Latinos Unidos luncheon held in Tampa

05/20/09 Seán Kinane
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This afternoon in downtown Tampa, the Mayor’s Hispanic Advisory Council hosted about 400 members of the community and elected officials for the 12th annual Latinos Unidos Luncheon.

Maritza Rovira-Forino, chair of the Mayor’s Hispanic Advisory Council, says one goal is to raise funds for higher education. “This is going straight to [the University of Tampa].”

Tampa Mayor Pam Iorio declared Wednesday Latinos Unidos Day in Tampa and recognized former Florida governor and Tampa mayor Bob Martinez for his role.

Iorio presented a ceremonial city of Tampa Plate to Vince Roig, the keynote speaker of the Latinos Unidos Luncheon. Roig is chair of the Helios Education Foundation, which made a large donation to the University of South Florida for Latino scholarships last year.

Roig calls the Helios Education Foundation “the largest philanthropic organization in both Arizona and Florida focused solely on education.” It has invested $62 million in the two states since 2006, he says. Roig told the audience their “debt is to the future,” which is changing for Latinos.

Latinos are an important demographic in the state and in the county, according to Roig, whose parents were born in Spain and Puerto Rico. Minority entrepreneurs face additional hurdles, so Roig called on the audience to do what they could to help business owners.

Before the luncheon, a Latinos Unidos Leadership Conference focused on business strategies and the economy, according to the chair of the Mayor’s Hispanic Advisory Council, Maritza Rovira-Forino.

The Mayor's Hispanic Advisory Council will hold a Hispanic Public Forum on Oct. 14 at Iglesia de Dios La Senda Antigua on North Howard Avenue in Tampa.

Mayor's Hispanic Advisory Council

Helios Education Foundation

Vince Roig

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