S.F. Mayor Edwin M. LeeSAN FRANCISCO, Calif. /California Newswire/ — Mayor Edwin M. Lee on Wednesday, joined by Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, honored community leaders and organizations in celebration of Latino Heritage Month for their important social, cultural, and economic contributions to the Latino community and to the entire City of San Francisco.

“As we celebrate Latino Heritage Month, we are reminded of the outstanding accomplishments of these community leaders and organizations and salute their enduring contributions to the Latino community and to the entire City,” said Mayor Lee. “Their achievements and service make our diverse City safer, stronger and more successful every day.”

With support from the Mayor’s Office of Neighborhood Services (MONS), the Latino Heritage Awards recognize individuals for their significant contributions, innovation, and leadership in their respective communities in the fields of Business, Health and Science, the Arts, Education, Media, Community Service, and Innovation. This year’s honorees include:

Jaime Maldonado – La Victoria Mexican Bakery & Café
Jenny Flores – Community Development Director, Citi Northern California

Health and Medicine
Dr. Tomás Aragón – Health Officer, Department of Public Health

Richard Carranza – Superintendent, San Francisco Unified School District

Fabiola Kramsky-Gascón – Host/Producer of “Al Despertar,” Univision

John Santos – Musician, Music Historian

Community Service
Luis Aroche – Alternative Sentencing Planner, District Attorney’s Office

Spark America – Mission High School/ Latino Start-Up Alliance

Dolores Huerta Lifetime Achievement Award
Ernest “Chuck” Ayala – Centro Latino de San Francisco

Mayor Lee also announced new appointments in the Mayor’s Office:

Diana Oliva-Aroche as Director of Violence Prevention Services to organize the community and City agencies in the Mayor’s Interrupt, Predict & Organize (IPO) initiative, formerly Planning and Policy Manager for Violence Prevention and Intervention for the Department of Children, Youth & Their Families (DCYF); and

Kriztina Palone as the Director of the Mayor’s Office of Neighborhood Services (MONS), formerly Senior Workforce Development Specialist at the Office of Economic and Workforce Development (OEWD); and

Joaquín Torres as Deputy Director in Office of Economic and Workforce Development (OEWD) to lead the Mayor’s Invest in Neighborhoods Initiative, formerly Director of the Mayor’s Office of Neighborhood Services (MONS).

The Mayor’s 2012 Latino Heritage Month Celebration & Awards Ceremony is presented by Comcast, AT&T, PG&E, Wells Fargo, Tropisueno, Renteria Wines, Bodega del Sur Winery, Alex Sotelo Cellars, Encanto Vineyards, San Jalisco, Florida Street Café & Mission Language & Vocational School and Brava! for Women in the Arts