East Los Angeles College Holds 15th Annual President's Gala
Posted: Jul/12/2019 8:37 AM
HOLLYWOOD, Calif.— On Friday, June 14 the ELAC Foundation hosted its sold out 15th Annual ELAC President's Gala at the Taglyan Cultural Complex in Hollywood. Over 450 attendees joined the ELAC community for a night of philanthropy and celebration. “The theme of the Gala was “Transforming Lives Through Entrepreneurship and Innovation” and each honoree of the night has truly transformed lives,” said ELAC Dean and Foundation Executive Director, Paul De La Cerda.
Geoffrey Rivas, Actor/Producer/Director of the Latino Theater Company, emceed the Gala along with Sandra O’Neill, Anchor for Noticiero Telemundo 52; and Ted Chen, NBC 7 reporter. The honorees included Amazon Web Services (AWS) with the President’s Entrepreneurship & Innovation Award; Congresswoman Judy Chu with the President’s Leadership Award; President & CEO of Cordoba Corporation, George L. Pla with the Alumnus of the Year Award; and Edison International with the ELAC Corporate Partner of the Year Award.
“I am forever grateful for the education and guidance I received as a student at ELAC,” stated George L. Pla. “I am truly honored and humbled to be recognized as Alumnus of the Year. I hope that my journey will serve as an inspiration to demonstrate how our community college system can empower and provide the tools for future generations to succeed and make a difference in the lives of others.”
In 2018, ELAC opened the LA Center for Entrepreneurship & Innovation, which houses its small business incubator called ESTEC LA. The incubator, powered in partnership with OmniWorks, provides entrepreneurial tools that accelerate start-up businesses owned by minorities, women, veterans, the formerly incarcerated, and the LGBTQ community. The unique program was featured in the LA Business Journal and is funded, in part, by a $150,000 investment by JPMorgan Chase, with additional support from Union Bank and the California Strong Workforce Program. The 12 business owners from the ESTEC LA program showcased their business to all in attendance at the Gala. The testimony and success of the business owners in the Incubator had a powerful impact on the Gala attendees and ELAC Foundation Gala Chair Marissa Castro-Salvati shared her gratitude to them.
“ELAC Foundation is ever so grateful to the generosity of our supporters. The support our sponsors have exhibited is a true testament to their commitment and belief in the mission of the Center for Entrepreneurship & Innovation and our incubator,“ said Castro-Salvati.
“We were honored to attend the President’s Gala and humbled to be recognized for our work with ELAC and the broader Los Angeles community; the growth of cloud computing is spurring tremendous demand for a cloud-skilled workforce,” said Andrew Ko, Managing Director, Global Education, AWS. “Los Angeles is setting the course for an exciting vision for the future through CA Cloud, a consortium of community colleges and K12 systems that is offering a Cloud Computing Certificate built with AWS Educate.”
Funds raised benefit ELAC students and future entrepreneurs in the East and Southeast Los Angeles community. The ELAC Foundation Board of Directors culminated the event with a cannon of confetti announcing next year’s gala, which will celebrate the 75th Anniversary of the East LA College.
The Gala attendees included:
Judy Chu, U.S. Congressmember
Jimmy Gomez, U.S. Congressmember
Rosario Marin, 41st Treasurer of the United States
Fiona Ma, CA State Treasurer
Susan Rubio, CA State Senator
Maria Elena Durazo, CA State Senator
Ed Chau, CA State Assemblymember
Gilbert A. Cedillo, City of Los Angeles Councilmember
Peter Chan, Mayor, City of Monterey Park
Eddie De La Riva, Mayor, City of Maywood
Jose R. Gonzalez, Mayor, City of Cudahy
Jason Pu, Mayor of City of San Gabriel
Al Rios, Councilmember, City of South Gate
Adele Andrade-Stadler, Councilmember, City of Alhambra
Sandra Armenta Lopez, Councilmember, City of Rosemead
Mike Fong, City of Rosemead, LACCD Board of Trustees President
Andra Hoffman, LACCD Board of Trustees Vice President
David Vela, LACCD Board Trustees
Steve Veres, LACCD Board Trustees
Scott Svonkin, LACCD Board Trustees
Dr. Francisco Rodriguez, LACCD Chancellor
Tim Murakami, Undersheriff, LA County Sheriff Department
Julia Svetlana Juarez, Director of Community Outreach, for CA State Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara
Baydsar Thomasin, District Consultant, CA State Senator Maria Elena Durazo
Maria Unzueta, representing CA State Controller Betty Yee
Sarojini Lall, District Director, CA State Assemblymember Laura Friedman
Representatives from the office of LA County Supervisor Hilda Solis
To learn more about the ELAC Foundation and the LA Center for Entrepreneurship & Innovation’s ESTEC LA Incubator please go to elacfoundation.com or estecla.com.
ABOUT EAST LOS ANGELES COLLEGE FOUNDATION
East Los Angeles College Foundation (ELACF) is an independent 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. The Foundation's singular goal is to support the programs and students of East Los Angeles College. The staff and volunteer Board of Directors embark upon advocacy, building community goodwill and promoting and elevating the College in fulfilling its mission and reaching its goals through marketing and advocacy, community and industry connections, and financial support. The Foundation strives to improve the quality, sustainability, and student involvement in many of the campus programs, such as Entrepreneurship, Logistics, Business Administration, Science, Technology, Engineering & Math (STEM) and Advanced Manufacturing. Community college foundations statewide are expected to play a pivotal role in college advancement and social impact in the years to come and the ELAC Foundation is building social enterprise programs and capacity to lead that charge by launching ESTEC LA Incubator – Powered by OmniWorks. The program name “ESTEC LA” fuses the words Este “East” and Technology “Tec”, which stands for the region and innovation coming together to create the next generation of entrepreneurial minds and small businesses. To learn more about the ELAC Foundation programs visit: www.elacfoundation.com or estecla.com.