Press Releases

Emilio Estefan Recognized With Ohtli Award by Mexico at USHCC Convention

WASHINGTON, DC–(Marketwired – September 30, 2016) – The United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (USHCC) is proud to announce that, Hispanic community champion, 19-time Grammy award-winning musician and producer, Emilio Estefan, will be honored with the Ohtli Award, presented by the Government of Mexico, in acknowledgement of his extraordinary contributions toward the successes of the Hispanic community in the United States. Estefan will receive the award at the USHCC’s National Convention on October 11th in Miami Beach, FL.

The Ohtli, a Nahuatl word meaning path, is bestowed upon individuals that have distinguished themselves by dedicating their professional activity to procuring greater prosperity for Mexican and Hispanic communities abroad, and opening pathways to improve the quality of life of the immigrant population.

“We are delighted to know that Emilio Estefan will be recognized by the Government of Mexico with the Ohtli award – the most prestigious honor that Mexico can offer a foreign citizen,” said USHCC President & CEO Javier Palomarez.

“The landmark musical achievements of Emilio and his wife, Gloria, have inspired a generation of artists-many of whom are Hispanic. Emilio has also contributed toward the ever-growing number of Hispanic-owned business in the US through Estefan Enterprises, Inc. Yet, while his countless professional accolades are undoubtedly impressive, it’s important to also acknowledge Emilio for his steadfast devotion toward helping those who are less fortunate, through the promotion of access to health, education and cultural development.

Our association is proud to call Emilio Estefan a dear friend, and we couldn’t think of a better person to receive this prestigious award, in none other than Miami Beach, FL at the 2016 USHCC National Convention.”

“Emilio Estefan and his wife have built a musical empire, producing the work of many rising stars in the Hispanic community. Using this prosperity, the Estefans founded the Gloria Estefan Foundation, which promotes good health, education, and cultural development among in-need populations,” said USHCC Chairman Raymond Arroyo. “Additionally, the Buoniconti Fund to Cure Paralysis recently presented the Outstanding Philanthropist Award to both Emilio and Gloria for their financial contributions towards the cause of finding a cure for such illnesses. We are proud that Emilio’s enormous contributions to our community are being recognized by the Ohtli Award.”

“I am so proud to be selected by the government of Mexico and the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce as this year’s Ohtli Award recipient,” said Emilio Estefan. “It is an honor that extends far beyond the borders of our neighboring country. No matter where we come from, as immigrants, we all share a bond through our common cultures, musical influences, and the families that form our communities. Having had the opportunity to work with many Mexican artists, I have the utmost respect and appreciation for their hard work and the contributions they’ve made not only in Mexico, but around the world. I am humbled by this award and pledge to continue paving the same common path that others have forged so long ago.”

Emilio Estefan was born in Cuba, and moved to the U.S. as a teenager. Emilio formed the band Miami Latin Boys in 1974, which later changed its name to Miami Sound Machine when Gloria Estefan (then known as Gloria Fajardo) joined the group. Gloria and Emilio married in 1978, and continued pursuing their musical career, which grew into a musical empire. Since then, Emilio has been instrumental in shaping, developing, and directing the careers of his superstar wife, as well as Shakira, Ricky Martin, Marc Anthony, Jon Secada, Alejandro Fernandez, Thalia, Carlos Vives, Jennifer Lopez, and many others through his production company Estefan Enterprises, Inc. He has combined Latin, pop, and world rhythms in his music, creating unique sounds that have broken down barriers, and his resume includes over 30 Grammy nominations and 19 Grammy Awards.

Such accomplishments were recognized when President Obama named Emilio as a member of the Commission to Study the Potential Creation of a National Museum of the American Latino. In 2015, President Obama honored both Emilio and Gloria Estefan with the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the first time in history this award was bestowed upon a couple. Additionally, the Estefans recently produced a Broadway musical based on their lives known as “On Your Feet!”, which premiered in 2015. The musical was nominated with a Tony Award for Best Choreography.

Emilio has also taken his passion and drive to the hospitality world under the banner of Estefan Enterprises. This division in the company includes restaurants such as Estefan’s Kitchen in Miami’s Design District, Larios on the Beach in South Beach, and the Bongos Cuban Café at various locations. The Estefans also own the Cardozo Hotel on Ocean Drive in Miami, and the Costa d’Este Beach Resort in Vero Beach, FL. In addition, Emilio’s business acumen allowed him to become the first Cuban-American to become a minority-shareholder in the Miami Dolphins. In 2014, Miami-Dade County Commissioner Jean Monestime appointed Emilio as a Miami-Dade Special Ambassador, where he will represent the county’s community at an international level to encourage and promote the diversity of business and trade.

To learn more about the USHCC National Convention, visit

About the USHCC

The USHCC actively promotes the economic growth, development and interests of more than 4.1 million Hispanic-owned businesses that, combined, contribute over $661 billion to the American economy every year. It also advocates on behalf of 260 major American corporations and serves as the umbrella organization for more than 200 local chambers and business associations nationwide. For more information, visit Follow the USHCC on Twitter @USHCC.

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