Dr. Anselmo Villarreal, President and CEO of La Casa de Esperanza, Inc. in Waukesha, WI, was honored today with the 2014 Peter B. Goldberg Aramark Building Community Executive Leadership Award in recognition of his innovative and inspirational work to create strong families and communities. The recognition includes a $40,000 Aramark grant to La Casa de Esperanza.
The award was announced by Aramark, a global leader delivering food, facilities and uniform services, and the Alliance for Strong Families and Communities, (Alliance), during the Alliance National Conference in Pittsburgh earlier today. The award is part of Aramark Building Community, the company’s philanthropic and volunteer program dedicated to enriching and nourishing lives by creating opportunities for people to lead healthier lifestyles and succeed in the workplace, in partnership with local community centers.
“Our panel of judges was highly impressed with Anselmo’s vision for La Casa, and his vision for the role community centers play in building strong neighborhoods,” said Bev Dribin, Aramark Vice President of Community Relations. “Aramark’s mission is to enrich and nourish lives every day, not only for our customers and clients, but also in our communities. This award recognizes the value of inspirational and effective community center leadership.”
Villarreal joined La Casa 24 years ago, and under his leadership, the organization has grown to an $18 million organization that serves more than 200,000 people in need each year while continuously expanding its programs and services to meet the needs of the community.
During his tenure, he and La Casa de Esperanza have been recognized both locally and nationally. Villarreal has been honored by the last two mayors of the city of Waukesha, receiving “keys to the city.” On the national level, La Casa’s Children, Family and Youth Program received the National Council of La Raza / Annie E. Casey Foundation “Family Strengthening Award,” given to only four organizations nationwide.
“As a true servant-leader and advocate for those less fortunate, Anselmo Villarreal personifies the qualities of the Peter B. GoldbergAramark Building Community Executive Leadership Award. I am honored to call Anselmo a longtime friend and the Alliance is especially lucky to have him within its network,” said Susan Dreyfus, President and CEO of the Alliance. “Anselmo has truly made the Waukeshaarea a better place by leading with integrity, respect, and inspiration, continually moving beyond the status quo.”
Villarreal has served on the boards of multiple organizations, including The Alliance for Children and Families. He has also served on the boards of the National Council of La Raza, the Consumer Advisory Council of the Federal Reserve Board and Southwest Key, one of the nation’s largest nonprofits serving the Latino community.
Villarreal said that the award grant would help La Casa open its new charter school in 2015, and added that the award is very meaningful for the community.
“Aramark’s dedication to community building is one of many indications that it is an exemplary corporate citizen,” he added.
Through the Peter B. Goldberg Aramark Building Community Executive Leadership Award, now in its fourth year, Aramark recognizes and showcases outstanding community center leadership and fosters greater awareness of the important work they do. The award was named in memory of Peter Goldberg, who served as president and CEO of the Alliance for Children and Families and CEO of United Neighborhood Centers of America until 2011.
More than two dozen Alliance organizations submitted applications for the 2014 awards. An external panel of judges with expertise and leadership in the neighborhood revitalization movement, higher education, corporations, and foundations selected the winner.
“It is an incredible honor to receive this award. Peter was a friend, and one of the most effective leaders I’ve met. I aim to be a little like him,” said Villarreal.