DALLAS -- The United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (USHCC) has announced the 2010 Hispanic Businessman of the Year, Fred Loya Sr., Founder and Chairman Emeritus of Fred Loya Insurance and the 2010 Hispanic Businesswoman of the Year, Gina Puente, CEO and President of Puente Enterprises, Incorporated. Loya and Puente were awarded the national distinction at the USHCC 31st Annual National Convention & Business Expo in Dallas, Texas, held September 22-26, 2010.
The prestigious Hispanic Businessman and Businesswoman of the Year Awards are presented by USHCC to the Hispanic business owners who have shown exemplary leadership and attained excellence in the business world. The awards pay tribute to the achievements and innovations of U.S. Hispanic entrepreneurs across the country.
"Fred Loya and Gina Puente are exemplary leaders in the Hispanic community, mentors to entrepreneurs and tremendously successful business owners," said Javier Palomarez, President and CEO of the USHCC. "We are proud to honor these outstanding individuals as the 2010 Businessman and Businesswoman of the Year – they are a true testament to the American entrepreneurial spirit and to the fact that great success is possible with hard work, vision and dedication."
Fred Loya Sr. is Founder and Chairman Emeritus of Fred Loya Insurance, a multimillion-dollar company with 2,500 employees in Texas, New Mexico, Colorado and California. The company was founded in 1974 in El Paso, Texas and has grown to be the 18th largest Hispanic-owned and operated company in the United States. In 2009, The Loya Insurance Group wrote over $400 million in premiums and insured over half a million drivers with more than 360,000 active policies. Loya now serves as a consultant to the business operated by his children.
"My family and I have worked tirelessly to build our insurance enterprise and we are honored to be recognized for our efforts," said Loya. "We take great pride in accepting this distinguished award from the USHCC, a first-class organization for professionals, Hispanic business owners and American entrepreneurs. We look forward to supporting its continued advocacy in promoting and facilitating the success of Hispanic business enterprises."
Gina Puente is CEO and President of Puente Enterprises, Inc., a unique conglomerate of retail businesses based atDallas/Fort Worth International Airport, including six newsstands; two La Bodega Winery locations; eight food and beverage operations; five Travelex Worldwide currency exchange locations; and a media advertising firm. Its other businesses outside the airport include operating wine and culinary cruises on Lake Grapevine; La Buena Vida Vineyards-Grapevine, a winery and tasting room in the historic district of Grapevine, Texas and other real estate investments. Puente Enterprises, Inc. grosses more than $33 million annually and employs over 170 people in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.
Puente has received numerous awards including Enterprising Woman of the Year, Latina Entrepreneur of the Year, Fort Worthand Texas Hispanic Business Woman of the Year, Blazing Star Award, Latina Women's Recognition Award, Dallas Business Journal Most Influential Woman Award, and Retail Concessionaire of the Year.
"I am thrilled to be recognized by the USHCC as the 2010 Hispanic Businesswoman of the Year," said Puente. "We live in an extraordinary time where Hispanic entrepreneurship is appreciated and celebrated, so I am proud to be recognized by the nation's largest advocate for Hispanic business enterprise."
About the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce
Founded in 1979, the USHCC actively promotes the economic growth and development of Hispanic entrepreneurs and represents the interests of nearly 3 million Hispanic-owned businesses in the United States that generate nearly $400 billionannually. It also serves as the umbrella organization for more than 200 local Hispanic chambers in the United States andPuerto Rico.