SJ County Mexican American Hall of Fame Inductees Includes One of Our Own

Sylvester C. Aguilar, Jr. is Manager of Real Estate and Port Development for Port of Stockton. A banker in the Central Valley for over 30 years, Sylvester is Past Chairman of the Port’s Board of Directors and will be inducted for business. He has provided access and mentoring for individuals and businesses while serving non-profit boards and chairing organizations. Sylvester has been an Advisory Board Member for the Boys and Girls Club of Stockton. Born and raised in Stockton, he is a graduate of University of the Pacific’s Eberhardt School of Business.

     Also honored for business is Frances R. Hernandez. For over four decades, Frances operated Frances Beauty Salon. It became the longest existing beauty establishment in the Martin Luther King, Jr./Charter Way corridor. Frances was instrumental in establishing Comerciantes Unidos and is a past Board President. She has been generous in sharing her energy and time with the Western Farm Workers’ Association in Stockton, St. Mary’s Dining Room and is a co-founder of Latinos for Cultural Awareness.

     Judith Esparza Quintana will become an inductee for her work in journalism. Judith is Vice President for the Latino Times. Her focus is to expand the newspaper’s business and create partnerships throughout the region  with small, Latino owned businesses and community organizations. Before making Stockton her home, Judith established herself in the business and non-profit communities of Santa Clara County and was awarded the Human Relations Award and Congressional Recognition in the field of Human Rights. Her San Joaquin County involvement includes ARC San Joaquin, San Joaquin County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and United Way San Joaquin among other organizations.

     For 30 years, the call to serve has helped define Jerry F. Ruiz. His relationships with University of the Pacific’s Community Involvement Program and its alumni club, as current member and past President of the Stockton Shelter for the Homeless Board of Directors, with various ministries at the Cathedral of the Annunciation, as Board President of the Jose M. Hernandez Reaching for the Stars Foundation, as board member for Edison High School’s Alumni Association and ongoing efforts with the San Joaquin County Mexican American Hall of Fame are highlights of his induction in the area of community service.

     Blanca I. Sahagún will be inducted for her accomplishments and contributions in the category of fine arts. She began to polish her singing skills in local music programs at Franklin High School and San Joaquin Delta College. Then she captured roles in theater productions while studying at University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) and, following graduation, worked as a recording studio artist in Hollywood. Blanca’s career then turned toward education where she has held positions as a Bilingual Assistant, Language Development Specialist, AVID teacher and a Catechism of Christian Doctrine teacher at St. Linus Parish.

     The category of community service is what opens the door to the Hall of Fame for David Sanchez. David worked in the City of Stockton’s Recreation Department for 32 years and along the way became the department’s first Latino supervisor. To add to that, he has been an active community volunteer for more than 25 years with much of that time devoted to coordinating youth sports programs. David has coordinated numerous fundraisers for the homeless and student scholarships. In 1992, he helped create the D.F. Mexican Soccer League with 100 teams in the McKinley and Van Buskirk Park neighborhoods.

     For Horacio Viramontes, his entry into the Hall of Fame can be attributed to his work in the field of education, but he has extended that work for the good of the greater community. Once becoming a member of the Franklin High teaching staff in 1997, Horacio made the commitment to demonstrating the need and significance of assisting the campus and Stockton communities as an example for both students and families. Horacio currently teaches in Franklin’s Academia de Español and has served the Reinvent South Stockton Coalition and the Emergency Food Bank of Stockton.

     For ticket information contact Ruben Garza at 209-993-4626.

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