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USHLI to Honor Maria Cardona and Margie Gonzalez

Two outstanding Hispanic Americans will be honored at the 32nd USHLI National Conference.  Maria Cardona, known nationally for her work in media, political campaigns, and government relations, and Margie Gonzalez, whose work in making state government more responsive to the Latino community in Idaho, will be honored for their service to the community and the nation. 


Maria Cardona will receive the Mickey Ibarra Medallion for Excellence in Government Relations.  She has been a leading voice in government as the chief spokesperson at the Immigration and Naturalization Service in the Department of Justice and as Press Secretary for the Department of Commerce in the Clinton Administration.  She is recognized as an expert in a wide range of current political issues as a commentator exclusively on CNN and has held high profile roles as an advisor in presidential campaigns.  Today, in addition to be a role model in public relations and community affairs, she is widely recognized as one of the most influential Latinos in the United States in the areas of public policy, communications, coalition building, constituency outreach, government relations, and traditional as well as new media at one of the nation's premier public relations firm.  


Margie Gonzalez will receive the William C. "Willie" Velasquez Volunteer of the Year Award.  She has more than 27 years of experience in the state of Idaho working in diversity and community outreach, building community partnerships, and working for social change for Hispanics in the state of Idaho.  Margie is the Executive Director of the Idaho Commission on Hispanic Affairs and works with community leaders, national leaders, and state Legislators in advocating for the needs of Idaho's Hispanics.   It is also in that capacity that she has volunteered her assistance to USHLI in organizing events around the state which has enabled USHLI to present its critically acclaimed Student Leadership Series to thousands of students throughout the state.


Dr. Juan Andrade, USHLI president said "We are proud to present the Mickey Ibarra Medallion to Maria Cardona.  Mickey Ibarra has set the standard for excellence in government relations and Maria, in her own right, meets that standard and is most deserving of this award.   It is our privilege to present the Willie Velasquez Award to Margie Gonzalez.  Willie Velasquez was a real trailblazer who mastered to art of volunteerism and Margie has followed that same path by being a role model in volunteerism and organizing volunteers.


The 32nd USHLI National Conference is being held February 13-16 at the Sheraton Chicago Hotel and Towers.  

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