E-communication from the Hispanic National Bar Association
2017 HNBA National Awards Recipients

August 15, 2017
Washington, D.C. – The Hispanic National Bar Association (HNBA) is proud to announce its list of honorees for the HNBA National Annual Awards to be presented during its 42nd Annual Convention at the Kansas City Marriott Downtown Hotel in Kansas City, Missouri from September 6-9, 2017.
The Annual Convention is the HNBA's signature annual event with a portfolio of programs, activities, and events for professional and career development, as well as opportunities for community service.
This year's convention promises to be the largest gathering of Latino lawyers, judges, law students, and legal professionals from throughout the United States. We thank our local affiliate, the
Hispanic Bar Association of Greater Kansas City, for its participation in the planning of this convention.
”The theme of the 2017 HNBA Annual Convention is ‘Our Future Knows No Bounds,’ and this exceptionally accomplished group of Latino/a leaders not only exemplifies that, it raises the bar for future leaders,” said Pedro J. Torres-Díaz, HNBA National President. “The Future of Law is strong, and getting stronger, as evidenced by the fact that there is more than one recipient in two of our award categories: Latino Attorney of the Year and Pro-Bono Attorney of the Year. We are pleased to honor and highlight the notable achievements of each of these individuals and organizations who have devoted themselves to excellence in the profession, as well as service to our communities across the nation. I also want to thank the HNBA Awards Committee for their tireless work in selecting these outstanding honorees. ¡Felicidades a todos!”

The awards will be distributed during the HNBA National Awards Reception on Thursday, September 7, 2017 at the Arvest Bank Theatre at the Midland.  The Honorable Alexander Acosta, United States Secretary of Labor, will address the audience during the Reception.


The 2017 HNBA National Award Recipients
HNBA "Lifetime Achievement" Award

Francisco R. Angones, Senior Partner, Angones, McClure & Garcia P.A.
Miami, FL

Mr. Angones was born in Havana, Cuba, and came to the United States as an unaccompanied, non-English speaking minor, through the Peter Pan program in 1961. He has an AV rating from Martindale-Hubbell and has tried over 100 jury trials. He’s ranked as one of the top lawyers in South Florida by Super Lawyers and Florida Trend magazine. He was the founding partner of Angones, McClure and Garcia, P.A.  His practice consists of tort defense including products liability. Mr. Angones served as the first Cuban born President of The Florida Bar (2007-2008), the Dade County Bar Association (1994-1995) and the Cuban-American Bar Association (1982).  He also served on the House of Delegates of the ABA and was a member of the first Commission on Hispanic Rights and Responsibilities. He was selected to the Spellman-Hoeveler American Inn of Court, the American Board of Trial Advocates, the International Association of Defense Counsel, The American Law Institute, and the Federation of Defense and Corporate Counsel.
Mr. Angones is the recipient of several honors including: American Bar Association’s Spirit of Excellence Award on Racial and Ethnic Diversity in the Profession, Jurisprudence Award by the Anti-Defamation League, Silver Medallion for Humanitarianism from the Miami Coalition of Christians and Jews, Henry Latimer Diversity Award in recognition by the Equal Opportunities Law Section of the Florida Bar, Florida Association for Women Lawyers and the Virgil Hawkins Florida Chapter of the National Bar Association for outstanding contribution and dedication to the ideals and aspirations of Henry Latimer, New Americans Award from the Catholic Legal Services of the Archdioceses of Miami, Inc., in recognition of his advancement of the legal profession and distinguished contributions to the community, Voluntary Bar Association Pro Bono Service Award for his work on behalf of Cubans detained in Guantanamo presented by The Florida Supreme Court, and Edward T. Foote II Alumnus of Distinction Award by the University of Miami Alumni Association.

HNBA "Latina Judge of the Year" Award

Hon. Elizabeth G. Macias, Orange County Superior Court Judge, Superior Court of California
Santa Ana, CA

The Honorable Elizabeth G. Macias is a first generation Mexican-American. She is the first in her family to obtain a high school diploma. Through example, her parents instilled in her the importance of a strong work ethic. Judge Macias proudly proclaims she is a gardener’s daughter, though her father is now retired. She is an Orange County Superior Court Judge assigned to the Central Justice Center in Santa Ana, California. Before being appointed to the bench by Governor J. Edmund Brown, Jr., in December 2012, she was a Deputy Federal Public Defender with the Central District of California. Judge Macias graduated from California Western School of Law in 1999, and is a 1995 California State University Fullerton graduate, with bachelor’s degrees in Psychology and Chicano Studies and a minor in Spanish. Since 2009, Judge Macias has taught trial litigation skills to attorneys and judges from Spanish speaking countries at the California Western School of Law. Judge Macias holds the honor of having her alma mater high school's Legal Studies Academy named after her.

HNBA "Latino Judge of the Year" Award

Hon. Javier E. Vargas, Family Court Judge, State of New York, Kings County

New York, NY
The Honorable Javier E. Vargas is a Judge of the Family Court of the State of New York, Kings County, since December 2015. Prior to his current service, Judge Vargas served with distinction, since 1993, at the New York State Unified Court System in various capacities, including Senior Court Attorney at the New York State Court of Appeals; Principal Law Clerk in N.Y.S. Supreme Court and the Appellate Division; Chief Court Attorney for the Supreme Court’s Appellate Term; and most recently, as a Civil Court Judge assigned to the Housing Part in Bronx County between 2013 and 2015. Judge Vargas obtained his B.S. from the State University of New York (SUNY) at Buffalo, his J.D. from SUNY School of Law, and an LL.M. from New York University School of Law. 
Judge Vargas is actively involved with the HNBA, the Latino Judges Association of N.Y., where he is the Treasurer, and the International LGBT Judges Association, as a Board Member. With the HNBA Judicial Council, Judge Vargas has helped organize and chaired the Dispute Settlement Body of the HNBA Uvaldo Herrera Moot Court Competition for the last several years. Among the various other HNBA positions he has held are: HNBA-NY Regional Deputy President for several years, President-Elect of the Puerto Rican Bar Association (PRBA), Chair of the PRBA Scholarship Fund Selection Committee, and Co-Chair of the HNBA-NY Law School Sin Límites Program, working with a team of HNBA members to mentor dozens of high school and college students on their path to law school. Judge Vargas’s commitment and contributions to communities of color are also evidenced by his membership in charitable and professional associations, including the PRBR and Lesbian and Gay Law Association of Greater New York.

HNBA "Latina Attorney of the Year" Award

Mara Garcia Kaplan, Director of Counsel, Target Corporation
Minneapolis, MN

Mara Garcia Kaplan is a Director Counsel at Target Corporation, a Minneapolis-based retailer with over $75 billion in sales.  Mara is responsible for the legal aspects of Target’s merger and acquisition activity. She counsels internal clients and provides strategic guidance and transactional support on M&A activity. Mara is also responsible for all legal aspects of Dermstore.com, an online beauty retailer and a subsidiary of Target Corporation. Mara serves as Co-Chair of Diversity and Inclusion for the Law department at Target. Mara was named in 2015 by the Hispanic Association of Corporate Responsibility (HACR) as a Young Hispanic Corporate Achiever and was nominated as one of two of Target’s 2013 Fellows for the Leadership Council on Legal Diversity. She has served in various leadership roles at the Hispanic National Bar Association (HNBA), including as Regional President for Region XI, and co-chair of various Corporate Counsel Conferences. She has also held various leadership roles at the Minnesota Hispanic National Bar (MHBA) since 2004, including serving as President. Mara also served as a member of Advisory Board of the Institute for Mexicans Abroad, a decentralized agency of the Mexican Foreign Ministry.
Mara has been recognized by the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce in Minnesota as one of its 25 On the Rise professionals in the Twin Cities. In 2015, Mara received the Corporate Counsel Award by the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal, and most recently, the Council for Latino Workplace Equity (an initiative under the National Diversity Council) named Mara as one of its “Top Latino Leaders” for 2017.

HNBA "Latino Attorney of the Year" Award

Román D. Hernández, Partner, K&L Gates LLP
Portland, OR

Román D. Hernández is a partner in the Portland office of K&L Gates LLP. He represents employers against claims filed by former, current, and prospective employees for allegations of discrimination, harassment, constructive discharge, wrongful discharge, and for alleged wage and hour violations, including class action litigation. Additionally, Román has an extensive commercial litigation practice, and maintains a national litigation practice. He devotes a significant amount of time to civic and community involvement, including service on the Board of Directors of the Portland Branch of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, which is one of 12 regional Federal Reserve banks. By Congressional statute, only 274 Americans serve as a Director within the Federal Reserve System at any given time. Román is a past National President of the Hispanic National Bar Association (HNBA), and he was also President of the HNBA Legal Education Fund, the HNBA’s 501(c)(3) charitable foundation. Prior to law school, Román served in the United States Air Force for nearly five years, where he attained the rank of Captain, and was subsequently honorably discharged. Román received his J.D. from Lewis & Clark Law School, and his B.S. from Oregon State University.

HNBA "Latino Attorney of the Year" Award

John D. Rosero, Vice President and Chief Legal Officer, Prudential Group Insurance
Roseland, NJ

John Rosero is Vice President and Chief Legal Officer of Prudential Group Insurance, a business of Prudential Financial in New Jersey. He is also a member of the senior leadership team managing all legal groups directly supporting Prudential businesses in the U.S. Since joining Prudential in 1997, Mr. Rosero has served in various roles of increasing responsibility, including Chief Legal Officer for a broker-dealer and Chief Compliance Officer. He is appointed to the N.J. Supreme Court’s Committee on the Rules of Evidence and is a recipient of the Professional Lawyer of the Year Award from the N.J. Commission on Professionalism in the Law. Previously, Mr. Rosero served as Civil Litigation Section Chief of the City of Newark’s Law Department, Senior Fellow and Adjunct Professor at the Rutgers Business School, and Judicial Law Clerk in the N.J. Superior Court. Furthermore, he is a long-time member of the HNBA and served as Deputy Regional President for Region III. Mr. Rosero earned a Ph.D. in Global Affairs from Rutgers University, a LL.M. (Corporation Law) from New York University Law School, and a J.D. from the State University of New York Law School.

HNBA "Regional President of the Year" Award

Freddy Saavedra, Shareholder, Alex & Saavedra, P.C.
Phoenix, AZ

Freddy Saavedra is a shareholder at the personal injury litigation firm Alex & Saavedra, P.C. He protects the rights of victims of negligence, negotiating settlements, and litigating cases for injured persons and families of victims in wrongful death cases. He has represented injured parties who suffered losses from construction accidents, premises liability, and motor vehicle, bicycle, motorcycle and trucking accidents. Freddy has represented clients in Maricopa County Superior Court, Arizona Court of Appeals Division One, and US District Court for the District of Arizona. He holds an AV Preeminent® Peer Rating from Martindale-Hubbell®.
Freddy currently serves as HNBA Region XIV President. Prior to becoming a lawyer, Freddy served for 11 years in the U.S. Army. His tours included a deployment as part of Stabilisation Force 1(SFOR1) in Bosnia-Herzegovina in 1996 and Operation Iraqi Freedom 1(OIF1) in 2003. He received his J.D. from Arizona State University.

HNBA "Pro Bono Attorney of the Year" Award

Elizabeth V. Lopez, Litigation Counsel, United Airlines, Inc.
Chicago, IL

Elizabeth Lopez is Litigation Counsel for United Airlines, Inc. At United, she supports all areas of the business regarding pre-litigation counsel and general risk management, as well as management of active litigation, from complex commercial claims to class action litigation. Elizabeth regularly takes on pro bono cases through the National Immigrant Justice Center (NIJC), among other organizations.  Her work includes successfully petitioning for asylum for a child fleeing gangs in Honduras and a mother fleeing domestic violence in Mexico. Elizabeth is a member of the Board of Trustees of the National Museum of Mexican Art; a member of the Board of the Chicago Chapter of the Federal Bar Association; and a founding member of the National Immigrant Justice Center Junior Leadership Board. Elizabeth received her J.D. from Northwestern University, and B.A./M.A. (History) from Stanford University.  Elizabeth, her husband and three kids (ages 3, 5 and 7) live in Evanston, Illinois.

HNBA "Pro Bono Attorney of the Year" Award

Anna Lozoya, Of Counsel, Michael V. Favia & Associates
Chicago, IL
Anna M. Lozoya recently joined the Law Offices Michael V. Favia & Associates as Of Counsel, where she consults on regulatory matters with the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation and the Illinois Department of Public Health, as well as provides medical chart examinations and analysis for plaintiff and defense. Prior to her current role, Ms. Lozoya was in-house counsel for a real estate investment firm in Chicago, where she handled all aspects of commercial and residential real estate transactions and represented the firm in all legal matters, including but not limited to, condominium law, regulatory matters, and evictions. Ms. Lozoya also advised executives and management of potential legal exposures and develops strategic solutions to minimize risks.
Ms. Lozoya also worked as a worker’s compensation defense attorney and as a credit union auditor for a CPA firm in Miami before attending the University of Miami’s School of Nursing and Health Studies. Ms. Lozoya graduated from DePaul University’s College of Law in 2012. Ms. Lozoya currently holds the positions of recording secretary of the Hispanic Lawyers Association of Illinois, Region IX Deputy Regional President of the Hispanic National Bar Association (HNBA), Council Member of the Health Law Committee of the Illinois State Bar Association (ISBA).

HNBA "Pro Bono Attorney of the Year" Award

Lisa Lodin Peralta, Appellate Staff Attorney, Robins Kaplan LLP
Minneapolis, MN
Lisa Lodin Peralta is an appellate staff attorney in the Minneapolis office of Robins Kaplan LLP. She represents clients on appeal in a full range of business litigation matters, as well as personal injury and medical malpractice cases. Peralta also serves as a technical appellate advisor firm-wide. Prior to joining Robins Kaplan in 2015, Peralta was in practice with her husband, where she took the role of lead counsel in all of the firm’s civil and criminal appeals in Minnesota state and federal courts. During that time, Peralta and her husband represented, pro bono, 10 survivors of the I-35W bridge collapse in Minneapolis, a group which included seven Latino children. Peralta is committed to pro bono litigation at Robins Kaplan. Her pro bono cases include criminal defense appeals in federal and state court and immigration cases in immigration court and the federal courts, where many of her clients are Hispanic.

HNBA "Corporate Partner of the Year" Award

Carnival Corporation & PLC
Miami, FL

Carnival Corporation has a portfolio of the world’s most widely recognized cruise brands, which complement each other by geography, serve nearly every segment of the cruise industry, and provide our guests with virtually endless holiday choices—so many, in fact, that they need to look no further than the Carnival family when selecting a cruise vacation. The cruise lines within the company’s portfolio include the most-recognized brands in North America, the United Kingdom, Germany, Italy, and Australia—areas that account for 85 percent of the world’s cruise passengers. This compelling brand recognition and presence provides the company with a solid growth platform as we enter new regions. The broad product selection of each of the company’s 10 brands is geared to suit every conceivable taste, price preference and target market, including contemporary, premium and ultra-luxury. Carnival Corporation caters to the desires of different cultures, offering multiple languages meeting varying entertainment and vacation preferences. Committed to diversity, Carnival Corporation is a proud supporter of the HNBA and its important work and mission

HNBA "Affiliate of the Year" Award

Minnesota Hispanic Bar Association
Minneapolis, MN

Founded in 1991, the Minnesota Hispanic Bar Association (MHBA) is dedicated to advancing the interests of Hispanic attorneys and law students in Minnesota. The MHBA has over 400 members representing all sectors of the legal community, including judges, attorneys, law students, and other legal professionals. The MHBA’s 2016-17 bar year was, by any measure, a monumental success. The organization and its members and community partners were responsible for truly innovative programming, including the Minnesota Latino Legal Experience, an event that featured a Latino high school scholarship competition, an educational exhibit, local Latino artwork, and a moving town hall event with Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor. Other events included the first ever Prospective Judges Convention, first ever Latino Lawyer Camp, the MHBA’s Annual Gala, Mentorship Program, and continuing efforts to implement the MHBA’s ambitious strategic plan. In addition, the MHBA continued to reach out and collaborate with other affiliate bar associations on several issues including judicial endorsements, pipeline initiatives, and programs designed to help minority law students succeed. What a year!

HNBA "Law Student Organization of the Year" Award

La Voz, William S. Boyd School of Law
Las Vegas, NV
La Voz is the Hispanic Law Student Association at the William S. Boyd School of Law in Las Vegas, Nevada. It is the mission of La Voz to empower, promote, and enhance the success of Hispanic law students and other non-traditionally represented law students through education, networking, and mentorship. La Voz is known for its annual mentorship program, Huellas (“footprints”). Huellas pairs a legal professional, a Boyd law student, an undergraduate student, and a high school student for mentoring and support. Through Huellas, La Voz also strives to advocate for the possibility and availability of a higher education for high school and undergraduate participants. Huellas has grown to over 70 active participants. This year, La Voz was proud to co-host a community legal information and advice forum for undocumented students and DACA recipients about immigration policy going forward in light of the new administration.

About the Hispanic National Bar Association
The Hispanic National Bar Association (HNBA) is an incorporated, not-for-profit, national membership association that represents the interests of Hispanic attorneys, judges, law professors, legal assistants, law students, and legal professionals in the United States and its territories. Since 1972, the HNBA has acted as a force for positive change within the legal profession by creating opportunities for Hispanic lawyers and by helping generations of lawyers to succeed. The HNBA has also effectively advocated on issues of importance to the national Hispanic community. While we are proud of our accomplishments, we are mindful that our mission is as vital today as it was four decades ago, especially as the U.S. Hispanic population continues to grow.  For more information, please visit
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