ON THE EVENING of Wednesday, August 12th a group of Latino Chicagoans gathered at the Intercontinental Hotel on the Magnificent Mile to mingle and celebrate the achievements of four remarkable leaders within the Chicago Latino community.
Jorge Ferraez, publisher of Latino Leaders Magazine, took to the stage to welcome the crowd.
"We've been hosting this event in Chicago for seven years. In seven years, we've had 29 recipients. There aren't as many cities that can breed that caliber of leaders like Chicago can. Chicago is contributing some of the most relevant Latino leaders in the country," he said. "They say Latinos are the future of this country, but when I come to Chicago, I don't see Latinos as the future--I see them as the present."
Ferraez said that a common concern among leaders in the Latino community is the lack of access to capital, govemment seats and education. His magazine has partnered with some corporations to promote Hispanic leaders and is preparing to launch the first and only diversity index, but more is needed, he said.
"We are going to monitor every single diversity levei in the country and point out where it is lacking," he said.
The Maestro Awards Ceremony was supported by Northwestern Mutual, Southwest, SAC and Madrigal Family Winery.
And with that, the maestros took to the stage.
The Maestro of Professional Achievement went to Juan R. Sanabria, a surgical oncologist and fellow of the American College of Surgeons who has dedicated his life to serving others. Sanabria grew up in Colombia and received his medical degree from the University of Bogota. He later went on to receive his MD from the University of Toronto in 1986. In 2001, he moved to the U.S. to accept an opportunity in Ohio and more recently he moved to Chicago. In his career he has performed hundreds of liver and pancreatic surgeries.
When asked, "what part of your education or upbringing was key to succeeding in your field? What made you different? What made you advance?" Juan replied, "Education isn't about reading a book, but acquiring a higher level of thinking process. And that's what makes the difference. If you don't use it to reach a higher level of thinking, you don't become educated. And in the workplace, you have to lead by using that knowledge."
Sanabria cited his family as the main reason that drove his success. In addition, an adherence to good values is key, he added.
"It doesn't matter what you do, you have to do your...