Fiesta de Inspiración honors two alumni chosen based on their accomplishments to receive an Alumni of the Year award. Previous recipients of ULAA’s Alumni of the Year award include Lisa Fernandez, Dan Guerrero, Antonia Hernandez, Gil Cedillo, Linda L. Alvarez, Gil Garcetti, and Antonio Villaraigosa.
Patricia Pérez (‘87) -- Alumna of the Year. Patricia has been a stakeholder in the mission of ULAA and Latino community for decades. She served as the President of ULAA from 1991-1992 during the early years of the organization. Now she holds the position of CEO at the Latio-owned public relations firm, VPE Tradigital Communications. One of her more prominent volunteer positions is as President of AARP California, which she has held since 2015. In this role she has advocated for projects and investment in Latino communities with elected officials and community leaders. Because of her work and passion for Los Angeles communities of color, she has made large nonprofit organizations and corporations take notice of the purchasing power of minorities. ULAA is excited to honor one of the few Latina CEO’s in our network and inspire more Bruin Latinas into executive positions.
Earl Watson (‘19) -- Alumnus of the Year. Earl’s accomplishments are impressive both on and off the court. He has partnered with and created organizations, like Project EARL: Encouraging All to Reach for Learning in his hometown of Kansas City, KS. He has also worked with NBA affiliated organizations to promote the sport of basketball in Latino communities. Earl was a four-year starter for the UCLA men’s basketball team from 1997-2001 before carving out a career in the NBA for 13 seasons. One of his most groundbreaking accomplishments was being the first NBA head coach of Hispanic descent when he made his head coaching debut in 2016 with the Phoenix Suns. ULAA is proud to honor Earl for breaking barriers for Latinos in professional athletics.
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