By Clyde Hughes | AC JosepH Media
ATLANTIC CITY — Decorated Atlantic City Police Command Officer Lt. Wilber Santiago leads a list of local and state community leaders who will be honored at the Hispanic Leadership Association of New Jersey 10th anniversary Awards Gala at the Resorts Hotel and Casino on Saturday, Oct. 28.
Santiago, a native of Atlantic City, is a fixture in the Atlantic City Police Department and longtime community leader, who has led the city’s PAL program. Santiago, who will receive the Public Safety Award from the organization, has won numerous awards for his community outreach and law enforcement work.
Selena Vazquez, award-winning journalist for the Press of Atlantic City will also be recognized. A Hammonton native was part of the Class of 2022 30 Under 35 Top Young Latino Leaders of South Jersey by Front Runner New Jersey.
Other locals who will be honored at the event include:
- Mount Laurel band leader Edgardo Cintron, Arts and Entertainment Award
- Cooper University Health’s Maria Ruiz, Health Advocate Award
- Turnersville’s Art in Motion owner Darlin Garcia, Arts and Entertainment Award
- Rowan University Upward Bound Program Director Margarita Olivencia
- Authentic City Partners co-founder Evan Sanchez
- Atlantic County attorney Elliott Almanza
- Pleasantville City Councilman Victor Carmona
- AtlantiCare Health Network officer Christian Ragland
Other statewide honors include:
- Army Officer Michael Arroyo, Leadership Award
- Deputy Chief Joe Garcia, Public Safety Award
- Juan Gonzalez, Nonprofit Award
- Ana Ramirez, Education Award
Trailblazing retired Atlantic County Judge Julio Mendez will be the keynote speaker for the gala.
Camden City Council President and former Assemblyman Angel Fuentes is founder of the Hispanic Leadership Association of the New Jersey.
The New Jersey Hispanic Leadership Association was co-founded in 2011 as a nonprofit 501 © (3) under HIPP, Hispanic Impacting Public Policy.
Attorney Jon Diego, a prominent lawyer in Pleasantville serves as president of the Hispanic Leadership Association of New Jersey. Officers include Johnny Santiago, first vice president; Rosemary DeQuinzio, second vice president; Melissa Quiles, co-secretary and Nydia Rosario, co-secretary. Other board member include Fuentes, Atlantic City’s Mimi Nambo, Lisette Gonzalez, Jael Conde and Iris Santiago.
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