CHAC honors Purple Heart recipients, community and student leaders at 2019 César E. Chávez Community Recognition Breakfast

03-29-19 Chavez celebration-x1
Photos by Frank X. Moraga & Richard Eaton ©2019 AmigosNAZ
Click on image above to see slideshow of entire event

FLAGSTAFF— Area Purple Heart recipients and their family members received a well-deserved community recognition, while a representative from the Cesar Chavez Foundation recounted the organization’s past while outlining the steps to share the vision César E. Chávez to a new generation, during the fifth annual César E. Chávez Community Recognition Breakfast held Friday, March 29, 2019 at American Legion Mark A. Moore Post No. 3, Flagstaff.

The celebration, which drew a record audience of 150-plus commuity members, dignitaries and elected officials, was presented by the Coconino County Hispanic Advisory Council (CHAC).

Purple Heart recipients honored during the event included Daniel M. Bernardo, Lance Davison, Clory Duran, Miguel Eugene Garcia, Joseph Hudson, Marc. A Hunter, Lori Ann Piestewa, Simon A. Sandoval Jr., Tom G. Urias and Guadalupe Velasco Jr.

Bill Barquin, chair of the Arizona Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and chief operating officer for the Cesar Chavez Foundation’s Communications Fund and its flagship program — Radio Compesina, served as keynote speaker. Barquinhas been recognized by the Phoenix Business Journal as a 40 under 40 Leader in Arizona, as well as a recipient of the Univision Communications “40 Under 40 Hispanic Leaders in Arizona” and Cox Communication’s Hispanic Leader of Arizona.

The celebration also included the presentation of the Community Life Time Award presented to the memory of Robert A. Reyes, a U.S. Navy veteran who passed away on Dec. 31, 2018. “Bobby” was a past State Commander of the American Legion and retired in 2014 as the Post Adjutant.

The 2019 Community Leadership Award was presented to Joe Gutierrez, who has been a principal at Killip Elementary School in Sunnyside for 24 years. Student awards were presented to Omar Gomez, a senior at Northern Arizona University and David Joseph Melendez-Salgado, also a senior at Northern Arizona University.

Planning is already under way for the 2020 celebration. CHAC also plans to honor other area Purple Heart recipients at its future monthly meetings. Recipients or their family members should provide contact information to Susan Garretson at