2016 CHLI Congressional Staff Appreciation Reception
Thursday, June 23, 2016
Posted by: Roberto Cervantes
CHLI Congressional Staff Appreciation Reception
Washington, D.C. - The Congressional Hispanic Leadership Institute (CHLI) honored Juan Hinojosa, Chief of Staff for Congressman Mike Quigley (IL-05), and Miguel Mendoza, Legislative Director for Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart (FL-25) with its 2016 Stephen D. Vermillion III Congressional Staff Appreciation Award. The awards were presented on Wednesday, June 15, 2016 at the offices of Altria on 101 Constitution Ave., Washington, D.C.
Stephen D. Vermillion helped launch CHLI in 2003 and was a dedicated public servant for 18 years-serving as the Chief of Staff for Congressman Lincoln Diaz-Balart and Congressman David Rivera. Mr. Vermillion was the first recipient of the CHLI Staff Appreciation Award in July 2012. After his passing in November of that year, the award was named in his honor to continue Steve’s legacy and passion for the training of future leaders.
The reception commenced with welcome remarks by CHLI President & CEO, Mary Ann Gomez. Ms. Gomez thanked AARP, Altria and BP America for being sponsors, as this would not be possible without them.
CHLI Founder and Chairman, the Honorable Lincoln Diaz-Balart provided remarks on the legacy of Mr. Vermillion and the incredible impact that his life and work has had.
“I have never met a more admirable man than Steve Vermillion. How wonderful it is to be accompanied this evening by Steve’s family as we honor two exceptional public servants, Juan Hinojosa and Miguel Mendoza, with CHLI’s 2016 Steve Vermillion Staff Appreciation Award,” said CHLI Chairman and Founder Lincoln Diaz-Balart.
The first Stephen D. Vermillion, III Congressional Staff Appreciation Award recipient was Juan Hinojosa. He is a graduate from Indiana University and started on Capitol Hill as an intern in 2005, before he began working for Congressman Quigley in October 2013.
“Having worked side-by-side with Juan for three years, I’m most impressed with how he has made it a priority to show the next generation of Hispanic leaders that you too can be a Chief of Staff, Member of Congress, or anything you set your mind to. The Congressional Hispanic Leadership Institute could not have chosen a more deserving congressional staffer to honor with the prestigious Vermillion Congressional Staff Appreciation Award,” said Congressman Quigley.
“It’s an honor to be recognized by the Congressional Hispanic Leadership Institute (CHLI) as a recipient of the Stephen D. Vermillion, III Congressional Staff Appreciation Award. I’m proud to carry on the ideals that characterized Stephen Vermillion's time in Congress including his passion for public service and commitment to bipartisan cooperation. I look forward to partnering with CHLI and others in an effort to engage and promote the Hispanic community in Washington, D.C. and across the country,” said Hinojosa.
The second Stephen D. Vermillion, III Congressional Staff Appreciation Award recipient was Miguel Mendoza, a graduate from the University of Florida. CHLI Corporate Advisory Council Member and Managing Director for Becker & Poliakoff, Omar Franco and CHLI Board of Directors Member and Director of Federal Relations for Walmart, Lauren Robitaille, recognized him for his hard-work and commitment before Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart took the podium to speak on his highly valued Legislative Director.
"Miguel Mendoza is an example of what every public servant strives to become. Over a decade into his career on Capitol Hill, he continues to remain passionate and engaged on the issues and serving our community. In that time, he has become a trusted and admired friend. I am grateful for his commitment and to CHLI for recognizing his 12 years of hard work," said Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart.
“It is an incredible honor to receive the Stephen D. Vermillion, III Congressional Staff Appreciation Award from CHLI. I’m grateful that Congressional staff members are being recognized for their commitment to public service and their contribution towards the advancement of the Hispanic community on Capitol Hill,” said Mendoza.
CHLI would like to once again congratulate Juan Hinojosa and Miguel Mendoza on an exemplary job and work ethic, and would like to thank our sponsors for the event: AARP, Altria and BP America.
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The Congressional Hispanic Leadership Institute (CHLI) is the premier organization founded by Members of Congress and corporate executive leaders to advance the Hispanic community's economic progress with a focus on social responsibility and global competitiveness. Founded in 2003, CHLI is a 501(c)3 non-profit and non-partisan organization. CHLI is dedicated to fostering a broad awareness of the diversity of thought, heritage, interests, and views of Americans of Hispanic and Portuguese descent.