Hispanic Business Council Announces Leadership Award Recipients

After several years of decline, the rate of new business creation in the United States may finally be moving into positive territory, according to the latest data from the Kauffman Foundation and U.S. Census. The five-year start-up rate for Hispanic-led firms is double the national average. To support Hispanic businesses in the Indy region, the Indy Chamber oversees initiatives aimed at helping local Latino entrepreneurs launch and grow their companies through the Hispanic Business Council (HBC).

On May 15th, the Hispanic Business Council held their Conexion Five for 500 event at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, and presented their annual Leadership Awards to significant contributors and role models for the success of local Hispanic-led ventures.

This year’s recipients include:
Advocacy Claudia J. Escalante
Vision Rolando Coronado
Leadership Angie Martinez
Business Impact Santiago Jaramillo
Trailblazer Guadalupe Pimentel

The HBC supports the Hispanic business community through programs like Conexion that engage employers, civic partners and other decision-makers.  By helping participants widen their networks, find mentors and strengthen business relationships, the HBC addresses a common challenge among Hispanic-owned enterprises:  An analysis by Stanford University and the Latino Business Action Network says nearly 75% of Hispanic entrepreneurs start their businesses alone, without partners – 20% higher than the average of all firms.

“The HBC provides a forum for Hispanic business leaders to get better connected, explore opportunities and learn from one another,” said HBC Executive Director Gustavo Escalante.  “Through the Leadership Awards, we also highlight those in our community who have blazed a trail and found success – by celebrating their achievements, we can help inspire even more success.”


Claudia J. Escalante
Claudia was born and raised in Colombia, South America. She graduated from the Kelley School of business with a degree in Finance and then started pursuing a professional career in both the banking and recycling industries, as well as within the nonprofit sector. In 2016, Claudia was fortunate to be appointed by Mayor Brainard to Carmel’s Advisory Commission on Human Relations and in April of 2017 was honored to be appointed by Major Joe Hogsett to Indianapolis’ Latino Advisory Council. Claudia believes in the American Dream and the socio-economic benefits of diversity which is why she joined the American Red Cross Board of Directors this past January.

Rolando Coronado
With roots from Bogota, Colombia, Rolando Coronado made his journey to the United States of America in 1990. Aspiring to improve his English and study automotive mechanics, Coronado enrolled and graduated from Mid-Florida Tech and began working for the Barber-Dodge Championship before starting at Andretti Autosport in 2000. After 17 years of hard work, the chief mechanic’s team had finally kissed the bricks when Takuma Sato won the 2017 Indianapolis 500. This season, the 48-year old is now leading the mechanics on third-generation driver Marco Andretti’s No. 98 machine. Coronado is a loving husband to his wife Monica and a caring father to three daughters.

Angie Martinez
Angie Martinez seeks to further embed the way young minds see themselves around the world. Applying her passion for people, she took on the Indy Pride Festival Director position for IndyPride Fest’ 2018. Angie, is involved with various non-profit organizations such as IndyPride, the Indiana Latino Institute, The Coalition against Domestic Violence, The Neighborhood Christian Legal Clinic, The Immigrant Welcome, The Center for the Performing arts and Relay for life from the American Cancer Society.

Santiago Jaramillo
As the co-founder and CEO of Emplify, Santiago leads a team of engagement experts in their mission to provide executives with more reliable employee engagement insights for better decision making. In 2013, Santiago was named to Inc. magazine’s “30 Under 30” list and was also invited to the White House for recognition of his entrepreneurial contributions through the Champions of Change program. Most recently, he was named to Indianapolis Business Journal’s “Forty Under 40” list in 2015 as one of the youngest honorees in the program’s history and received the award for Indiana Latino Businessman of the Year in 2016.

Guadalupe Pimentel
Guadalupe Pimentel Solano was born in Cordoba, Veracruz, Mexico. From a very young age Guadalupe became involved in her community. She graduated from IUPUI with a Bachelors of Science in Public Affairs this past fall. Guadalupe is the co-founding member of the Indiana Undocumented Youth Alliance (IUYA), a legal assistant at Muñoz Legal LLC and the community outreach director for the JD for State Senate Campaign.

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