WASHINGTON, DC – Hispanic Heritage Foundation President and CEO Jose Antonio Tijerino was honored at the 32nd USHLI National Conference with the Cesar Chavez Community Service Award in Chicago on February 21, 2014.
“Antonio Tijerino, one of the most respected thought-leaders and cutting-edge innovators, was honored for his service to the community and the nation,” said USHLI President Dr. Juan Andrade. “It was our privilege to present him with the Cesar Chavez Award. Cesar Chavez is universally regarded as the most respected and admired Latino leader in the history of the United States, and the award that bears his name is reserved for individuals, like Antonio, who live their life and do their work with the same sense of servant leadership, grace and humility for which Cesar Chavez is remembered.”
The 32nd USHLI National Conference was held February 13-16 at the Sheraton Chicago Hotel and Towers with Tijerino receiving his award during Corporate and Community Leadership Awards Dinner, Saturday, February 15th. Also honored was Dr. Anita Perez Ferguson (Henry L. Lacayo Lifetime Achievement Award), Margie Gonzalez (William C. Velasquez Volunteer of the Year Award), and the Honorable Elmy Bermejo (Dolores Huerta Woman of Courage Medallion).
“I’m deeply humbled, privileged and energized to receive the Cesar Chavez Community Service Award from USHLI and a true role model in Dr. Juan Andrade,” said Tijerino. “To get a pat on the back from Juan is award enough and to have the award named after Cesar Chavez makes it, well, overwhelming. I receive this on behalf of my amazing HHF staff, Board of Directors, my family, and the tens of thousands of young leaders in our network. I thank them for putting me in the privileged position to serve.”
The Nicaraguan-born and Washington, DC-raised Tijerino has been leading HHF for over 12 years. He refocused the mission of the nonprofit from an awards ceremony created by the White House to a broader purpose of inspiring, preparing, and connecting Latino leaders in the classroom, community and workforce to meet America’s priorities (visit www.HispanicHeritage.org). HHF also promotes Latino cultural pride and accomplishment, and the great promise of the community through public awareness campaigns seen by millions. Tijerino developed award-winning youth programs and mobilized a network of tens of thousands of vetted students and young professionals aged 16-35 during his time at the helm. The LOFT (Latinos On Fast Track) program has been recognized by the White House, US Congress and Fortune 500 companies. In addition, Tijerino executive-produces the star-studded Hispanic Heritage Awards at the Kennedy Center and the national television broadcasts.
Tijerino is active in the community by serving on various boards and advisory positions including Harvard’s Latino Leadership Initiative at the Kennedy School, the National Parent Teacher Association, America’s Promise Alliance, Robert H. Smith School of Business at University of Maryland, National Building Museum, Imagination Stage, Jefferson Awards, Crittenton Services, and Latin American Advisory Group (LAAG) to the Montgomery County Executive. He is also on the Leadership Council for the University of Maryland’s Center for the History of the New America, Co-Chairs the LOFT Institute at Michigan State University and he co-founded The American Project with Notre Dame University, which is a faith-based, youth-led movement to treat immigrants with dignity. Tijerino was also invited to participate in the prestigious Renaissance Weekend alongside top leaders in America, recognized by the US Army for his work as a civilian, honored as an Outstanding Young American, Silicon Valley Latino Leadership Visionary Leadership Award, Hispanic Hero by US Hispanic Youth Entrepreneurship, was a Brillante Award recipient by National Society of Hispanic MBAs, among others. In the media, Tijerino has been featured in HBO’s Habla series and was profiled on an hour-long Discovery Channel/TLC program for his work with youth, and his articles and blogs have appeared in major publications and social media. He has also been featured on radio and TV broadcasts. As a speaker he has made remarks from the White House to colleges to corporate headquarters to communities across America as well as featured in the TED Talk series.
Tijerino earned a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Maryland’s school of journalism and later was awarded a Doctorate of Humane Letters from The Chicago School.