AL DÍA 40 Under Forty: Honorees, friendships, and the celebration of excellence
From the awards ceremony, to a group of honorees who have known each other for years, AL DÍA’s 40 Under Forty brings together exceptional professionals.
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On Friday, Aug. 26, 2022, AL DÍA News held its third annual 40 Under Forty event, honoring and celebrating 40 impactful young professionals from across the Philadelphia region.
Of the attendees present, the honorees only make up a small portion of the crowd filling the room. The majority are guests they have brought, with 40 Under Forty judges and event sponsors dotting the crowd.
Many of those present, honorees included, took the time to mingle and network with each other before the ceremony began.
One honoree, Elvira Méndez, the Public Information Manager for SEPTA who was vital to its multilingual communication plan, spoke briefly with AL DÍA about what she looked forward to at the ceremony.
Méndez talked about how she anticipated her own award and was enjoying being able to connect with many accomplished people similarly receiving awards, connecting and conversing with them before the ceremony began.
But Méndez was also looking forward to meeting with several of her friends who were also honorees who she had been to college with and maintained a long friendship with.
Among her fellow friends and awardees is Sandra Mosquera, the Vice President and Product Manager for the API Marketplace/GW of JPMorgan & Chase, who spoke with AL DÍA during the ceremony.
“I want to meet all the honorees. It's a very interesting group of people. I know a couple but I would like to meet more and learn about their lives a little bit,” she told AL DÍA.
Mosquera similarly knew another honoree she had been friends with since her time in college: Noel Rogelio Aragon, who is currently the Senior Editor for the VREX Editorial team at Comcast. The two became friends then, joining the Latin American Students Organization where she acted as Vice President and he President, both of them acting as student ambassadors as well.
Mosquera had met Méndez after graduating from the Community College of Philadelphia where she, alongside Aragon, worked for Tv Guide/Rovi – now TiVo – where the three became a tightly knit group that Mosquera has called family for over a decade.
“We have done a lot of things together,” Mosquera said. “It's even more rewarding when you have people that have contributed to all of the things you've done to get recognized.”
As the awards ceremony began, people took their seats, flocking to their assigned tables or to sit beside the people they know. The emcee, Loraine Ballard Morrill, begins her speech, followed by AL DÍA founder, Hernan Guaracao, each speaking about the honorees and their exceptional efforts in their careers, as well as the evolution of this annual celebration.
Honorees were then called up in groups of ten, their names read out as they took the stage. As each name is called, raucous cheers and applause rise up from the tables filled with friends and guests, their excitement spilling over.
With the award ceremony concluding, music filled the hall as guests enjoyed the desserts and began to fill the dance floor. At the other end of the room, honorees lined up with their awards to get their photos taken before an AL DÍA step and repeat banner.
In the space between the moment of relishing their celebration and heading home for the night, Mosquera spoke again with AL DÍA to give her thoughts on the awards ceremony.
"It's really nice to look back and realize all of your efforts and your sacrifices paid off. We got here with just dreams,” Mosquera said after the main event. “To be in a place where you can say 'I made it. I’m an example for other people'... It's even more special when you can share it with friends and family. So I'm really thankful."
AL DÍA has hosted its 40 Under Forty annually for three years, this year’s being the second in-person ceremony.
The fourth annual event will be held next August of 2023, with more details being released as they develop.