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NFL, Hispanic Heritage Foundation and Nationwide, Team for Ninth Annual NFL Hispanic Heritage Leadership Awards



The National Football League and its teams will celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month with a series of special events during Hispanic Heritage Month.

The NFL, Hispanic Heritage Foundation (HHF) and Nationwide, official sponsor of the NFL, have partnered for the ninth annual NFL Hispanic Heritage Leadership Awards.  The awards recognize the contributions of Hispanic leaders in each NFL market.

Each award recipient will be recognized at a game or event hosted by their local NFL team.  With support from Nationwide, each recipient will select an organization of their choice that serves the local Hispanic community to receive a $2,000 donation.

Now in its third year, Nationwide’s support of the Hispanic Heritage Leadership Awards continues to demonstrate the company’s commitment to the Hispanic community. In addition to Nationwide’s partnership with the Hispanic Heritage Foundation, the Columbus-based insurance and financial services company also has partnerships with Latina Style, Unidos US, the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, the Association of Latino Professionals For America, the Hispanic Scholarship Fund, Hispanic Association on Corporate Responsibility and Prospanica. The sponsorship of the Hispanic Heritage Leadership Awards aligns with Nationwide’s goal of partnering with organizations that share the company’s values of improving the lives of others and giving back to the community.

“By partnering with the Hispanic Heritage Foundation and Nationwide, we are given an amazing opportunity to shine a bright light on individuals who are wholeheartedly impacting their local communities,” said Marissa Fernandez, NFL Vice President of Marketing Strategy & Fan Development. “Our goal is to continually support and acknowledge the positive efforts of each leader, while also empowering others to spread kindness and generosity in their own community.”

“We are thrilled to partner with the NFL and Nationwide to honor Hispanic leaders who are making an impact on communities all over America,” said Jose Antonio Tijerino, President and CEO of Hispanic Heritage Foundation. “It is important to highlight their leadership not only in the traditional Latino regions, but in recent-growing areas as well. Together with the NFL and Nationwide, we made sure that beyond the recognition there is an investment in local nonprofits. There is no better way to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month than to make a difference in the Latino community year-round.”

“Nationwide is excited to continue to partner with the Hispanic Heritage Foundation and the National Football League to once again present this year’s Hispanic Heritage Leadership Awards,” said Jennifer MacKenzie, Senior Vice President of Marketing at Nationwide. “Nationwide takes pride in providing resources, support and service to Hispanic consumers and business owners across the country. We look forward to celebrating the charitable efforts of Hispanic leaders in all 32 NFL markets during Hispanic Heritage Month.”

The theme of the NFL’s Hispanic Heritage Month campaign is “Feel the Orgullo.”  In Spanish, the word “orgullo” means pride.  Latino players, fans, and coaches have a strong sense of pride not only in their culture but in their team and the NFL.  During Hispanic Heritage Month, the NFL and its 32 teams amplify the rich history, heritage and tradition of Latinos, and honor the positive impact they have had on the game and country.

Throughout Hispanic Heritage Month, fans can visit for a look at the personal stories of Hispanic players, past and present, who have left a lasting legacy on the NFL.  NFL teams will enhance the celebration with local efforts throughout the month including local community outreach in honor of Hispanic Heritage Month.

The 2019 NFL Hispanic Heritage Leadership Awards recipients are:


Arizona Cardinals Javier Cárdenas, MD: Director, Barrow Concussion and Brain Injury Center
Atlanta Falcons Ivan Shammas: General Manager & General Sales Manager, Telemundo Atlanta
Baltimore Ravens Dr. Santiago Solis: Former Associate Vice President of Student Affairs, Towson University
Buffalo Bills Clotilde Perez-Bode Dedecker: President & CEO, Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo
Carolina Panthers Martin Flores: Director of Construction, Bojangles
Chicago Bears Iliana Mora: Chief Operating Officer, Cook County Health Ambulatory Services
Cincinnati Bengals Paul W. Martini: Senior Vice President, Director of National Private Bank Operations, Fifth Third Bank
Cleveland Browns Josue Vicente: Executive Director, Ohio Hispanic Coalition
Dallas Cowboys Andres Ruzo: Founder, Link America
Denver Broncos Joelle L. Martinez: Executive Director, Latino Leadership Institute at the University of Denver
Detroit Lions Jane Garcia: Founder, Corporate Responsibility through Advocacy
Green Bay Packers José Vásquez: President, St. Anthony School – Milwaukee
Houston Texans Sonia Corrales: Chief Program Officer, Houston Area Women’s Center
Indianapolis Colts Charlie Garcia: Owner & President, C Garcia Associates
Jacksonville Jaguars Ed Perez: President & CEO, Three Grains of Rice Missions
Kansas City Chiefs Janet Murguia: President & CEO, UnidosUS
Los Angeles Chargers Antonia Hernandez: President and CEO, California Community Foundation
Los Angeles Rams Susana Ansley-Gutierrez: Principal, Santee Education Complex
Miami Dolphins Maria C. Alonso: President & CEO, United Way of Miami-Dade
Minnesota Vikings Mario Hernandez: Strategic Services Director, Propel Nonprofits
New England Patriots Rosario Ubiera-Minaya: Founder, Cojuelos Productions
New Orleans Saints Martha Castillo: In-House Counsel, Pan-American Life Insurance
New York Giants To be announced
New York Jets Elizabeth Custodio: Vice President, Community Development & CRA Officer for NY, People’s United Bank
Oakland Raiders Linda Sanchez: Co-Founder, Casa Sin Fronteras
Philadelphia Eagles Erika Almiron: Executive Director, Juntos
Pittsburgh Steelers Rosamaria Cristello: Executive Director & Founder, Latino Community Center
San Francisco 49ers Albert Estrada: Unit Director, Alviso Clubhouse Boys and Girls Clubs of Silicon Valley
Seattle Seahawks Fredi Dubon: Day Worker Center Coordinator, Casa Latina
Tampa Bay Buccaneers Aileen Rodriguez: Principal, AR Public Affairs & Strategic Solutions
Tennessee Titans Raul Lopez: Executive Director, Men of Valor
Washington Redskins Lupi Quinteros-Grady: President & CEO, Latin American Youth Center


For the latest NFL news in Spanish, visit and follow @NFLEspanol on Twitter.

About the Hispanic Heritage Foundation:

The Hispanic Heritage Foundation – a nonprofit established by the White House in 1987 – inspires, prepares, and connects minority leaders in the classroom, community, and workforce to meet America’s priorities.  HHF also promotes cultural pride, accomplishment, and the great promise of the community through public awareness campaigns seen by millions.  HHF is headquartered in Washington, DC, and Los Angeles with satellite workspaces in New York, Silicon Valley, San Antonio, and Miami (Visit

About Nationwide

Nationwide, a Fortune 100 company based in Columbus, Ohio, is one of the largest and strongest diversified insurance and financial services organizations in the United States. Nationwide is rated A+ by both A.M. Best and Standard & Poor’s. An industry leader in driving customer-focused innovation, Nationwide provides a full range of insurance and financial services products including auto, business, homeowners, farm and life insurance; public and private sector retirement plans, annuities and mutual funds; excess & surplus, specialty and surety; pet, motorcycle and boat insurance. For more information, visit Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

Nationwide, Nationwide is on your side, and the Nationwide N and Eagle are service marks of Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company. © 2019


PRESS RELEASE WRITTEN BY Sarah Patti, NFL; Nicolas Peña, Hispanic Heritage Foundation; Jarrett Dunbar, Nationwide; COURTESY