2015 Tampa Hispanic Man & Woman of the Year!
Congratulations to our good friends, Daniel “Danny” Alvarez, and on good friend Norma Camero-Reno on your win – 2015 Hispanic Man and Woman of the Year!
This is an exciting honor, paid to only a select few, and it is also an honor that is well deserved!
Thank you to Tampa Hispanic Heritage for putting on such a great event, and honoring our local Latino leaders!
Tell us a little bit about yourself and what you do as a career
Norma: I am attorney with a Master’s degree in International Law and Business Law from Stetson College of Law, widow 3 girls. (Expanded bio is available at LatinTimesMedia.com)
Danny: Somehow I ended up becoming an attorney. It was never a plan for me to become one. Life sort of just happened and there I was with a Law Degree. So after thinking I would use it to make gobs of money, I realized that’s not what makes me happy. Somewhere along the way I realized getting rich without having purpose didn’t mean much. So I decide to take this position that everyone else thinks is so important and use it for good. So besides a law firm who helps injured folks, we started an accounting company to help veterans and a non-profit to help immigrants navigate the system.
What does winning as Tampa Hispanic Heritage’s, Hispanic Man of the Year mean to you?
Norma: It is an honor to have won this award because it reflects the work you have done for your community. I am so humbled to have been chosen knowing that there were many qualified people in our community who work as hard as or harder than I do. I just hope that I will perform to the best of my abilities from now on for my community because this award is a responsibility and I have to live up to it.
Danny: First of all, this is an incredible, incredible honor. To be standing in line with some of the greatest men and women who have paved the way for Hispanics in Tampa is something that is hard to believe. I pray I am half the man those who came before me were. This award is not something I take lightly. I hope it allows me a larger platform to do great things for the entire community.
Tell us about your work within the Hispanic community, and why it’s such a big passion for you
Norma: Since I was a young girl, I learned from my mother that in order to achieve greatness and happiness you should be willing to share and help those in need. It didn’t matter how much you share or did whether it was a word, a hug, or solving a problem you should do it without waiting to receive anything back, that is what I learned and I have lived by those words learned at an early age. I come from a poor family in Venezuela but in my house there was always something to share with our neighbors and I guess that is why it is my passion to help others. With my community I have always wanted to have my community come out of the shadows and be part of government in our county, it has been a hard battle that will continue until we get representation. Working with immigration for 3 years at catholic charities made me understand all the problems our people have when they come to this country and have to start the process of immigration. I also went to other non-profit organizations trying to show that we were out there willing to help and protect our people. My motto “changing lives one person at a time” made me go into a scholarship program “step to the future” with the Hispanic alliance which worked excellently for 3 years while I was in the board of directors. Then I founded MOVE movimiento organizado de venezolanos en el exterior to help people in Venezuela due to the social, economic and political problems there that left people with no medicine and very little food with the régimen that has been there for 16 years. Today MOVE is gone international and there are many people involved. I had been on the board of different organizations like casa Cuba of Tampa, sheriff’s Hispanic advisory board etc. I am a Widow, mother of 3 daughters, and grandmother pf Elias Troy who is my joy.
Danny: While this is clearly attention on me for my efforts, I would rather focus on getting things done than giving attention to what I do. Let’s put it like this, our work is never done for our community and therefore neither is our collective work.