As we come to the end of this year who could have predicted where we would be? Front and center, of course, the presidential election. The results were announced more than a month ago and we are still trying to figure out what in the world happened? This would have been a good Vegas bet. Now we are wondering if there will be any place for a Hispanic cabinet member. It does not look likely even though, to the surprise of many, Hispanics did actually vote for President-elect Trump. Will he reach out to the Hispanics after all? So many insults were hurled at our community that it makes you wonder what it will take to mend some bridges. We shall see.
There were some bright spots for our community, former Nevada attorney general, Catherine Cortez Masto will be sworn in as the first Latina elected to the U.S. Senate and Congresswoman Nanette Barragán from California will be joining the Latina sorority in the House. Sadly, we lost the services of Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez from California who was unsuccessful in her bid for the U.S. Senate. On the Latino side, Congressman Ruben Hinojosa, one of our true champions of education retired after a long and distinguished career. But the shocker was the sudden retirement of Congressman Xavier Becerra, our most influential Hispanic member of the House and a rising star in the Democratic Party. He will be joining Governor Jerry Brown from California as the new attorney general for the state. He will be missed and we wish him well in his new responsibilities.
We are proud to present to you our award recipients for our Distinguished Military Awards in this special issue dedicated to honor our members of the armed services and veterans. Held since 2004 the National LATINA Symposium and our LATINA Style Hero Initiative are the premier programs in the nation recognizing the achievements of Latinas in the military service and of veterans transitioning into civilian careers. We are thankful to our partners in these great programs — Prudential, Walmart, Marriott, Shell, AT&T, the U.S. Air Force, USAA, Verizon, Nationwide, Southwest Airlines, Parents Step Ahead and, of course, the Department of Defense. We are incredibly proud of the women and men who everyday put themselves in harm’s way to protect us from dangers that most of us are not even aware of.
Also in this issue we recognize the achievements of our Latina Corporate Executives of the Year and the Employee/Business Resource Groups of the Year, these outstanding women and organizations are truly at the vanguard of corporate achievement for our community. The winners will be selected on February 9th, 2017 in Washington, D.C. at our LATINA Style 50 Awards and Diversity Leaders Conference. We look forward to seeing you all there.
On a sad note, we lost Anna Maria Arias’ mother, Rita, this year after a short illness. She was a true pioneer and an inspiration to all of us. Finally, the highlight of the year for us, personally, was the safe return of our daughter Lt. Eileen Suarez, U.S. Navy, after a year deployment in Afghanistan. We could not be more proud of her.
In conclusion, please be safe, have a wonderful holiday and keep our troops in your thoughts and prayers. We look forward to seeing you again next year. God bless.