Iowa LULAC to host inaugural leadership awards banquet

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For immediate release

Oct. 7, 2013

DES MOINES - The League of United Latin American Citizens of Iowa will recognize individuals who have made key differences to the Latino community, as well as award its first scholarship to a promising young Latino at the inaugural Iowa Latino Leadership Banquet on Nov. 1.

“This is an opportunity to celebrate the successes of the past year, and to honor and support those who work on a daily basis to make Iowa a better place for Latinos to live, work, attend school and raise a family,” said Joe Enriquez Henry, state director of LULAC of Iowa.

The following individuals will be honored at the awards presentation:

  • LULAC Builder Award – Mike Reyes, president of Council 10. Reyes has been involved with LULAC since the mid-1980s, and has served as president of LULAC Council 10 in eastern Iowa for the past three years. During that time, he has helped revitalize the council and raised public awareness of the role LULAC has played in the Quad Cities for more than 53 years.
  • Latino Business Person of the Year Award – Antonia Mosqueda, restaurant entrepreneur. Mosqueda and her husband, Richard, came to Des Moines from Fort Madison and opened their first Tasty Tacos restaurant on the city’s east side with a $500 loan. They now have five restaurants in the Des Moines area.
  • Latino Hero Award – Des Moines Police Lt. Joe Gonzalez, who is a 42-year veteran of the police department. He joined as a teenage cadet, and has been in charge of the department’s neighborhood-based service delivery unit and is a vital liaison in the department’s outreach to the Hispanic/Latino community.
  • Iowa Latino Leadership Award – Sonia Parras Konrad, immigration lawyer and co-executive director of ASISTA Immigrant Assistance. Konrad is an activist, attorney and educator on domestic violence issues and legal remedies for immigrant survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault and human trafficking. She has spoken nationally and internationally about women’s rights.
  • Emerging Latino Leader Scholarship Award – Hector Salamanca, youth services organizers for the American Friends Service Committee and a Dreamer. Salamanca has worked in support of the DREAM Act and in-state tuition on behalf of immigrants who came to the United States illegally as children with their parents.

“We as Latino citizens of this great state need to do a better job of identifying and recognizing Latino leadership and individuals who work toward a more inclusive Iowa,” said Felix Gallagher, co-chairman of the Iowa Latino Leadership banquet committee and LULAC Council 307 member. “The spirit of leadership needs to be injected into the hearts and minds of Latinos of all ages. I believe this event is a great move in that direction. Es hora de reconocer el liderazgo latino en Iowa!”

The banquet will be held at the Marriott Hotel, 700 Grand Ave., Second Floor Ballroom, Des Moines, Iowa. There will be a reception at 5:30 p.m., followed by dinner. The awards program will begin at 7 p.m.  This is a formal event. Black tie is optional.

Admission is $50. Table sponsorships are available for $500 (10 tickets and printed recognition). Event sponsorship is available for $1,000 (10 tickets, printed and verbal recognition). Seniors and youth, 18 and younger, pay $20. Purchase tickets online through the LULAC website:, or mail checks made payable to “LULAC” to LULAC, 2463 E. Highview Drive, Des Moines, IA 50320.

Founded in 1929, the League of United Latin American Citizens is the oldest Latino civil rights organization in the United States. There are more than 900 local LULAC councils, which hold voter registration drives, provide awareness to residents about language and immigration issues, sponsor programs and advocate for Latinos.

For more information, contact Joe Enriquez Henry at 515.208.7312; or Melissa Walker at 515.681.7731 or, or visit



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