The Latino Leaders Network
The Latino Leaders Network (LLN) is a non-profit organization founded by Mickey Ibarra in 2003 and incorporated in 2006. His vision was to bring leaders together for the purpose of becoming better acquainted, supporting each other and helping our community succeed. He believed that our personal stories of obstacles overcome to achieve success had the power to inspire, re-energize, motivate and unify all of us. Understanding that there were plenty of events regarding policy and politics, Mickey set out to build a platform to honor prominent, national Latino leaders and ask them to share their personal story.
The first Latino Leaders luncheon took place in Boston during the Democratic National Convention in 2004. LLN honored then Congressman Bob Menendez; over 500 delegates, elected officials, corporate executives and community leaders attended the inaugural event. Due to the overwhelming response, Mickey established the Latino Leaders Luncheon Series hosted by the Latino Leaders Network quarterly, most often in Washington D.C. In 2008 and 2012, LLN convened luncheon events during both the Republican and Democratic National Conventions at the host cities.
Additionally, Mickey established the Tribute to Mayors events to recognize and honor mayors who are “bringing their communities together.” During Mickey’s tenure as Director of Intergovernmental Affairs for President Bill Clinton at The White House, he established strong relationships with state and local elected officials across the country, including our nation’s mayors with whom he developed a special bond. He recognized the direct impact mayors have on the lives of their constituents and their ability to improve the quality of life for Latinos significantly. In 2003, he hosted the first dinner in Denver during the US Conference of Mayors. Since then, LLN has hosted a Tribute to Mayors event during the U.S. Conference of Mayors annual winter and summer meetings.
Southwest Airlines Advancing our Mission
The mission of the Latino Leaders Network is dedicated to “Bringing Leaders Together” to establish relationships, build unity and foster dialogue on issues important to the community. LLN accomplishes its mission by convening events that are generously supported by corporate sponsors. In particular, Southwest Airlines, the “Official Airline of the Latino Leaders Network,” that literally makes it possible for us to bring leaders together to celebrate A Decade of Bringing Leaders Together this year. We are proud of our partnership with Southwest Airlines, a good corporate friend.
The Latino Leaders Luncheon Series consists of quarterly events convened by invitation-only most often in Washington D.C. to provide a platform for prominent Latino leaders to share their personal success stories. The program includes the presentation of the Eagle Leadership Award to the speaker for making a significant impact on the lives of Latinos living in the United States. It also features a community partner serving the Latino community. LLN has honored over 30 Latino leaders that include Congressman Charlie Gonzalez, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, Dolores Huerta, Eva Longoria, Senator Bob Menendez, Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis, Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar and Senator Mel Martinez.
The Tribute to Mayors convenes for a dinner and a reception during the U.S. Conference of Mayors annual winter and summer meetings, respectively. These events have become ‘must attend’ activities that provide a great networking experience for all who attend. Invited guests include mayors and other elected officials; policy makers from all levels of office; corporate, opinion and community leaders; industry experts and political insiders to honor mayors who are “bringing their communities together.” The Antonio Villaraigosa Leadership Award is presented to a mayor from a city with a significant minority population who has exhibited an outstanding commitment to bringing diverse communities together.
Lidia S. Martinez
Manager, Community Affairs & Grassroots