Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Louisiana’s “Excelencia Gala”

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Director Alba Huddleston, Auctioneer Chuck Mutz and Board Member Blanca Robinson


The Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Louisiana honored leadership and community engagement within the Hispanic community at its “Excelencia Gala,” which serves to fund critical programming and services. These are more important than ever as the organization works to assist the Hispanic community, which has been disproportionately impacted by COVID-19.

2020 Honorees included Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Louisiana – Corporate Partner; Entergy – President’s Choice; Jose Garcia of Televizion – Community Partner; Jeiver Gonzalez Villegas of GNO Tax & Business Center LLC – Small Business; and Cristy Cali of Cristy Cali – Young Leader. Additional honorees were COX Business, OnPath, Chevron, Shell, AT&T, Copa Airlines and Sherwin Williams. The celebration featured restaurants Baru Bistro & Tapas and La Boca Steakhouse, who offered celebratory menus. Julio y Cesar y Su Banda performed live throughout the program. Also featured were pre-recorded performances by Krewe de Mayahuel and Mariachi Jalisco. Gala Chairs were Mayra E. Pineda, President and CEO, Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Louisiana, and Raiza Pitre, Account Executive, COX Business/Second Vice Chair, Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Louisiana. HCCL Chair Martha Castillo delivered remarks in between waves of the silent and live auction bidding, led by Chuck Mutz of Black Tie Auctions.

The 30 attendees at the Hyatt Regency enjoyed an elegant, socially distanced atmosphere created by Mardi Gras Productions. The Hyatt Regency’s catering team offered hors d’oeuvres, and signature martinis were sponsored by Republic National Distributing Company and Absolut Juice.

Many more patrons tuned in from home through the Zoom and Facebook Live portals in order to follow proper social distancing protocol.

COX Business was the gala’s Diamond Sponsor, with Platinum Sponsors OnPath, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana and Telemundo/KGLA.


➺ Event at a Glance
What: “Excelencia Gala” benefiting Hispanic Chamber of Commerce
When: Friday, September 18, 2020
Where: Virtual


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President’s Choice Excelencia Award Honoree Patty Riddlebarger and HCCL President & CEO Mayra Pineda

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HCCL Chair Martha Castillo, Anselmo Rodriguez and HCCL Foundation Chair Angelica Rivera

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Young Professional Excelencia Award Honoree Christy Cali and Board Member Daniel Toro

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Community Partner Excelencia Award Honoree Jose Garcia, Vice Chair Raiza Pitre, Board Member Luz Lobos and Small Business Excelencia Award Honoree Jeiver Gonzales

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Dorris Kraft and Board Member Deysi Munoz


Photographed by Kenny Martinez

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