For fans of actress and philanthropist Eva Longoria, meeting the star is one thing — but sharing a stage with her is something else entirely.
“I am beyond words — excited, humbled — and so thankful to have the opportunity to share my story,” said Monica Gónzales, owner of Aldabella Scarpa, a children’s fashion and footwear company in Covina, California.
That’s what Gónzales told the audience as she accepted Verizon’s 2012 Latino Entrepreneur of the Year award. Earlier, Longoria delivered a passionate keynote address honoring Gónzales.
Verizon selected Gonzales for growing her business from a concept to an expanding small business — and for sharing her success with the community. Her company donates a new pair of shoes to needy children in Los Angeles, and across the country, for every pair it sells. “Hopefully I empower other Latinos to dream big,” she told the gala audience. “Don’t let anything stand in your way.”
In fact, Longoria and Gónzales are both focused on giving back to the community. Longoria is a national spokeswoman for PADRES Contra El Cancer (Parents Against Cancer). “Latino families, because of social, economic and cultural barriers, don't always have access to all the resources available,” said Longoria. “That's what attracted me to PADRES — together we can break those barriers, so no child or family suffers alone.”
To help Gónzales’ expand her business through further innovation, Verizon awarded $15,000 to Aldabella Scarpa for technology upgrades and gave the business 4G LTE smartphones to leverage technology to expand their efforts.
Gónzales was selected from more than 200 entries received from established entrepreneurs, aspiring entrepreneurs and working professionals. She was recently honored at the Museum of Latin American Art (MOLAA) in Long Beach, California.