Archive for category Awards

NSHMBA Brillante Award at the National Conference in Minneapolis

At the 2009 NSHMBA National Conference in Minneapolis, I received the NSHMBA Brillante Award for Member Service Excellence from emcee Maria Celeste Arraras (host of Al Rojo Vivo con Maria Celeste on Telemundo/NBC).

According to the NSHMBA website, “this is the most prestigious honor granted by the organization, and is given to bright, radiant, and shining leaders whose work and contributions reflect NSHMBA’s mission “to foster Hispanic leadership through graduate management education and professional development in order to improve society”. This was my first nomination for the award, and I was honored to have received this award based on both my professional accomplishments and more than a decade of leadership in the Hispanic community driving initiatives to improve educational and career opportunities.

I could not have received this award without the help of many individuals along the way, so I would like to thank some of them here:

First, my wife, Christine Chen. Running the Seattle Chapter as President these past two years is akin to having a second full-time job, and working at Microsoft is already more than a full-time commitment. She has been extremely supportive of the amount of time and energy that I devote to the organization and to Microsoft, and has even volunteered to serve on the NSHMBA Board to show her support and provide her expertise to advance the mission of the chapter. Had she not been so supportive, I would not have continued to grow the chapter to what is has become, so she is most directly responsible for the success that I have achieved. I cannot thank her enough.

Second, to the NSHMBA Seattle Board Members, volunteers, and student liaisons, who volunteer their time to drive our mission and grow our chapter. I am very grateful for the amount of their own personal time that they sacrifice for the benefit of others. Among this group, I would like to commend a few exceptional individuals who have gone above and beyond the call of duty:

  • Fernanda Badano – one of my original fellow cofounders of the NSHMBA Seattle Chapter in 2005, Fernanda has worked tirelessly and non-stop during our rapid growth in several different roles. As VP of Events, she spearheaded our expansion from one event a quarter, to, at times, up to 3-4 events per month. We would not be able to sustain this growth without her dedication and leadership.
  • Sandra Rivera – a fairly recent transplant to Seattle from Texas, Sandra jumped right into volunteerism with the Seattle board when she arrived. As VP of Marketing, she has brought structure, process, and creativity to our marketing efforts and has been instrumental in the phenomenal growth in attendance and awareness of our organization. We have gained the shining star of Texas with her arrival.
  • Hector Torres – another original fellow cofounder, Hector has touched, formatted, compiled, assembled, and more practically every bit of communication that has ever gone out from the NSHMBA Seattle Chapter. If that’s not amazing enough, he doesn’t even live in Seattle yet contributes an incredible amount of his time to sustain and grow the chapter. Hector has also become another indispensable member of the board.
  • Miguel Gil – translating his experience in finance at Microsoft into the CFO role for NSHMBA Seattle has enabled us to do an outstanding job in forecasting, budgeting, and accounting. I’d be lost in a financial quagmire for the chapter if it weren’t for Miguel.
  • Anthony Garcia – driving our efforts with collegiate partners as VP of Education, Anthony has enabled us to reach out to the many MBA programs in Washington and Oregon, extending our reach and awareness well beyond our founding university partner, UW.
  • Evelyn Martinez – the first volunteer for the pilot Student Liaison Program for NSHMBA Seattle, Evelyn has brought to life everything we hoped the program would be, and has helped us a firm foothold in the state of Oregon, encouraging talks about expanding the chapter beyond Washington.

The awards ceremony was held on Saturday, October 10, 2009 shortly after the end of the NSHMBA National Career Expo. I had spent the previous two days at the Microsoft booth helping the MBA recruiting team talk to prospective candidates. The Brillante Awards ceremony was a very nice ending to a great conference. In lieu of acceptance speeches, the NSHMBA team selects a topic that helped the recipient receive their award. My topic was the student liaison program (which I blogged about previously).

After the awards ceremony, the entire audience was treated to a concert by Latin-Grammy awarding winning singer, Alejandro Fernandez. Post-party salsa dancing at Picosa was difficult to get into, but a great time nonetheless. Overall, I had a fantastic time and will cherish the memories and the award for many years to come. Below are some pictures of the event (with the Student Liaisons and with my wife).

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PR release for my Puget Sound Business Journal 40 under 40 Award

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                             

Puget Sound Business Journal Announces

2009 40 Under 40

2009 Recipients to be honored in Special Publication on Sept. 11th and at Special Event on Sept. 15th


SEATTLE—, 2009 –- The Puget Sound Business Journal has named its 2009 40 Under 40 honorees, to be profiled in the Sept. 11, 2009 special publication and honored at an event on Sept. 15, 2009 at The Seattle Repertory Theatre. (See complete list of honorees below.)


“Puget Sound Business Journal’s 40 Under 40 program celebrates its 11th year as the region’s premier award program that spotlights the top business leaders under the age of 40 who excel in their industry and show dynamic leadership,” said Emory Thomas Jr., publisher of the Business Journal.  Help us celebrate the 2009 honorees as they take their place on our prestigious 40 Under 40 roster at an awards event on Sept. 15, 2009.”


The event is open to the public and tickets are available at:


For more information:


2009 40 Under 40 Honorees


  1. Brett Alston, Revel Consulting Inc.
  2. Jeremy Ames, Guidant Financial Group Inc.
  3. Jorge Baron, Northwest Immigrant Rights Project
  4. Russell Benaroya, REM Medical Group
  5. Anders Brown, iSoftStone Inc.
  6. Robbie Cape, Cozi Inc.
  7. Alexander Castro, Delve Networks Inc.
  8. Thomas Chew, Slalom Consulting
  9. Lisa Chick, City Year Inc.
  10. Hope Cochran, Clearwire Corp.
  11. Sean Combs, Steelhead Productions Inc.
  12. David Dagley, Jonz Catering Food Concepts Inc.
  13. Randy Engstrom, Youngstown Cultural Arts Center
  14. Aaron Finn, AdReady, Inc.
  15. Gabriel Galanda, Williams Kastner & Gibbs PLLC
  16. Stephen Gillett, Starbucks Coffee Co.
  17. Gregory Gottesman, Madrona Venture Group LLC
  18. Gabriel Grant, HAL Real Estate Investments Inc.
  19. Andrea Heuston, Artitudes Design Inc.
  20. Travis Hull, Mechanical & Control Services Inc.
  21. Chris Husband, CleanScapes Inc.
  22. Jon Jones, Brighton Jones LLC
  23. Glenn Kelman, Redfin Corp.
  24. Courtney Klein, Lenati LLC
  25. Todd Korman, Food Markets Northwest Inc., dba Metropolitan Market
  26. Chad Mackay, Mackay Restaurant Management Group Inc.
  27. Tré Maxie, Powerful Schools
  28. Katherine McKinney, DENTISTE
  29. John Milne, Eastside Emergency Physicians PLLC; Swedish Health Systems
  30. Kerry Murphy, 206 Inc.
  31. Sarah O’Brien Parker, Spacecraft Clothing
  32. Jane Park, Julep Nail Parlor Co.
  33. Brian Paulen, Madrona Solutions Group Inc.
  34. Vanessa Power, Stoel Rives LLP
  35. Rico Quirindongo, DKA Architects
  36. Tony Richardson, Xtreme Consulting Group Inc.
  37. Kirk Soderquist, Perkins Coie LLP
  38. Akane Suzuki, Garvey Schubert Barer
  39. Patrice Valentine, Net Solutions North America LLC
  40. Richard Velazquez, The National Society of Hispanic MBAs; Microsoft


Puget Sound Business Journal is the region’s premier source of business information, serving an unparalleled audience of business and community leaders. In addition to the weekly newspaper, the Business Journal provides daily updates via its web site and email alerts.  The company also plays a vital role in bringing the area’s leadership community together by hosting a wide variety of events throughout the year, from the Washington’s Best Workplaces event at Safeco Field, the annual 100 Fastest Growing Companies celebration to the Women of Influence awards event. Puget Sound Business Journal is a unit of American City Business Journals, which operates 41 local business newspapers throughout the United States. Visit Puget Sound Business Journal on the web at

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Haas School of Business Article on my National Award

In March 2009, the NSHMBA National Office selected me as one of their three ‘Rising Stars’.  My Director of Executive Communications (and fiancee) issued a press release for this distinction which garnered some nice pubclicity for our chapter.  In the March 3, 2009 edition of the Haas Newswire (an online publication for the Business School of the University of California, Berkeley), I was featured for this award.  The article can be found here:
I am very grateful for all of the Executive Board Members of the NSHMBA Seattle Chapter (  for the work that they do in making our chapter a success.  I also want to thank Christine for her help in driving awareness of our chapter and of this recognition.

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