This year marks fourteen years of Cox Communications Arizona celebrating Latino leaders in the Phoenix and Tucson communities during Hispanic Heritage Month. Cox has partnered with Teleritmo magazine and La Campesina radio to showcase local community leaders, including an outstanding Cox employee for their continued efforts in the communities they serve.
Since 2004, Cox has honored Latino leaders that have demonstrated outstanding efforts to better their community in their own, unique way. Past honorees include Congressman Ruben Gallego, Vice Mayor Anna Tovar, Councilman Daniel Valenzuela, Cancer research scientist Laura Gonzalez-Malerva, and Barrow Concussion and Brain Injury Center Medical Director, Javier Cardenas.
The 2018 honorees featured in the campaign include:
Dora Martinez- Founder, Flowers and Bullets Collective
Working on a local farm, Dora realized the importance of making sure healthy food was accessible to underserved communities in Tucson and rural areas. This passion drove Dora to establish neighborhood garden collectives, which are run by a diverse group of neighbors, all with a passion for growing fresh food for their community. Dora hopes to turn more empty lots of land in Southern Arizona into a productive agriculture center, where she can continue to mobilize youth and neighbors to produce healthy food out of the space.
Diana Diaz-Harrison- Founder, Arizona Autism Charter Schools
Diana Díaz-Harrison, M.Ed. is a founder and Executive Director at Arizona Autism Charter Schools (AZACS). She was inspired to start the school by her son, Sammy, who was diagnosed with autism at the age of two. Like many parents, she struggled to find an appropriate school for her son and decided to do something about it.
Cesar Morales- Field Operations Supervisor, Cox Communications
Cesar Morales has been a Field Operations Supervisor with Cox for the last four years in Tucson. Born and raised in Yuma, he later moved to Tucson to attend the University of Arizona. During his free time, Cesar enjoys camping and spending time outdoors with family and friends. He volunteers with his team at Cox during Thanksgiving preparing meals at local food banks for seniors, and also volunteers with his son’s Boy Scouts troop and at his children’s schools.
Tony Lopez-Santiago- Route Manager, Finley Distributing
Tony Lopez-Santiago currently serves as the Route Manager at Finley Distributing. Prior to his current position, Tony served as a branch manager for the Army and Air Force Exchange Service. Tony’s passion for the military and their families began as a child by moving from base to base as he proudly watched his father retire as a Lieutenant Colonel in the United States Air Force. With this, he’s enjoyed working retail for the Army and Air Force Exchange Service for 15 years with duties such as volunteer deployments to Afghanistan, Iraq, Qatar, Kuwait and Jordan. In 2008 and 2015, he was awarded the Secretary of Defense Medal for the Global War on Terrorism, symbolizing the achievements of civilians who directly support United States Military operations. He also received a Heroism Award in 2005 for rendering assistance to military personnel who were injured when struck by an oncoming truck.
Rachael Aja- Manager, Government and Regulatory Affairs, Cox Communications
Rachel Aja manages local government relationships with Cox and maintains all license franchise agreements within the jurisdictions of Cox Arizona. She is a native Arizonan from Buckeye and attended the University of Arizona. Prior to joining the Cox team, she was an assistant to the Mayor of Goodyear. Passionate about education, she volunteered for Read Better Be Better and now serves on its board of directors. She is a member of the Fighter Country Partnership’s, Blue Blazer Squadron Charlie Class and helps with events at Luke Air Force Base as a part of that.
Monica Villalobos- Vice President, Arizona Hispanic Chamber of Commerce
Monica Villalobos is the Vice President of the Arizona Hispanic Chamber of Commerce where she oversees marketing & operations. Prior to her role at Phoenix Multicultural, a research firm, she became an independent marketing research consultant and launched ResearchByDesign. Her experience as a business owner provides unique insights that she shares with Chamber members every day.
Lia Pierse- Executive Director, Helping Hands for Single Moms Tucson
Lia Pierse is the Executive Director of Helping Hands for Single Moms, which is a grass-roots nonprofit organization that supports impoverished single mothers and their families with various forms of assistance, while the moms pursue their education and reach financial independence. After over a decade of helping hundreds of single mothers earn a college degree, Helping Hands USA has launched its first affiliate organization Helping Hands for Single Moms Tucson.
Juan Ciscomani- Senior Advisor, Regional and International Affairs Office of the Arizona Governor
Juan Ciscomani is the Senior Advisor for Regional and International Affairs for Governor Ducey. A native of Hermosillo, Sonora, he graduated from the University of Arizona and completed a competitive yearlong Public Policy Fellowship in Washington, DC. for the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute. As Vice President of the Tucson Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Juan led their growth to triple it in size. He also expanded the chamber’s presence in Mexico by promoting trade opportunities with Arizona.
“We thank wonderful leaders like all of these honorees, who everyday make our community a better place,” said Susan Anable Southwest Vice President of Public Affairs, Cox Communications. “Each of one these leaders have made a tremendous difference in our community and we are excited to continue the Cox’s legacy of telling their stories during Hispanic Heritage Month.”