MIAMI, FL – March 22, 2018 – (HISPANICIZE WIRE) – Hispanicize Event announced the winners of the 2018 Positive Impact Awards (PIA), presented by Prudential Financial, Inc. On its fifth-year anniversary, the awards celebrate Latino heroes whose service to others has made a significant difference in their communities. This year’s winners stood out above the rest for their efforts to propel action through civic engagement, accountability through journalism and selfless acts in providing humanitarian relief efforts.

“While the past year has been a treacherous one for the Latino community, it is inspiring to know that many have chosen to serve their neighbors with compassion and kindness,” said Manny Ruiz, founder, Hispanicize Event. “Today, we join Prudential in thanking and shining a light on men and women who in the midst of many challenges, rise to help others,” he added.

The 2018 Positive Impact Award winners are:

California State Assemblymember Wendy Carrillo – An award-winning journalist and labor activist, Wendy Carrillo has always advocated for educational opportunity, access to quality healthcare, living wage jobs, and social justice in her home state of California. In 2017, she led the trend for women and community activists nationwide and ran for public office, eventually winning a seat in the California State Assembly, where she represents the 51st State Assembly district, encompassing parts of northeastern Los Angeles and East Los Angeles. Her leadership serves as a sign of hope and inspiration for women and Latino communities everywhere.

Kirk Michaelis, owner, El Bolillo Bakery – Finding himself at a crossroads over 25 years ago, Kirk Michaelis was at the brink of selling his donut shop, when one of his bakers introduced him to Mexican breads and pastries. With their expertise in hand, Kirk took a chance and El Bolillo Bakery was born. Today, El Bolillo Bakery is the most famous bakery in Houston, not only for its great fare, but for the intense sense of family that exists between Kirk and his employees. While trapped in the bakery during Hurricane Harvey and with nothing better to do, the bakers churned out over 400 pounds of baked goods that employees and family members then distributed city wide for weeks to those who had been left stranded and homeless in the wake of the hurricane.

Julio Ricardo Varela, founder, Latino Rebels – As the founder of arguably the most influential Latino blog in the country – Latino Rebels – and a highly respected journalist on line and on the air, Julio has dedicated his career to ensuring that Latinos are accurately represented by continuously raising awareness of the different issues that are impacting the community. As a Puerto Rican native, he has used the power of the pen, the reach of his online network, and his love for the island to shed light and truth on local issues such as the Puerto Rico debt crisis and the mishandling of the devastation on the island after Hurricane Maria.

Created in 2013 in honor of the late Louis Pagan, co-founder of Hispanicize and a well-known social media entrepreneur who passed away suddenly in February 2013, the Positive Impact Awards honor those who reflect kindness and commitment, two attributes that Louis embodied.

Vote for Positive Impact Person of the Year

Beginning March 23, 2018, the public can vote on their choice for the Positive Impact Person of the Year. The winner will be announced on Wednesday, April 18 at the Positive Impact Awards gala.

To vote for Positive Impact Person of the Year visit: Voting ends on April 13, 2018.

Sponsorship Opportunities

Sponsorship information is still available by contacting [email protected] or calling 203.364.4779.

About the Hispanicize Event
Now in its 9th year, Hispanicize 2018 ( (#Hispz18) is the largest annual event for Latino trendsetters and newsmakers in digital content creation, journalism, marketing, entertainment and tech entrepreneurship. The event is a launch pad for creative endeavors, new products, technologies, marketing campaigns, films, books, music and more targeting Latinos in the U.S. and/or Puerto Rico. The event is expected to attract more than 2,000 of the nation’s most influential Latino professionals.

The Hispanicize event is owned and operated by Hispanicize Media Group, LLC, the parent company of DiMe Media, Hispanic Kitchen and the Hispanic PR Blog.

More information on Hispanicize 2018 can be found on Facebook , Instagram (@HispanicizeEvent), Twitter and Snapchat (@Hispanicize).

About Prudential
Prudential Financial, Inc. (NYSE: PRU), a financial services leader with more than $1 trillion of assets under management as of December 31, 2017, has operations in the United States, Asia, Europe, and Latin America. Prudential’s diverse and talented employees are committed to helping individual and institutional customers grow and protect their wealth through a variety of products and services, including life insurance, annuities, retirement-related services, mutual funds and investment management. In the U.S., Prudential’s iconic Rock symbol has stood for strength, stability, expertise and innovation for more than a century. For more information, please visit