8920
 Las Vegas, NV 895                   Car Wash Service                Insurance & Financial Services
 Hotel & Casino                        PHONE: (702) 66-776           PHONE: (702) 27-622
 PHONE: (702) 8-52                                                 www.farmersinsuranceagent.com
                                       City of Las Vegas
 American Casino & Entertainment       Lorettta Arrington              Farmers Insurance Group c/o
 Properties, LLC                       00 East Stewart Avenue, 0th   Travis Twiford
 Fe Miranda                            Floor                           Travis Twiford
 2000 Las Vegas Blvd.                  Las Vegas, NV 890             200 East Flamingo Road Suite 5
 Las Vegas, NV 895                   Government                      Las Vegas, NV 899
 Hotel & Casino                        PHONE: (702) 229-605           Insurance
 PHONE: (702) 80-7777                                                 PHONE: (702) 6-7
                                       Concentra Medical Centers       www.farmers.com
 Artisan Lending Group                 Gerry Ramirez
 David Mendez                          5 West Brooks Avenue          Flavio Jimenez LTD
 7575 Vegas Drive Suite 0            North Las Vegas, NV 8900       Flavio Jimenez
 Las Vegas, NV 8928                   Occupational Medicine           87 Coronado Center Drive Suite
 Mortgage                              PHONE: (702) 99-655           200
 PHONE: (702) 07-9907                 www.concentra.com               Henderson, NV 89052
 www.artisanlending.com                                                Real Estate & Mortgage
                                       Credit Learning Systems         PHONE: (702) 952-2889
 Beneficial Financial Group            Argel Silva
 Geoffrey Bingham                      225 East Flamingo Road Suite   Frazee Paint & Wallcovering
 270 Corporate Circle Suite 250       00-C                           Eleazar Cardenas
 Henderson, NV 8907                   Las Vegas, NV 899             5280 South Valley View
 Financial Advisory                    Credit Restoration              Las Vegas, NV 898
 PHONE: (702) 87-008 x 6            PHONE: (702) 987-5280           Paint & Wallcovering
 www.beneficialfinancialgroup.com      www.clscredit.com               PHONE: (702) 29-629
                                                                       www.frazee.com
 Benson, Bertoldo, Baker & Carter      De La Vega Construction LLC
 Javier Arguello & John Bertoldo       Ruben De La Vega                Freedom Financial Mortgage
 708 West Sahara Avenue               80 Fawn Meadow Avenue         Gilbert Martinez
 Las Vegas, NV 897                   Las Vegas, NV 896             20 West Horizon Ridge Parkway
 Law Firm                              Construction                    Suite 0
 PHONE: (702) 92-055                 PHONE: (702) 275-928           Henderson, NV 89052
 www.bbbc-law.com                                                      Mortgage Broker
                                       Desert PCA of Nevada LLC        PHONE: (702) -28
 Canada Way Drugs                      Katiushka Lozano de Posada      www.freedomwaits.com
 Fabina Kara                            W. Oquendo Rd. Suite 5
 # 5-70 20 Street                 Las Vegas, NV 898             Gallagher Group / EccoSelect
 Surrey, B.C. VWM8                   Personal Care Provider          Adriana Martinez, Jeanette Prenger
 Pharmacy                              PHONE: (702) 878-676           & Kevin Prenger
 PHONE: (60) 597-5922                                                 055 Spencer Street Suite 206
 www.cadanawaydrugs.com/nevada         Embarq                          Las Vegas, NV 899
                                       William Chavez                  Technology Consulting
 Celebrity Media Entertainment, LLC    8316 Grand Pacific Drive        PHONE: (86) 2-820
 Aldo Aguirre                          Las Vegas, NV 8928             www.eccoselect.com
 98 W. Charleston Blvd Suite 2-80   Telecomunications
 Las Vegas, NV 897                   PHONE: (702) 2-7079           Gallagher Group / El Taller Co-
 Entertainment                         www.embarq.com                  laborativo
 PHONE: (702) 96-270                                                 Elizabeth Gallagher, Alex Garcia,
 www.cmeradio.com                      Estrella Insurance Services     Francisco Ruela & James Welsh
                                       Darvin Gomez                    055 Spencer Street Suite 206
 Century 21 Money World                0 South Valley View Blvd.    Las Vegas, NV 899
 Natalia Guevara                       Las Vegas, NV 8902             Architecture, Engineering & Land-
 75 North Stephanie Street Bldg.     Insurance                       scape
 Henderson, NV 890                   PHONE: (702) 75-8           PHONE: (702) 75-075
 Real Estate                                                           www.etcpc.com
 PHONE: (702) 75-78
 www.southernnevadahouses.com


8                                                                                    Comunicación Newsletter
Bienvenidos! Welcome! New Members...
    Greater Vegas Personal Care LLC      Lucy’s Cleaning Service             Restrepo Consulting Group LLC
    Fabiana Alfaro                       Maria Guillen                       John Restrepo
    6 South Jones Blvd.                97 North Cir #                    960 Howard Hughes Parkway Suite
    Las Vegas, NV 8907                  Las Vegas, NV 899                 0
    Personal Care                        Janitorial                          Las Vegas, NV 8969
    PHONE: (702) 75-888                PHONE: (702) -5067               Consultants
                                                                             PHONE: (702) 967-88 ext. 0
    ICI Paints                           Magna Electric, Inc.                www. reg1.com
    Juan Gonzalez                        Debra McCarthy
     North Rancho Road               585 West Shelbourne                Richmond American Homes
    Las Vegas, NV 890                  Las Vegas, NV 899                 Nicolas Tompkins
    Paints Manufacture & Distribution    Electrical Contractor               9970 West Cheyenne Avenue Suite 00
    PHONE: (702) 65-500                PHONE: (702) 68-0820               Las Vegas, NV 8929
    www.icipaintstores.com                                                   Home Builder
                                         Mary Kajoyan                        PHONE: (702) 20-5600
    In Business Las Vegas                Mary Kajoyan                        www.richmondamericanhomes.com
    Bruce Spotleson                      790 West Sahara Avenue # 200
    2290 Corporate Circle                Las Vegas, NV 897                 RRed Line Strategies
    Henderson, NV 8907                  Financial Planning                  Justin Griffin
    Publishing                           PHONE: (702) 6-0222               267 Sandrock Point Lane
    PHONE: (702) 990-2                www.wfg-online.com                  Henderson, NV 8902
    www.inbusinesslasvegas.com                                               Investment & Mortgage Education
                                         Maximum Meetings                    PHONE: (702) 6-867
    Informecial Sales, Inc.              Ronald Washington                   www.rredline.com
    Mauricio Cardona                     90 Pont Chartrain
    00 Academy Drive                   Las Vegas, NV 895                 Staffmark
    Las Vegas, NV 895                  Conference, Convention & Meetings   Veronica Melton, Lilliam Pagan &
    Bookeeping, Income Tax, Consult-     Management                          Julie Renteria
    ing, Accounting                      PHONE: (702) 20-600               50 South Rancho Dirve # G5B
    PHONE: (702) 2-909                www.maximummeetings.com             Las Vegas, NV 8906
                                                                             Temporary Staffing
    La Tortilla Factory                  Municipal International             PHONE: (702) 598-0096
    Luz Medellin                         Anthony Lopez                       www.staffmark.com
    00 East Lake Mead Blvd. Suite 8   P.O. Box 77786
    North Las Vegas, NV 8900            Henderson, NV 89077                 Sullivan Square
    Tortilla Factory                     Government                          Dana Limon
    PHONE: (702) 67-0202                PHONE: (702) 58-988               960 Howard Hughes Pkwy. Suite 500
                                                                             Las Vegas, NV 8909
    Las Palmas Mariachi Restaurant       Nevada State Bank                   Real Estate
    Francisco Lara                       Rosa Lucero                         PHONE: (702) 265-9682
    95 East Sahara Avenue Suite A-27    5 South Maryland Parkway
    Las Vegas, NV 890                  Las Vegas, NV 8909                 T C C S Limited
    Restaurant                           Banking                             Jose Troncoso
    PHONE: (702) 72-000                PHONE: (702) 77-8798               52 Spectrum Blvd
                                                                             Las Vegas, NV 890
    Lee & Associates Commercial Real     ¿Que Pasa? Vegas Magazine           Physical & Electronics for Institutions
    Estate Services                      James Ingram                        PHONE: (702) 5-22
    John Bacon                           220 Greens Ave.                    www.tccsltd.com
    00 Grier Drive                     Las Vegas, NV 892
    Las Vegas, NV 899                  Publications                        Vegas Valley Personal Care
    Commercial - Real Estate             PHONE: (702) 27-877               Ema Gomez-Mitchell
    PHONE: (702) 79-6222                www.quepasavegas.com                506 Alta Drive
    www.leelasvegas.com                                                      Las Vegas, NV 8907
                                         Rave Enterprises LLC                Home Health Care Provider
    Levi Strauss & Co.                   Ernestina Lutzke                    PHONE: (702) 870-8855
    Yolanda Burroughs                    908 Ricky Road
    50 Executive Airport Drive          Las Vegas, NV 890                 Washington Mutual Bank
    Henderson, NV 89052                  Construction                        Michael Marryat & Sonia Morffi
    Distribution & Wholesale             PHONE: (702) 95-67               8975 West Charleston Blvd. Suite 00
    PHONE: (702) 269-8889                                                    Las Vegas, NV 897
    www.levistrauss.com                                                      Financial Institution
                                                                             PHONE: (702) 82-250
                                                                             www.wamu.com


Fall 2006                                                                                                              9
The Passing of a Remarkable Lady                                              \ By Tom Rodriguez

                                               age, her father and mother divorced and         arrived here, it was to be in Las Vegas, Ne-
                                               her mother remarried. When she was ten          vada, that Maria would find her soul mate
                                               years old, her family moved to La Havana,       and her lifelong search for a place to call
                                               Cuba. It was there that Maria began to ex-      home would come to an end. In late 1975,
                                               cel in school. After graduating with honors     Maria met and fell in love with a young,
                                               from the prestigious Norel Academy, she         handsome, Cuban, by the name of Otto Me-
                                               attended La Havana University and earned        rida, who like her had also led a nomadic
                                               her law degree. Afterwards, she worked as       life since leaving Havana, Cuba. Merida
                                               a criminal lawyer litigating homicides and      had arrived in Las Vegas in 1974 by way of
                                               robberies.                                      Miami, Florida, Fitchburg, Massachusetts,
                                                   A few years later, Maria changed jobs       and Lawrence, Kansas. On February 28,
                                               and became the chief administrator at Our       1976, Maria and Otto Merida were married
                                               Lady of Mercy Hospital in Havana where          and embarked on a wonderful journey and
                                               she remained for nine and a half years. In      partnership that would last for thirty years,
                                               1969, Maria decided to leave Cuba and re-       until her death.
                                               turned to her birthplace of Spain where she         In thinking about Maria’s life, and her
                                               found a job working for a Spanish import-       death, I am reminded of a saying I once read
                                               export company.                                 that said “The pain we feel when someone
The late Maria Merida
                                                   In 1973, Maria made another momen-          we love leaves our life, is in direct propor-
    To many people in the Hispanic com-        tous decision and left Spain to move to Mi-     tion to the joy they brought us while they
munity, particularly those new to Las Vegas,   ami, Florida. Two years later, in 1975, the     were a part of our life.” If that was true of
Maria Merida was known only as the wife of     restless Maria moved again to the City of       anyone, then it was true of Maria – a kind
Otto Merida, the Executive Director/Presi-     Las Vegas, Nevada, and quickly found work       and highly intelligent person who found
dent of the Latin Chamber of Commerce.         as a professional interpreter and translator    happiness in Las Vegas and created the
In reality, however, Maria was much more       for the Small Business Administration. Al-      legacy that she has now left to those of us
than just a devoted and much-loved house-      ways seeking to advance herself, Maria then     who knew her well. Shortly after her death,
wife. In fact, long before she became Mrs.     went to work for the Las Vegas Convention       Otto, her husband, told me how Maria be-
Merida, the former Maria Rodriguez was an      and Visitors’ Authority as a part-time Regis-   lieved that as long as someone remembers
adventuresome and accomplished woman.          trar and remained there for the next twenty     you, you never really die. Using that as a
    Her story began with her birth in the      years.                                          measurement, Maria will be with us for a
far away city of Cadiz, Spain. At an early         Although she did not know it when she       long, long time!



                                                                                                                               PRSRT STD
                                                                                                                              U.S. POSTAGE
                                                                                                                                   PAID
                                                                                                                             LAS VEGAS, NV
                                                                                                                             PERMIT NO. 532




     Latin Chamber of Commerce, Nevada, Inc.
     300 North 13th Street | Las Vegas, NV 89101

     PHONE (702) 385-7367
     FAX (702) 385-2614
     E-MAIL info@lvlcc.com
     WEB PAGE www.lvlcc.com




20                                                                                                                 Comunicación Newsletter

				
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