A Cinco de Mayo surprise honor: LATINA Style Magazine Entrepreneur of the Year award

On May 5th, I received an email surprise from LATINA Style Magazine publisher Robert Bard. In his letter, he informed me I had been selected as the “Entrepreneur of the Year” for the San Francisco Bay Area.  In his letter, he wrote, “You were nominated by our community partners and the co-chairs of the San Francisco Business Series event. You were selected for your lifetime achievements and your visibility as a true role model for our young women.”

My family and best friends at award luncheon

On May 13th, after participating in a panel session titled “Lessons Learned: Latina Entrepreneurs’ Financial Survival Guide,” I accepted the award at the Grand Hyatt in San Francisco. My husband, three children, au pair, my parents, two best friends, and my editor honored me with their presence.

Grace at podium during acceptance speech

I addressed the audience of 300 Latinas, all entrepreneurs, small business owners, and corporate professionals. I shared leadership lessons gained during my nine years of military service and shared stories of how I have applied those timeless lessons as a corporate professional, mother and entrepreneur. Judging by the audience reaction and the conversations I had with audience members after the luncheon, the words of wisdom I shared hit the mark–they took away leadership lessons they could use the very next day.

Graciela and LATINA Style President and Publisher Robert Bard

I was truly honored to be recognized in this way by LATINA Style Magazine, the premier national magazine addressing the needs of the Latina professional and business owner. The award plaque is beautiful:  a childhood picture of LATINA Style founder and visionary, the late Anna Maria Arias, with my name and award below. It will always remind me of this beautiful day and I will treasure it always. I look forward to meeting more spectacular people associated with LATINA Style at the national symposium in Washington D.C. in September.  Thank you Robert, Tania, Ines, Isabel and Aida for your roles in this award and event.

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