Crown Royal(R) Excellence Awards Recognize Latino Leadership in Chicago

Crown Royal(R) Excellence Awards Recognize Latino Leadership in Chicago

Special recognition given to three Hispanic community leaders


New York, NY–(HISPANIC PR WIRE)–November 14, 2006–Crown Royal and the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) announced today the three Chicago recipients of the Crown Royal Excellence Awards at a ceremony held at the Mexican Fine Arts Center Museum in Chicago. Developed last year to honor a new generation of exceptional Latinos, making a difference in their respective communities, this year’s awards will also be presented to three citizens in Phoenix and Los Angeles.

The recipients of the 2006 Crown Royal Excellence Awards in Chicago are: Yanet Bahena, Martin Cabrera Jr., and Jose Rivera.

“Crown Royal is proud to honor these individuals whose achievements make Hispanic communities across the U.S. a better place to live,” said Giovanni Sgro, Crown Royal multicultural brand manager. “With these awards we’re recognizing those Latinos who are contributing to the dynamic growth of these cities.”

About the honorees:

Yanet Bahena is an active volunteer with numerous organizations that improve the life of Latinos. Yanet was nominated and elected as the Illinois State Director for Young Adults, a position she has held since 2004. She currently works in the Illinois House of Representatives alongside Latino elected officials who are in pursuit of improving issues that affect residents in Chicago and across Illinois.

Martin Cabrera is passionate about education. He is a member of the board of trustees of the Illinois Council on Economic Education, an organization dedicated to teaching the importance of economics in society and identifying the business leaders of tomorrow. He also co-chairs the New America Alliance’s Pension Fund, which opens doors for Latinos in the financial industry.

Jose Rivera is President/CEO of Riveras Grocery Corp. and is also devoted to continuously improving the relationship between his adopted city of Chicago and his homeland of Mexico. As a volunteer advisor to the McHenry County Sheriff’s Department, he founded the Police/Judge Exchange Program between McHenry County and the cities of Zacatecas and Guadalupe, Mexico. This program facilitates an innovative cultural and informational exchange, by allowing members of law enforcement of each city to swap work and living spaces for one month out of the year.

The award recipients were nominated by an executive board of LULAC and were selected based on their advocacy and commitment to issues of long standing importance to Latinos. All honorees in each city represent accomplished young Latinos between the ages of 21 and 35 who are helping to improve the lives of Hispanics early in their careers.

“Since the organization’s inception, LULAC has worked to advance the quality of life for Latinos through a number of successful programs. The award recipients have demonstrated great commitment to the Hispanic community, and we are pleased Crown Royal recognizes their efforts and in doing so is encouraging Hispanics to get involved,” said Elijio Marin, State Director of LULAC Illinois.

“We at Crown Royal like these individuals believe in giving back in a meaningful way,” said Sgro. “It is through these programs that we are able to communicate the importance of responsibility.”

Each of the award recipients will receive a custom-made ring crafted by celebrity jewelry designer Michael Spirito, of Exhibitionist, NYC. Crown Royal selected Spirito’s crown-shaped design to symbolize distinction as well as to celebrate the leadership exhibited by the deserving honorees.

About Crown Royal

Crown Royal, the number-one selling Canadian Whisky, has a tradition as long and distinctive as its taste. Specially blended to commemorate a grand tour of Canada made by King George VI and Queen Elizabeth of Great Britain in 1939, Crown Royal’s smooth, elegant style reflects its aristocratic origins and is considered the epitome of Canadian whisky. For more information on Crown Royal, visit

About Diageo

With its global vision, and local marketing focus, Diageo brings to consumers an outstanding collection of beverage alcohol brands across the spirits, wine and beer categories including Smirnoff, Guinness, Crown Royal, Johnnie Walker, Baileys, J&B, Jose Cuervo, Captain Morgan and Tanqueray, and Beaulieu Vineyard and Sterling Vineyards wines. Diageo trades in some 180 countries around the world and is listed on both the New York Stock Exchange (DEO) and the London Stock Exchange (DGE). For more information about Diageo, its people, brands and performance, visit us at

About League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC)

The League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) is the oldest and largest Latino civil rights organization in the United States. LULAC advances the economic condition, educational attainment, political influence, health, and civil rights of Hispanic Americans through community-based programs operating at more than 700 LULAC councils nationwide.

About Exhibitionist by Michael Spirito

Since its launch in 2001, Michael Spirito’s Exhibitionist designs have become highly coveted by top stylists, entertainers, fashion editors and have created a strong following among jewelry aficionados. A great energy pours off Spirito’s sterling & gold gems that drip with style & craftsmanship. The work has a sharp edged look, while retaining a decidedly regal aesthetic. Michael Spirito was the recipient of the Accessories award at the ‘Gen Art Design Vision Awards’ in June 2002 and was a finalist in the 2003 ‘Rising Star’ awards. Michael’s line is sold internationally – from NYC to Los Angeles & Tokyo, and continues to grow while retaining an independent philosophy.

Crown Royal(R) Excellence Awards Recognize Latino Leadership in Chicago