2014 Iowa Latino Leadership Banquet


The League of United Latin American Citizens of Iowa will host the Iowa Latino Leadership Banquet to recognize key individuals and our scholarship recipient.

The banquet is Nov. 1, 2014, at the Holiday Inn Airport/Convention Center (Ballroom), Des Moines, Iowa. Festivities begin at 5:30 p.m. with a reception, followed by a dinner, awards program and evening entertainment. This is a formal event. Black tie is optional.



The following individuals will be honored at the awards presentation:



– LULAC Builder Award – Sara Monroy Huddleston, president of a new LULAC Council in Storm Lake, Ia. Huddleston, a member of the Storm Lake City Council, has actively worked to increase awareness of the Latino community and has extended the olive branch to individuals and organizations that traditionally have not supported Latinos in order to develop working relationships.


– Latino Business Person of the Year Award – JoAnn Mackey, former director of Latino Resources Inc. and founder of Iowa’s Latino Heritage Festival. Mackey started the statewide event 14 years ago as a way to celebrate the contributions from the more than 22 Latino countries that are represented in Iowa. She retired after this year’s festival. The festival draws thousands each year and serves as the largest cultural event in Iowa.


– Latino Hero Award – U.S. Sen. Tom Harkin, who will retire after serving Iowans for more than 40 years. Harkin has been an advocate for all Iowans and his work has extended to the Latino community, those with special needs and others. He has supported measures that have improved the lives of Latinos and helped them gain higher paying jobs. 



– Iowa Latino Leadership Award – Vanessa C. Marcano-Kelly, a graduate of the inaugural Latina Leadership Initiative of Greater Des Moines, who now works for the Iowa Department of Human Services. Marcano-Kelly has been a community organizer with Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement, where she advocated on behalf of the Latino community for issues that include wage theft, immigration reform, voter’s rights, driver’s licenses and raising the minimum wage.


– Emerging Latino Leader Scholarship Award – Maria Mayorga, 25, is in her final year at Drake University Law School. She has interned for several Des Moines-area attorneys. Mayorga worked at the Drake Law School Legal Clinic and was the legal assistant for the Immigrant Survivors Advancement Legal Program (ISA), where she helped immigrant women who were victims of domestic abuse receive legal assistance and counseling referrals. Mayorga, a graduate of Dowling Catholic High School, is a single parent of a son, and also provides translation services to her alma mater high school.



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