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Titans Select Yuri Cunza as 2013 Hispanic Heritage Leadership Award Winner

Posted Sep 16, 2013

The Tennessee Titans have selected Nashville business leader Yuri Cunza as the recipient of the annual Titans Hispanic Heritage Leadership Award.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — The Tennessee Titans have selected Nashville business leader Yuri Cunza as the recipient of the annual Titans Hispanic Heritage Leadership Award, a recognition made possible through the support of Courtyard by Marriott.

The NFL and the Hispanic Heritage Foundation are proud to partner for the third consecutive year to bring the NFL Hispanic Heritage Leadership Awards to all 32 NFL cities during the 2013 celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month in recognition of the contributions of Hispanic leaders in each NFL market.

The Titans will honor Cunza on September 22 at their Hispanic Heritage game when they host the San Diego Chargers at LP Field.  That date is especially significant for the honoree as it falls on the seventh anniversary of the day that Cunza officially became a U.S. citizen in a ceremony at The Hermitage, home of former President Andrew Jackson, in Nashville.

Originally from Lima, Peru, Cunza is a media professional, business leader and community advocate.  Cunza currently serves as President and CEO of the Nashville Area Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (NAHCC) and is the founder and editor-in-chief of the Spanish language newspaper La Noticia (Hispanic Paper Publishing). He is owner and founder of Y&K, a strategic media solutions, support & consulting services company based in Nashville.

Cunza is also co-founder of The NAHCC Foundation which was founded in 2008 and exists to advance educational opportunities for Hispanic youth and to inspire children’s interest in future discoveries and technologies to combat issues that force families and individuals into economic despair. Cunza is also a supporter and advocate of many humanitarian causes, both local and national in scope. 

"I am deeply honored by this recognition,” said Cunza.  “My appreciation goes to the NFL for joining the nation in celebrating the cultural, professional, civic and business contributions of the more than 53 million Hispanics living in the U.S, during Hispanic Heritage Month.

After all these years, I have come to realize that our Hispanic community, often inaccurately portrayed as a community in need, is in fact just in need of respect and appreciation, in need of an opportunity. This is evident as Hispanics are opening businesses at a faster rate than any other group, with Latina entrepreneurs leading the charge, opening businesses six times faster than the national average, representing 44% growth of all Hispanic-owned businesses, providing a collective boost of an estimated $465 billion annually to our American economy. In fact, Hispanic entrepreneurial spirit leads the nation in small business start-ups, presenting a potential source for future innovation, job creation, and prosperity for all.

This NFL Hispanic Heritage Leadership Award is a great encouragement to continue my work. Thank you on behalf of the thousands of roving leaders from our community that make things happen for all us, day after day, from behinds the scenes."

All 32 of the NFL’s Hispanic Leadership Award winners selected a local non-profit organization to receive a $2,000 grant from the NFL to support their work in each team’s Hispanic community.   Cunza has selected the Latinas In Action Program of the NAHCC Foundation to receive the grant which was made in partnership with Courtyard by Marriott.

Previous winners of the Titans Hispanic Leadership Award are Renata Soto in 2011 and Mercedes Almaraz in 2012.

“We are excited to partner with the Hispanic Heritage Foundation and Courtyard by Marriott to recognize individuals across all 32 team markets that make a difference in their local Hispanic community,” said Peter O’Reilly, NFL Vice President of Fan Strategy and Marketing.  “We applaud all the recipients for their hard work and the impact they make on the lives of others.” 

“We are thrilled to partner with the NFL and Courtyard by Marriott to honor Hispanic leaders who are making an impact on communities all over America,” said Jose Antonio Tijerino, President and CEO of HHF.  “It is important to highlight their leadership not only in the traditional Latino regions but in recently-growing areas as well.  The NFL and Courtyard by Marriott made sure that beyond the recognition there was an investment in the community their donations to nonprofits. There is no better way to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month than to make a difference in the Latino community.”

"Courtyard by Marriott is proud to partner with the NFL to honor these local heroes," said Janis Milham, Marriott International's Senior Vice President - Modern Essentials and Extended Stay Brands. "Congratulations to the honorees on their efforts to make our communities better and more inclusive.

About the Hispanic Heritage Foundation

Since 1987, the Hispanic Heritage Foundation (HHF) has inspired, identified, prepared and positioned Latino leaders. Their call to action is to “help a Latino help a hundred more.” Please visit www.HispanicHeritage.org for more information.

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