National Hispanic Heritage Month will be inaugurated in Oregon with the second annual Hispanic Heritage Month Breakfast on September 15, 2011, beginning at 8 a.m. at the Salem Convention Center. This year the celebration is featuring former U.S. Army Lieutenant Colonel Consuelo Castillo Kickbusch. Kickbusch was at one time one of the highest ranked Hispanic women in the U.S. Army.

A graduate from Hardin Simmons University, Kickbusch soon after entered the U.S. Army as an officer where she served for two decades. While in the military, she broke barriers and set records to become the highest ranking Hispanic woman in the Combat Support Field of the U.S. Army. In 1996, she was selected out of 26,000 candidates to assume a command post, which would put her on track for the rank of general officer. She respectfully declined the honor and retired as a 22-year veteran of the U.S. Army to fulfill her mother’s dying wish – for her to return to her roots and become a community leader.

Today, Kickbusch is a renowned charismatic, passionate and influential speaker who carries a powerful message of what it takes to be an effective leader in today’s global marketplace. She has spoken to hundreds of schools, colleges, universities, corporations, and government institutions both in the U.S. and abroad.

Hosted by IZO Public Relations & Marketing firm specializing in the Hispanic market, the Oregon Commission on Hispanic Affairs, and the Latino Business Alliance of the Willamette Valley, the breakfast celebrates the month long observance to recognize the contributions of Hispanic Americans to the United States and to celebrate Hispanic heritage and culture. Hispanic Heritage Month began in 1968 as Hispanic Heritage Week via approval by President Lyndon Johnson. President Ronald Reagan then expanded the week in 1988 to cover a 30-day period starting on September 15 and ending on October 15. National Hispanic Heritage Month was enacted into law on August 17, 1988 on the approval of Public Law 100-402.

“This year’s event promises to attract even more of our Hispanic leadership and everyone who appreciates the invaluable contributions of our Hispanic community which now numbers 450,000 throughout the state,” said Anthony Veliz of IZO Public Relations & Marketing.

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