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Chamber Honors Businesses, Individuals at Annual Awards Gala [PHOTOS]

Irving — Local businesses and individuals were honored at the Irving Hispanic Chamber’s (IHCC) 2019 Awards Gala and Masquerade Ball hosted at the Irving Convention Center on Friday, Nov. 8.

“This event is what I look forward to every year, because this is where we recognize all the hard work of our members and all of the great things they do for our community as well as the entire city of Irving,” Mary Ann Kellam, president and CEO of the IHCC, said. “We have a lot of wonderful presentations to do tonight. We have some great people being recognized, and I want to make sure everybody enjoys themselves.”

Irving ISD Superintendent Magda Hernandez was among the many people honored at the event. She received the IHCC President’s Award.

“I feel very blessed to have the opportunity to lead the district,” Hernandez said. “And then to be honored in this way, with an award that not many people have received, in my short tenure in this leadership role. I hope that it’s one of many, and that we continue to represent Irving like they deserve.

“When I started as superintendent, my goal was to build community. I think with this award, it’s showing that it is working and the culture is changing.”

Frank Lorea, owner of ASH Automated Packaging System Inc, received the Entrepreneur of the Year award. He and his family started their business in Irving in 1981.

“It is an honor and a pleasure to be up here with these various esteemed business owners,” Lorea said upon receiving his award. “This is something that I would have never dreamed up. My wife and I moved up here in 1963 with $40 in our pocket, went through various jobs, opened up our business. Now we truly have a family business, and we’re very fortunate to have a very strong family.”

David Schoemaker, vice-president and managing partner of Toyota of Irving, was the recipient of the chamber’s Lifetime Achievement Award.

“I think it’s very heartwarming that I could do something for the Irving Hispanic Chamber and got something back for it,” Schoemaker said. “I didn’t expect anything tonight, but it’s very special. We support them with whatever efforts they need us to do. We’re out there to help, and they reward us back with a trophy.”

This year also introduce a brand new award: The IHCC Education Foundation Appreciation Award, which was awarded to Dr. Robert Bayless of Precision Orthopedics & Sports Medicine for their involvement with helping the chamber provide funds for a homeless Irving ISD student to attend college.

The complete list of winners is as follows:

Volunteer of the Year: Karina Rodriguez-Colin

Ambassadors of the Year: Christina Rodriguez and Reymundo Torres

Business of the Year: Hugo’s Invitados

Entrepreneur of the Year: Frank Lorea

Corporation of the Year: DFW International Airport

Partner of the Year: Regional Hispanic Contractors Association

Non-Profit of the Year: The Highlands School

Lifetime Achievement: David Schoemaker

President’s Award: Magda Hernandez

Gracias Award: Oscar Ward

IHCC Education Foundation Appreciation Award: Dr. Robert Bayless & Precision Orthopedics and Sports Medicine

You can view photos from the event below:

Photos by Ariel Graham