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2017 Hispanic Woman and Hispanic Man of the Year

the 2017 Hispanic Woman and Hispanic Man of the Year
Tampa, Fla. (July 31, 2017) – The Board of Directors of Tampa Hispanic Heritage, Inc. is pleased to announce the selection of Marilyn Alvarez as the 2017 Hispanic Woman of the Year and Mario Quevedo as the 2017 Hispanic Man of the Year.

Tampa Hispanic Heritage, Inc. will recognize the outstanding contributions of Marilyn Alvarez and Mario Quevedo to our community during the 30th Tampa Hispanic Heritage, Inc. Gala at 6:30 p.m. on Saturday, October 7, at the Hilton Tampa Downtown, 211 N. Tampa Street, Tampa.

To buy tickets or inquire about sponsorships go to

The Gala is part of the festivities that will take place during Hispanic Heritage Month, and it brings together people in the Tampa Bay area community with the purpose of raising funds towards scholarships for deserving and financially needy
Hispanic students.

These annual awards honor Hispanics who have contributed significantly to the success of our community. They are Hispanic women and men who have excelled in their endeavors to advance, promote, maintain, and enhance our Hispanic heritage and who, by their outstanding contributions, have improved the quality of life for Hispanics in the Tampa Bay area.

Marilyn Alvarez was born in Tampa, Florida and her parents immigrated from Cuba in 1965 during the “Flights for Freedom” exodus.

She serves as a Deputy Sheriff with the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office where she has been employed for the past 20 years. Deputy Alvarez has worked assignments in Patrol, Street Crimes, School Resource, and Crimes against Children. For the last 12 years, she has been assigned as the Sheriff’s Office Hispanic Liaison where she provides
Spanish language crime prevention and educational programs to residents of Hillsborough County.

Deputy Alvarez serves as spokesperson for the Spanish media and appears frequently on Univision and Telemundo news outlets. She also writes a column in CENTRO Tampa newspaper to educate and dispel misinformation in the Hispanic community so that immigrants feel safe in reporting crime to law enforcement. She serves as a bridge between the community and the Sheriff’s Office so that immigrants living in Hillsborough County feel safe and comfortable when summoning law enforcement for help or when they are victims of crime.

As a community leader, she sits on several boards including the Sheriff’s Hispanic Advisory Council and the Tampa Bay Area Refugee Task Force. She leads the Sheriff’s Advisory Council Banquet, which serves the Black, Hispanic, and Indian Advisory Councils and is attended by more than 400 guests every year.

Deputy Alvarez is dedicated to serving her community both in and out of uniform and believes that giving back to the community is a duty everyone should be responsible in doing. She serves with Nativity Catholic Church’s migrant community outreach efforts in Dover, providing food baskets, toys, and clothing throughout the holiday season. She
traveled on a mission trip to the Dominican Republic with other church parishioners to bring food and toys to the residents, most who live in poverty and have no running water or electricity. She also serves the migrant community in Wimauma assisting with the Migrant Outreach Program at Reddick Elementary.

Deputy Alvarez is not only passionate about helping communities in need, but also helping children succeed in their educational goals. She also helped St. Joseph Catholic School receive a donation of 27 laptop computers to assist their students achieve their educational goals.

Deputy Alvarez has been recognized for her outstanding service to our community with the 2016 Hispanic Deputy of the Year Award from the Sheriff’s Hispanic Advisory Council and the 2016 Deputy of the Year from All American Productions Viva Tampabay Festival. She has also been recognized in the Libre and Mambi Newspapers.

Marilyn graduated from Bloomingdale High School. She obtained her Associates in Arts degree from Hillsborough Community College and holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Criminology from the University of South Florida.


Mario Quevedo, also known as “Mayito”, has worked in Spanish communication media throughout his career as a radio personality, television news anchor and correspondent, editor, publisher and media outlet owner.
Quevedo was born in Camagüey, Cuba and came to the United States in 1961 during the political upheaval of Castro’s regime. He was arrested twice by the political police and left Cuba for Miami on the last plane to leave before the Bay of Pigs invasion. Quevedo has lived in Tampa since 1965.

For more than 50 years Quevedo has been considered “The Voice of the Hispanic-Cuban American Community”. He worked in Tampa’s Spanish radio more than 35 years as news director and correspondent of several Spanish program stations, including reporting for Radio Martí for several years. He was co-host of Lo Nuestro on WEDU public television
and served 17 years as editor and publisher of La Voz Hispana. Quevedo was instrumental in working with Univision television network to start broadcasting in Tampa. Quevedo currently writes an opinion column in CENTRO Tampa.

An ardent advocate of the Hispanic Community and the Freedom of Cuba, Quevedo has frequently been quoted in the American press as a thought leader on these issues. His work with political, social and economic issues has greatly served to achieve what we, as a Hispanic community, enjoy today. He has also supported the endeavours of Hispanic and Cuban American organizations across Tampa Bay, including the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and Hispanic Clubs in Sarasota and St. Petersburg.

A community leader, Quevedo helped organize the Hispanic Caucus of Hillsborough County and the Hispanic Defense League, and worked to support migrant workers in Ruskin. Quevedo worked closely with law enforcement to make the Tampa Police Department more accessible to the Hispanic community and in 1988 was selected to serve on TPD’s Hispanic Advisory Committee.

Quevedo has been recognized for his accomplishments and contributions to our community through awards and recognitions from numerous entities, including the Tampa Bay Hispanic Media Council, Hispanic Media Awards, Tampa/Hillsborough Human Rights Council, Department of Children and Family Services, City of Tampa, City of Miami, Club Cívico Cubano, La Casa Cuba de Tampa, several Chambers of Commerce and more.

Quevedo graduated from Coral Gables Sr. High School, attended the University of Tampa and Hillsborough Community College. He has been married to Caridad (Caruca) Quevedo for 51 years and together they have five children.

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