Local Latino Leader #6-Lydia Salva

•September 6, 2011 • 1 Comment

Whether acting as a translator, advocate, or counselor, Lydia Salva loves to help.

She specializes in providing resources to victims of domestic violence and rape at the Partnership for Families, Children and Adults in the Crisis Resource Center in Chattanooga. She helps with case management, crisis counseling, safety planning, court and legal advocacy,  and interpretation as a Bilingual Victim Advocate.

Lydia has both a Puerto Rican and Costa Rican background and grew up in Central America and the U.S. A dedicated interpreter and translator, she has worked with teams in Central and South America and even taught Spanish in South Korea. Lydia brings her leadership experience to her work at the Partnership in bilingual and bicultural competency.

She connects local faith communities and service providers with her clients to get them the help they need and in turn has become a trusted resource herself.

She really is all about helping others. Lydia, thanks for all that you do. Your leadership is truly an inspiration.


Donate Blood and Save a Life

•August 17, 2011 • Leave a Comment

Not enough people donate blood.

Especially in the Hispanic community.

This Sunday, August 21, La Paz is partnering with Blood Assurance to sponsor a Hispanic Blood Drive at St. Peter and Paul Catholic Church located at 214 E. 8th St. We will be there from 10 am to 6 pm. Our goal is at least 60 units of blood and we need your help to achieve it! Historically, blood donation amongst Latinos is low, for several reasons: a misunderstanding of the process, distrust of the medical community, and the lack of blood banks in other regions of the world. Yet each unit of blood donated can save up to 3 lives.

Come out and help us reach our goal! If you’d like to help as a interpreter, send an email to  lstevens@lapazchattanooga.org.

Check out this video on the  importance of Latinos donating blood.

Here are some interesting facts about Hispanics and blood donation from the South Texas Blood and Tissue Center.

Local Latino Leader #5-Angela Garcia

•July 26, 2011 • Leave a Comment

A trip from Colombia to visit her boyfriend brought Angela Garcia to Chattanooga about ten years ago…and she ultimately decided to stay.

Angela started off as a travel consultant in a local travel agency, where she met people from different countries and had the opportunity to improve her English language skills. Angela also worked for four years in sales at Dalton’s Daily Citizen News. You can now find her as head of Noticias Libres, the Spanish publication of the Chattanooga Times Free  Press. She has transformed the paper to better reach the Latino community and cover its communication needs.

Angela has used her knowledge of the  Hispanic community here to contribute to the Hamilton County Health Department planning committee for the Annual Latino Health Fair. She is also part of the United Way’s Marketing committee and is very involved with all the Latino sport leagues around Chattanooga, Cleveland and Dalton.  She recently joined the Chattanooga Area Chamber of Commerce as a Vice President of communications for their International Council.

Angela married the boyfriend, Carlos, and they now have two beautiful children. They loved learning a new language together and now enjoy continuing to explore new cultures. Angela, you are an important asset to our Latino community and we are happy to see you nominated as a Local Latino Leader!

Local Latino Leader #4- Gary Tackling

•July 14, 2011 • Leave a Comment

He’s a National Championship coach of several Latino youth soccer teams in the greater Chattanooga area, but Gary Tackling just does that in his spare time.

Gary works as a Program Manager for Tennessee Valley Authority’s River Operations. He co-founded several programs within TVA that focus on Latino networking and community involvement, among them “TVA & Amigos.” Gary jump-started a Partner in Education initiative with the Chattanooga Girls Leadership Academy, a local learning community that specializes in teaching science, technology, engineering, and mathematics to underprivileged girls.

Gary also serves as a board member for the St. Andrew’s Center, the previous home of La Paz.

We appreciate Gary’s hard work to keep the Latino community connected. And good luck on the next futbol season!

Nominee #3-Local Latino Leader David Ortiz

•July 7, 2011 • Leave a Comment

David Ortiz is our Chair of the Board of Directors here at La Paz. But just because he is a bit of an in-house choice for a nominee, that doesn’t mean he deserves any less recognition.

David Ortiz works as a local diversity and inclusion professional. With Puerto Rican heritage, David educates individuals on the importance of diversity to help develop a culture of inclusion. He provides diversity training, career counseling and community outreach advocacy to address health disparities.

A New Jersey native with a brief stint in Milwaukee, WI, David is the youngest of four children. Now in Chattanooga, he has served as past chair for the Board of Directors for Youth Leadership Chattanooga, a youth development program. He is also a past-president and charter member of a local Toastmasters Club. David and his wife have three sons.

We are excited to showcase David as a Local Latino Leader, even if he is one close to home.

Nominee #2-Local Latino Leader Zary Colón

•July 7, 2011 • 5 Comments

Zary Colón has always known education was important.

 Though Zary was raised in Venezuela, she is a citizen of Latin America. Zary succeeded to learn English and supported herself through school when she came to the States. She studied abroad, traveling the world, and now brings that international expertise to everything she does. She is a host and sponsor for many families from Latin American countries working with Bridge Refugee Services.  She also works as a Linguist for Unum.

Last year, she was highlighted in Equal Opportunity Magazine. She loves helping others in need and welcomes many new Hispanics into her life.

The passion and dedication in everything Zary does is inspiring. Zary makes us proud!

Nominee #1-Local Latino Leader Gladys Pineda-Loher

•July 7, 2011 • Leave a Comment

Chattanooga Chamber of Commerce Business Diversity Coordinator Gladys Pineda-Loher was born in Colombia, but she has been an advocate for Latinos in East Tennessee for more than a decade.

 In her native Colombia, Gladys completed degrees in accounting and health care administration. She made the move to Knoxville to work as an accountant in 1999. There she participated in the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, while helping create the region’s first bilingual legal rights manual and hosting educational workshops for the Latino business community. She was also the chairwoman for the Latino Task Force, a division of the Community Economic Development Network of
East Tennessee.

Gladys moved to Chattanooga in 2009 with husband Terry and their four children. She decided to approach Chattanooga’s Chamber of Commerce about developing an International Business Council after going door-to door talking with people from the international community about what kind of organization they wanted to see in our area. The Chamber liked her idea, and she is now working on putting together a multi-cultural council representing more than 20 countries.

Gladys and Terry live with their four children, Tommy (age 10), Shiloh (age 9), Aiyana (age 7) and
Matthew (age 2) in Signal Mountain.

When not working, Gladys enjoys salsa dancing with her husband and practicing Taekwondo with her
kids. She loves cooking Colombian recipes and making memories with her family and friends. We’re proud to feature Gladys as a Local Latino leader and are excited about the passion she holds for Chattanooga’s Latino business owners and families.