Hispanic Heritage Month 2019

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On September 24, 2019 at 11 a.m. the Council will held its Hispanic Heritage Month Commemoration hosted by Council President Nancy Navarro. The theme of the event for this year’s commemoration was Latin Americans: A History of Serving Our Nation, State, and County. Those who were be recognized include: Claudia Campos Galván, program director, Nueva Vida; Moisés Linares, sports anchor, Telemundo- NBC, Jonathan Acosta, singer and writer, the Honorable Ana Sol Gutiérrez, former Md. Delegate; the Honorable Maricé Morales, former Md. Delegate; Ricardo Loaiza, executive director of Latin Dance Company DC Salseros/Latin Vibes; Javier Solís, entrepreneur, Toro Taxes; and María José Solís, entrepreneur, Toro Taxes.

Latin Americans: A History of Serving Our Nation, State, and County

Hispanic Heritage Month 2019

Jonathan Acosta

Singer and Writer
Jonathan Acosta

Mr. Jonathan Acosta is a Venezuelan singer, songwriter and composer. He also play the Venezuelan cuatro and violin. From 1989 to 2001 he received musical training at the Conservatory Vicente Emilio Sojo in Venezuela and participated for 12 years in the National System of Symphonic Orchestras of Venezuela as a violinist (1990 - 2002).

Since September 2018, he started his new musical tour "Vamos Paisano" in the U.S. after the resounding success of his motivational project #AnimoVenezuela where he performs in different scenarios nationally and internationally sowing optimism and inspiring the Venezuelan community in the midst of adversity.

Mr. Acosta became the first singer-songwriter to perform a symphonic concert sung in Venezuela in homage to the singer-songwriter Simón Díaz. This interpretation was made with unpublished arrangements and it was performed along with the Lara’s Concert Band "Maestro Antonio Carrillo”.

Throughout his career he has participated in innumerable symphonic and popular concerts as a performer and entertainer where he emphasizes his remarkable work for making music with social, cultural and motivational contributions.

Claudia Campos Galván

Program Director, Nueva Vida
Claudia Campos Galván

Ms. Claudia Campos Galván, is chief programs officer and mental health director at Nueva Vida, a culturally sensitive cancer support network for Latino families in the Washington metropolitan Area. With more than 16 years of combined national and international experience working on health disparities, Ms. Campos Galván’s work has focused on the eradication of these disparities. Current data among Nueva Vida’s clients show more than 25 percent of Latinas with breast cancer are under 50 years of age.

Ms. Campos Galván holds a Masters' degree with Magna Cum Laude distinction in clinical psychology and mental health and currently continues her research (ABD) as a Ph.D. Candidate of Clinical Psychology and Mental Health. She frequently speaks at national forums, summits, symposiums and conferences, and has extensive experience managing and facilitating multidisciplinary and multicultural groups. Most recently, her expertise has focused on metastatic breast cancer among Latinas, and she currently serves as a faculty member in the National ARBOLES training for Cancer Genetic testing and counseling at Lombardi Cancer Center at Georgetown University.

The Honorable Ana Sol Gutiérrez

Former Md. Delegate

The Honorable Ana Sol-Gutiérrez made history as the first Latina ever elected in Maryland in 1990. In November 2002, Ana became the first Latina state legislator elected to the Maryland House of Delegates where she served for 16 years. She served on the House Appropriations Committee and as Vice-Chair of its Public Safety and Administration Sub-committee. A chemist and computer systems engineer by profession, Ana was appointed in 1994 by President Clinton as Deputy Administrator for Research and Special Programs at USDOT; worked for over 30 years in computers with major IT firms at NASA, FAA, USDOT, Education, and State; and is a recognized leader/role model for women in the fields of science & technology (STEM).

Moisés Linares

Sports anchor, Telemundo- NBC
Moisés Linares

Mr. Moises Linares is a two time Emmy award winner and is currently the sports anchor for Telemundo Washington D.C. Born and raised in Los Angeles, Calif. He attended California State University Northridge, and as an undergrad, Linares double majored in broadcast journalism and Central American Studies. Mr. Linares' passion for sports have moved him through the ranks of Direct Sports Latino, Fox Sports, and a few sports websites in L.A before joining Telemundo D.C.

This avid sports anchor covered the 2010 World Cup in South Africa for an international print magazine. Mr. Linares was also the official radio play-by-play announcer for DC United from 2013 to 2016. Most recently he travelled to Qatar to take a look at how the Middle East country is preparing for their very first World Cup in five years.

Ricardo Loaiza

Executive Director of Latin Dance Company DC SALSEROS/LATIN VIBES or Balia4LIfe
Ricardo Loaiza

Originally from Colombia and a teacher first and foremost, Mr. Ricardo Loaiza began his dance career as an instructor and DJ at various DC venues. He also worked as the first Latin dance faculty from 1998 to 2002 at the prestigious Joy of Motion Dance Center. Ricardo’s work has been featured in many major media and publication outlets locally, nationally and internationally including; The Washington Post, The Washingtonian Magazine, Bethesda Magazine, Washington Hispanic, C-SPAN, UNIVISION, Telemundo, RCN, NBC, FOX 5, CNN, CBS, ABC News, La Voz de America and others in Holland and England.

Together with his dance partner Elba, Mr. Loaiza has taught, choreographed, and performed in more than 500 events in the DC area and in over 20 cities nationally and internationally. In 1996, they co-founded the DMV’s first Latin Dance Company; “The DC Salseros/ Latin Vibez” which performed at the PR and LA Salsa Congresses from 1997 to 2002. Through his Entertainment Company “WEPA Productions, he organized and produced the First SALSAWEB CONVENTIONS in DC and in Toronto , Canada in 1998 and continued till 2002 and stopped producing events to prioritize family life when he got married to his dance partner Elba.

In October 2010, Mr. Loaiza co-founded The after School Latin Dance Fund (ASDF), a non-profit organization that provides artistic, technical and financial support for the establishment of after-school Latin dance programs. These dance programs work to strengthen family values and heritage, and help students develop confidence, promote excellence in academics, and pave their way into higher education. Through the ASDF, Since 2010, Ricardo has organized, produced, managed and hosted the Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) Latin Dance Competition at the Music Center at Strathmore.

The Honorable Maricé Morales

Former Md. Delegate

The Honorable Maricé Morales was elected to the Maryland House of Delegates as the first Latina representing District 19 in 2014. She is the youngest Latina to serve at the state level in the country. Ms. Morales was Vice-Chair of the Maryland Legislative Latino Caucus, Chair of the Violence Against Women subcommittee for the Women's Legislative Caucus and was on the Executive Committee of the National Caucus of Hispanic Legislators.

During her time in Annapolis, Ms. Morales sponsored legislation to reform the criminal justice system, protect our immigrant communities, protect workers' rights, and combat the rape culture facing our country. She sat on the Judiciary Committee for her first two sessions where she worked on major criminal justice reform initiatives, including justice reinvestment, the elimination of mandatory minimums, bail reform, and police accountability. Starting with the 2016 session, she served on the Health and Government Operations Committee, where she focused on reproductive health and mental health issues.

Before serving as an elected leader, Ms. Morales' legal work extended from the Public Defender’s Office in New Orleans, Los Angeles to San Jose and Costa Rica at the Inter-American Court of Human Rights. She was also a judicial extern in the Arlington County Circuit Court in the criminal and family law dockets. Fighting systemic racism and discrimination has been at the forefront of Ms. Morales' work. She has done pro bono immigration-related work at World Relief, where she represented people pursuing U-Visas and naturalization applications. Recently, she has done workers compensation pre-litigation work at a Montgomery County law firm.

Javier N. Solís

Chief Operating Office, TORO Taxes
Javier N. Solis

Mr. Javier Solís left Ecuador when he was 22 years old. As an undocumented immigrant, he started his day working at 6 a.m. in three different jobs and ended each day as a college student. In 1990, Solís experienced his first tax season and that was the start of his entrepreneurial journey. In 2000, Solís opened his first office in Brooklyn, and by 2005 he had 2,800 clients by creating a marketing strategy focused on the Latinx community.

In 2007, recognizing the lack of a tax services brand for Latinx taxpayers, Mr. Solís founded the Los Taxes franchise, which was the first Latinx tax preparation franchise in the U.S. Since then, the company has been growing the brand. In search of a better quality of life, Solís moved to Montgomery County, Md. where he also established the headquarters for the franchise. In March 2019, Los Taxes franchise and Toro Taxes, a franchise based on the west coast, merged becoming the largest Latinx franchise in nation with close to 200 units representing any industry. This is yet another significant milestone in Solís life as an entrepreneur, and his drive and business acumen will continue to grow the business for years to come

María José Solís

Entrepreneur, & Accountant, Los Taxes
María José Solís

María José Solís was born in El Sаlvаdor. She arrived in the U.S. when she was 16 years old. Ms. Solís rеcеіvеd а bachelor’s dеgrее аs an accountant from the University of Maryland University College while she worked as a staff accountant/exеcutіvе assistant for Myеr-Emco Inc. Her mаjor rеsponsіbіlіtіеs wеrе managing pаyroll for 175 еmployееs, аccounts pаyаblе, аccounts rеcеіvаblеs, dаіlycаsh flows, and bаnk rеconcіlіаtіon.

In 2007, Ms. Solís joined Los Taxes Network family as one of its pioneers. She had no prior experience in taxation, and she increased her clientele database from no clients to close to 1,500 in her fifth tax season. Right after her first tax season, Los Taxes Network recognized Ms. Solís' aggressiveness and commitment to its national initiative, and proudly appointed her as its chief operations officer. She has developed several franchises in the Washington metropolitan area, and she has great plans for development at the local and national level.