A veritable ‘Who’s Who’ in the Hispanic Delaware Valley turned out for a celebrity dinner honoring Impacto Newspaper’s Most Influential Latino Awards of 2011. Leading the “Ten Under 40” award-winners was Ricardo Maldonado, the executive director of the Chilean & American Chamber of Commerce.

The annual award ceremonies recognize the Latino community’s leaders in industry, education, federal, state and local government, sports and entertainment. Among the awardees were Ruben Amaro, Jr., General Manager of the Philadelphia Phillies and Sara Manzano-Diaz, representing the Obama administration’s Department of Labor. The award ceremonies and dinner took place at the Hyatt Regency at Penn’s Landing in Philadelphia, on December 1, 2011.

Maldonado was recognized for his highly successful efforts in making Chile one of the top trading partners at the Ports of the Delaware River. Currently, 65% of all Chilean fruit and produce imports come through these terminals and are distributed across the United States and Canada. Sixty million cases come in through the three Delaware River ports, covering Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware. The impressive amount of commerce has a vital economic impact on business, tax revenues and family sustaining jobs throughout the Greater Philadelphia Region.

Impacto’s publisher, Napoleon Garcia, said, “Ricardo is a very dynamic young man, one of our younger awardees and his work to help build the relationship between Chile and Philadelphia is vital for our region. He is also working to enhance the over-all strength of the Ports of the Delaware River. These are areas that bring jobs and international trade to Philadelphia. His work is very important to the overall health of our economy and reflects his impressive talent and grasp of international business.”

In receiving the award, Maldonado said, “It is very fortunate to work in a field you love and be recognized for one’s good work. So it’s an honor and a pleasure to receive this award and congratulations to all of this year’s award winners.”

Maldonado also praised the significant diplomatic work of fellow ‘Most Influential’ award-winner, Benjamin Leavenworth, the honorary Consul of Chile for Philadelphia and board member of Chilean & American Chamber of Commerce.

The Most Influential Latinos Awards are a joint presentation of the Philadelphia Multicultural Affairs Congress, Impacto Newspapers and the Delaware Valley’s Most Influential Latinos Foundation. Nominated by their peers and selected by a distinguished committee, the honorees demonstrate the strength and talent of the Latino community and their accomplishments create a positive reflection throughout the city and entire tri-state area.

The Chilean and American Chamber of Commerce of Greater Philadelphia, an affiliate of the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce, is a non-profit, member-based organization created to foster, increase and improve commercial and trade relations between the Republic of Chile and the Greater Philadelphia Region.  Visit: www.caccgp.com