Over three hundred guests, which included some of Oregon’s most influential Hispanics, gathered at the Salem Conference Center to kick-off National Hispanic Heritage Month. The second annual Hispanic Heritage Month Breakfast 2011 celebration featured, former U.S. Army Lieutenant Colonel Consuelo Castillo Kickbusch, who was as at one time one of the highest ranked Hispanic women in the U.S. Army.

Castillo Kickbusch shared her message of purpose, hope and inspiration with guests who represented all corners of the state in Oregon. “In whatever you do in life”, Castillo Kickbusch says, “the most important thing it to have a mission and a passion for what you do.”

Other speakers included Guest speaker Frank Garcia Jr., a senior policy adviser on diversity for Gov. John Kitzhaber, Salem Mayor Anna Peterson; Andrea Cano, chairwoman of the Oregon Commission on Hispanic Affairs; Enrique A. Romero Cuevas, consul general of Mexico; and Jose Gonzalez, president of the Latino Business Alliance of the Willamette Valley.

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 begins a series of celebrations in Oregon recognizing 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 has exceeded our turnout and expectation,” said Anthony Veliz of IZO Public Relations & Marketing.

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