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Javier Palomarez, President and CEO of the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce; Chef Cristina Martinez and husband/business partner Benjamin Miller of South Philly Barbacoa; and Chef Jose Garces, Founder of Garces Group and Garces Foundation (Peter Fitzpatrick)
Javier Palomarez, President and CEO of the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce; Chef Cristina Martinez and husband/business partner Benjamin Miller of South Philly Barbacoa; and Chef Jose Garces, Founder of Garces Group and Garces Foundation (Peter…

Recognizing Excelencia at the Alegria Ball

During the Alegria Ball on Feb. 9, the Greater Philadelphia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce presented the Excelencia Business Awards. 

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At the Alegria Ball, an annual fundraising event held by the Greater Philadelphia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (GPHCC), business leaders gathered to recognize Excelencia. 

The ball was held on Friday, Feb. 9, at the Atrium at the Curtis Center. Here, GPHCC honored the winners of this year's Excelencia Business Awards, which celebrate the successful initiatives, achievements, and contributions of businesses and professionals in the Philadelphia region’s Latino community.

This year’s honorees were:

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Speaking at the event, Jennifer Rodriguez, President and CEO of GPHCC, highlighted the entrepreneurial force that Latinos have become in the U.S. economy, noting that this demographic starts businesses at twice the rate of non-Latinos. Despite this impressive statistic, Rodriguez said that Latinos in the U.S. are still faced with what GPHCC calls the "million dollar challenge," referring to the fact that fewer than 2 percent of Latino businesses make more than $1 million in sales annually. 

"If you ask me, million-dollar Hispanic businesses should be the norm and not the exception," Rodriguez said. "I believe that entrepreneurs in our region, including those gathered here tonight, have the desire, resiliency, steadfast dedication, and the confidence to reach this milestone." 

The Alegria Ball also included a keynote speech from Javier Palomarez, President and CEO of the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. 

GPHCC organizes educational programs, events and a variety of services to promote the economic growth and advancement of Hispanic professionals and Latino-owned businesses throughout the Philadelphia region.

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