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Meet the Nominees: Latino Leader of the Year

Get to know our amazing individuals and organizations as we get ready to celebrate them at our 2023 Latino Leadership Awards on September 21st!

Throughout the next couple of weeks, we'll be sharing some info on the folks and agencies our city nominated to be recognized for their contributions and positive impact, promoting Latino progress across sectors in the Scenic City!

Latino Leader of the Year: 2023 Nominees

Liz Gibbons

Lead Spanish Teacher/Manager of Teacher Training and Development

Chattanooga School of Language (CSL)

Liz was born and raised in San Salvador, El Salvador. She graduated from the Evangelical University of El Salvador with a master’s degree in Business and Human Resources. After teaching as a professor at her alma mater, she continued studying in Barcelona, Spain, growing her love for the Spanish language. Liz entered the business world and eventually became Director at Oceano Idiomas where she guided the teaching and administrative staff.

A true lover of her culture and language, Liz has continued her career in Chattanooga, teaching Spanish at Belvoir Christian Academy and CSL.

Liz feels fortunate to have the opportunity to empower others through language learning.

I love teaching Spanish and sharing my culture with students from different backgrounds and cultures. It is an honor to help build the bridge between my native language and all the Spanish learners of the wonderful Chattanooga community.”

Paulo Hutson Solórzano

Co-Founder, Managing Director

South East USA & Central America

A Medida Communications

Paulo was raised in Managua, Nicaragua, and moved to the United States in 2007. He earned his bachelor’s degree in marketing and communications from Lee University and is presently enrolled in Harvard Business School’s Organizational Leadership Program.

In 2015, Paulo opened A Medida Communications LLC, a full-service cross-cultural marketing

and communications agency with a strong focus on Government, Nonprofit, Finance, and

Healthcare sectors. Since its establishment, Paulo has provided marketing services and

communication strategies to the Center for Disease Control, SAHMSA (Substance Abuse and

Mental Health Services Administration of the Federal Government) Energy Star, The Army

National Guard, as well as numerous local, national, and international nonprofit organizations.

Paulo has demonstrated his commitment to community by serving as a board member for local organizations including the United Way of Greater Chattanooga, The Children’s Advocacy Center, Chattanooga Regional Homeless Coalition, A Step Ahead Chattanooga, and Leadership Chattanooga Alumni Association. Additionally, he actively volunteers and contributes as a committee member to influential organizations like the National Latino Health Leadership Network, Latino Commission on AIDS, the American Advertising Federation, and the Community Foundation of Greater Chattanooga. Paulo’s community-oriented endeavors have been met with significant recognition, including the Chattanooga Time’s Free Press’ 20 Under 40 accolade, Edge Magazine’s esteemed Community Health Champion award, La Paz’s Latino Hero of the Year distinction, American Heart Association’s Heroes of the Heart recognition, the Kidney Foundation’s Yium award, and a “Proclamation of Appreciation” from Hamilton County Board of Commissioners for his leadership during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Outside of his professional pursuits, Paulo enjoys traveling, exploring the world of gastronomy, and partaking in the exhilarating sport of volcano boarding down the volcanic slopes of Nicaragua and Costa Rica. Paulo actively promotes the ethos of inclusivity through his personal hashtag, #ThinkInclusively, and remains steadfast in his mission to foster inclusive thinking across the nation, empowering all individuals to thrive regardless of race, culture, identity, or language.

Iris Negrete-Regagnon

Coordinator of ENL (English as a New Language) Community Services

Hamilton County Schools

This nomination is an honor for me, and I am humbled to be amongst such a group of

well-deserving individuals who work so hard for our Latino community. As a first-generation Mexican immigrant, it was very challenging for my family when we first arrived, but thankfully we had the support of our community to help us. Without them, there is no way that we could have made the progress that we did over the years. As the coordinator for the International Welcome Center for Hamilton County schools, I try to pass on that same support to families who come to our center each day. Their stories inspire me to work harder and to find as many resources as I can for our Latino families. I am thankful to work in a place that allows me the opportunity to serve our Latino and international community, and I am incredibly lucky to work with an amazing team of people who care deeply for our families.

"I was very surprised to learn about my nomination because there are so many hard-working

leaders from all sorts of backgrounds who are strong supporters of our community here in

Chattanooga. I just happen to be from a Hispanic background, but there are so many people

from all races and walks of life working hard to support this cause. The issues that our families

face are too large for just one sector of the community to focus on, and it is something that

everyone from all backgrounds will need to come together on to accomplish these goals. I look forward to working with anyone from the community that also wants to see our Hispanic and international community thrive."

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