Hispanic Heritage Month 2015

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The Montgomery County Council on Sept. 29 held special ceremonies to commemorate Hispanic Heritage Month.

On Sept. 29, 2015 the Council hosted a Hispanic Heritage Month commemoration to celebrate the histories, cultures and contributions of residents whose ancestors came from the Caribbean, Central America, Mexico, South America and Spain. The theme of this special event was “The Current State of the Latino Community in Montgomery County.” This event included a demographic overview of the Hispanic and Latino community in Montgomery and a panel discussion featuring: Jose Antonio Tijerino, president and CEO, Hispanic Heritage Foundation; Alberto Avendaño, executive editor, El Tiempo Latino; Angela Franco, president and CEO, Greater Washington Hispanic Chamber of Commerce; and Jonathan Jayes-Green, community activist and former administrator, Governor’s Commission on Hispanic and Caribbean Affairs.

Get the facts on Hispanic heritage in Montgomery County. Take two minutes to learn about the Hispanic population in Montgomery County by watching: Watch video. Also check out this special episode of Somos Montgomery that debuted at the Council's Hispanic Heritage event. Watch video

Somos Montgomery #18: Latino Stars in MontgomeryBilingual segment showcasing the Council’s Hispanic Heritage Month Commemoration Watch video

Angela Franco, President and CEO, Greater Washington Hispanic Chamber of Commerce

Angela Franco is president and CEO of the Greater Washington Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and has been at the helm of the Chamber since November 2009. Ms. Franco has worked to solidify the Chamber’s funding and expand its membership. She has dedicated herself to providing assistance to small businesses in the Washington metropolitan region and believes that all businesses should be given the opportunity to reach their full potential.

Ms. Franco began her professional career in the financial world in 1989, where she worked in insurance and banking for more than 18 years. She also worked at the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Foundation and served as manager for the multi-cultural market and led the Hispanic initiative for BB&T in the Washington metropolitan region.

Ms. Franco has a degree in Business Administration from CESA University, Bogota, Colombia and holds a Master’s in Finance from EAFIT University, both prestigious universities in Colombia.

Alberto Avendaño, Executive Editor, El Tiempo Latino Newspaper

Alberto Avendaño is an award winning journalist, writer and translator and is a key player in our region’s Spanish language media. Mr. Avendaño has been on the news and business side of print and broadcast companies in the US and Spain. His assignments have taken him to Italy, Great Britain, Ireland, Portugal, Brazil, Cuba and throughout the United States.

In 2000, Mr. Avendaño became the publisher and editor-in-chief of El Tiempo Latino. Under his leadership, El Tiempo Latino became one of the most prestigious and nationally awarded Spanish language publications in the nation. In 2001, Mr. Avendaño started an editorial collaboration with The Washington Post.

In 2004, El Tiempo Latino became a Spanish language publication of The Washington Post Company. Currently, as director of business development, Mr. Avendaño is responsible for coordinating efforts with the Post to keep the publication economically sound and engaging to readers. In addition, former Governor Martin O’Malley appointed him as a member of the Maryland Public Broadcasting Commission.

Jonathan Jayes-Green, Community Activist and Former Administrator for the Governor’s Commission on Hispanic Affairs and the Commission on Caribbean Affairs

Jonathan Jayes-Green was born in Panama and has lived in Maryland since the age of 13. He proudly embraces his Afro-Latino heritage and has Jamaican and Panamanian roots. He received his associate’s degree from Montgomery College, where he served on the Board of Trustees, and received his bachelor’s degree with honors from Goucher College.

Former Governor Martin O’Malley appointed Jonathan as a member of the Governor’s Commission on Hispanic Affairs where he served as the youngest member in the history of the Commission. Shortly thereafter, he was hired to lead both the Commission on Hispanic and Caribbean Affairs. As administrator for both Commissions, Jonathan worked on Maryland’s response to the humanitarian crisis with Central American children fleeing violence, developed a memorandum of understanding between the Caribbean Commission and the University of Maryland Eastern Shore, and worked with and mentored immigrant youth around the state. He was also very involved in passing the Maryland Dream Act, and worked closely with Equality Maryland defending marriage equality.

Some of Jonathan’s numerous awards include: a Public Service Award from Telemundo; recognition for Youth in Public Service from the Hispanic Heritage Foundation; the Youth Achievement Award from the American Immigration Council; and a Public Service Award from Congressman Chris Van Hollen. He also serves on the Board of Directors of Liberty’s Promise.

Jose Antonio Tijerino, President and CEO, Hispanic Heritage Foundation

Jose Antonio Tijerino is president and CEO of the Hispanic Heritage Foundation, which inspires, prepares, connects and positions Latino leaders in the classroom, community and workforce to meet America’s priorities. Mr. Tijerino developed an innovative, sustainable model for Latino leadership in ten priority fields for tens of thousands of students and young professionals. He created the Latinos On the Fast Track Program that has been recognized by The White House, Congress, Silicon Valley and Fortune 500 companies for its impact.

Some of the boards that Mr. Tijerino serves on include: Harvard’s Latino Leadership Initiative at the Kennedy School; the National PTA; America’s Promise Alliance; Robert H. Smith School of Business at the University of Maryland; and the Hispanic Technology & Telecommunications Partnership. He is also on the Leadership Council for the University of Maryland’s Center for the History of the New America. In addition, he is the executive producer of the star-studded Hispanic Heritage Awards.

In addition, Mr. Tijerino co-founded the American Project with Notre Dame University, which is a faith-based, youth-led movement to treat immigrants with dignity, as well at the Refugee Enrichment and Development (READ) Project to support unaccompanied minors at the border.