ORLANDO, Fla., Oct. 14, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — Economic development organization Prospera celebrated its signature annual fundraising event virtually, due to the COVID-19 pandemic and safety precautions. Presenting Sponsor OUC – The Reliable One welcomed viewers to the 2020 Prospera Success Stories in Central Florida, whose theme was The Power of One. “Today we celebrate The Power of One—the power that each person and organization contributes so that together, we form a more resilient and prosperous community,” said Prospera President & CEO Augusto Sanabria in his remarks. “Our individual businesses, our community and our nation still have a long way to go to recover and return to our pre-pandemic state. We can recover by collaborating and leveraging each other’s strengths, perhaps to arrive at an even better place than before.”
The annual Success Stories event recognizes local small business owners who have received assistance from Prospera, while raising funds for year-round services. The 2020 program, which can be viewed here, featured stories and testimonials of the following local Hispanic business owners who have received Prospera services, focused on how their businesses have reacted to the challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic:
- Joanna Bucaro, owner of All Kids Spanish, Orlando
- Dr. Pedro Santiago, owner of Wintermere Pointe Animal Hospital, Winter Garden
- Grisselle Supriana, owner of Gavasha, Kissimmee
- Jose Costa, owner of J. Costa Group, Orlando
- Pablo Prahl and Jennifer Herrera, owners of A&G Marketing by Proforma, Lake Mary
- Denisse Lamas, owner of Hispanic Family Counseling, Orlando
- Stella Siracuza, owner of Tomato Express, Kissimmee
Prospera Central Florida Regional Board Chair Conrad Santiago, partner at The Trentham Santiago Group with Ameriprise Financial, introduced a segment featuring messages from local governments that partner with Prospera and help fund its services: Orange County Mayor Jerry L. Demings, City of Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer, Seminole County Chairman Jay Zembower, Osceola County Chairwoman Viviana Janer, and City of Kissimmee Mayor Jose Alvarez.
The Success Stories event culminated the two-year term for Advent Health Senior Finance Officer/CFO Multi-State Division Eddie Soler as Prospera Statewide Board of Directors Chair. “Thank you all for supporting our efforts. We have accomplished much in Florida and North Carolina, in our service delivery, in our fundraising efforts, and in strengthening Prospera’s infrastructure to prepare for future growth. We just never thought it would become so vital so quickly, as we pivoted to respond to this pandemic,” mentioned Soler during his remarks.
Other event speakers included Luz Aviles, OUC; Angel Buchanan, Wells Fargo; Michael & Karina Pastrana, Happy Paws Pet Resort; Sheila Torres, Bank of America; Gaby Ortigoni, Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Metro Orlando; Tim Giuliani, Orlando Economic Partnership; Marisol Romany, Orlando Health; Esteban Garcia, New Signature; Diana Coronel, Coronel David Law Firm; and Dr. Edwin Hernandez, Advent Health University.
“This year, we had to pivot and serve a new record number of entrepreneurs, including both returning and new clients, with consulting and resources to help them overcome this great crisis,” said Prospera Central Florida Assistant Vice President Katia Medina. “We are inspired by the significant number of Central Florida Hispanics facing this pandemic head on and working to start a new business. Where there’s crisis, there’s opportunity, and we are here to help you take advantage of it.
The 2020 Prospera Success Stories in Central Florida was sponsored by Presenter OUC – The Reliable One; Hosts – Advent Health, Bank of America, Duke Energy, Florida Blue, Orlando Health, Orlando Magic, Truist, Walt Disney Parks & Resorts, and Wells Fargo; Champions – Plaza del Sol, The Trentham Santiago Group, MUSI Studio, and JPMorgan Chase; Supporters – AT&T, Wyndham Destinations, and APA Creative; and Collaborators – Helios Foundation, 180 Commercial, and Paychex.
Prospera is an economic development, nonprofit organization that has specialized since 1991 in providing bilingual assistance to Hispanic entrepreneurs who want to establish, sustain, or grow their business. In the last five years, Prospera has facilitated over $59 million in loans, trained over 20,000 entrepreneurs, provided business consulting to more than 8,600 entrepreneurs, and helped consulting clients create or retain over 16,000 jobs. Its offices are in Florida’s central, south, and west coast regions, and in Charlotte, North Carolina. For more information, visit www.prosperausa.org.
Media Contact: Katia Medina, 787-421-0869, [email protected]