Press Release: NEOHCC Executive Director Receives NFL Award
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
SEPTEMBER 23, 2011
Contact Stephanie Mercado
The Northeast Ohio Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Congratulates Executive Director Stephanie Mercado on Receiving NFL Hispanic Heritage Leadership Award
Cleveland – Northeast Ohio Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (NEOHCC) Chairman of the Board Carlos Fuentes announced today that Executive Director Stephanie Mercado will receive the National Football League Hispanic Heritage Leadership Award this Sunday, September 25, 2011 at Cleveland Browns Stadium prior to the Cleveland Browns vs. Miami Dolphins game. The award recognizes the contributions of Hispanic leaders in each NFL market and Ms. Mercado was selected as this year’s recipient in the Cleveland market. As part of the award, the Cleveland Browns will make a $2,000 charitable contribution in the name of Ms. Mercado to support the scholarship program at Esperanza, Inc.
Ms. Mercado selected Esperanza because she fully supports their mission of improving the academic achievement of Hispanics in Greater Cleveland by supporting students to graduate high school and promoting post-secondary educational attainment. Esperanza Executive Director Victor Ruiz said, “As a friend of Stephanie and a partner organization to the Northeast Ohio Hispanic Chamber of Commerce we were really excited for Stephanie to win the award. We felt Stephanie deserved the award and recognition, but we were humbled when we learned our organization is going to receive a large charitable contribution as a result of Stephanie’s award. Esperanza is fortunate to have such strong support from Stephanie and the Northeast Ohio Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and our programs will truly benefit from receiving the $2,000 contribution.”
Mr. Ruiz continued, “Esperanza will be able to have over 30 of the kids in our program participate in the awards ceremony before the game on Sunday. For many of the kids, this will be the first NFL football game they will be attending and they are really excited about being on the field when the Cleveland Browns players take the field. In addition to the financial contribution Esperanza is receiving, the kids in our program will have the experience of a lifetime at the game.”
Ms. Mercado has won this prestigious award because of the results she has achieved over the past three years leading the Northeast Ohio Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. During her tenure the Hispanic Business Center, the educational partner of the Chamber that Ms. Mercado also leads, has been recognized as the second Hispanic Small Business Development Center in Ohio and the Chamber has developed various strategic partnerships including participating in the Minority Business Development Agency’s Business Center in Cleveland and launching a new joint membership program with the Northern Ohio Minority Supplier Development Council.
Ms. Mercado is currently leading efforts to start a Hispanic loan fund focused on micro-lending within the Hispanic business community. Last year, under Ms. Mercado’s leadership, the Chamber was able to support its members in obtaining over $15 million of new procurement contracts that led to the creation of 17 new jobs and retained 127 jobs.
Chairman of the Board of Directors, Carlos Fuentes said, “Stephanie is truly deserving of the NFL Hispanic Heritage Leadership Award for all the accomplishments she has achieved over the past several years as the Executive Director of the Northeast Ohio Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. While Stephanie is definitely a strong and productive leader in the Hispanic community, her accomplishments go far beyond the Hispanic community. Stephanie is a successful and recognized leader in the Greater Cleveland business and economic development communities and I am so happy for her. She definitely earned this award and recognition and I can’t think of a more deserving person to win the award!”
“I am honored to receive this award and thankful to the Cleveland Browns for recognizing our community,” said Ms. Mercado. Ms. Mercado continued, “I am proud of the work of our Chamber, supported by our Board and staff, and the impact we are able to make in fulfilling our mission by engaging in wealth creation opportunities within the Hispanic and minority business community.”
About the Northeast Ohio Hispanic Chamber of Commerce
Northeast Ohio Chamber of Commerce is a 501 (c) (6) non-profit organization. Our coverage area is the northeast region of Ohio, which includes 16 counties. MBEs can also receive services through our educational 501 (c) (3) Hispanic Business Center, which is the second Latino Small Business Development Center in Ohio. Our offices are located at 2511 Clark Avenue, Cleveland, OH 44109.
NEOHCC is part of a national network of Hispanic Chambers which includes 4 other regional Hispanic Chambers in the State of Ohio. See www.neohcc.org for more information.
About Esperanza, Inc.
The mission of Esperanza is to improve the academic achievement of Hispanics in Greater Cleveland by supporting students to graduate high school and promoting post-secondary educational attainment. See www.esperanzainc.org for more information.