LATIN ACE AWARDS, INC.
The Association of Latin Entertainment Critics of New York — known throughout Latin America and Spain as ACE, short for Asociación de Cronistas de Espectáculos de Nueva York — is a unique cultural and press organization founded on December 12, 1967 by a large group of New York-based Hispanic journalists and correspondents. Its annual awards ceremony, Latin ACE Awards, is perhaps the most widely publicized Latin event of its kind in the United States, with extensive press, radio and television coverage.
Founding members were the late Miguel Ángel Gallástegui, from Associated Press, its first provisional president; Nemesio Acevedo, Fernando Campos, José C. Cayón, Johnny Chévere, Manuel del Valle, Pedro Galiana, Efraín Hídalgo, Ramón Plazza, Santiago Pollarsky and Arístides Sotolongo — all of them active in Spanish-language newspapers, magazines, press agencies, radio and television of the United States, Latin America and Spain.
Besides strengthening the unity of Latin American journalists specialized in the performing arts, and promoting in the international press all the important events involving Hispanic artists in the United States, for many years ACE has been a major cultural force within the Hispanic community. As part of its cultural commitments, ACE sponsors lectures, round-table discussions and training workshops on a periodical basis, with the participation of its active members. Furthermore, some of ACE’s officers serve as board members and provide assistance to arts-related and community organizations.
The expertise of senior members of ACE, after years of engagement as critics, correspondents and chroniclers of the increasing role of Hispanics in the arts, entertainment and media in the United States, has enabled ACE to provide expert advisory opinion letters, or consultation letters from a “peer organization,” which are submitted to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, now under the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, fulfilling the institution’s strong commitment to support the granting of U.S. visas to outstanding and internationally recognized Hispanic talents.
Throughout the years, ACE’s goals and achievements have been recognized by the Governor of the State of New York and several Mayors of the City of New York, who have issued to ACE numerous Official Proclamations.
On May 6, 2006, the Governor of the State of New York issued an Official Citation commending ACE “for its work on behalf of Hispanic artists and entertainment journalists,” encouraging the Association “to continue to forge a strong legacy for future generations.”
Several organizations with similar objectives from Spanish-speaking countries and various cities in the United States have sustained strong links with ACE which have led to the participation of its members in important events in the United States and foreign countries, including music festivals, conventions, conferences, major awards ceremonies and trade shows.
The Latin ACE Awards ceremony, held each year in New York without interruption since 1969, is one of the most coveted honors in Latin entertainment, as this prestigious award celebrates the excellence of Hispanic artists in films, television and on the stage, while promoting awareness of the vibrant Latin entertainment scene that for many decades has characterized New York.
The first Latin ACE Awards ceremony, after the winners were announced at the Club Sans Souci in New York’s Uptown Manhattan, on May 25, 1969, officially took place shortly thereafter at the world-famous Madison Square Garden during an extended interlude of the rodeo show of Mexican motion picture star Tony Aguilar.
The following year, on March 14, 1970, the first official Board of Directors of ACE was elected for a one-year period with Emilio García as president; Efraín Hidalgo, vice president; Fernando Campos, secretary; Ramón Plazza, vice secretary; José Carbó Menéndez, treasurer; and José C. Cayón, vice treasurer.
A chronicle of ACE throughout four decades of uninterrupted achievements is contained in the recent Galos Publishing’s book “ACE: Entidad con Historia” (ACE: Association with History), commissioned by the Diversity Foundation, which also includes in its 334 pages appraisals of top Hispanic artists who have received personally the Latin ACE Awards, such as Pedro Almodóvar, Angélica María, Vikki Carr, Plácido Domingo, Don Francisco, Carla Estrada, Erik Estrada, Lupita Ferrer, Lucho Gatica, Charytín Goyco, Olga Guillot, Julio Iglesias, Evita Muñoz, Raphael, Carmen Salinas, Cristina Saralegui, Tongolele, and many others.
Also honored by ACE in the past were such well-remembered personalities as Lola Beltrán, Mario Moreno “Cantinflas,” Bobby Capó, Mapy Cortés, Celia Cruz, Tito Guízar, Katy Jurado, Rocío Jurado, Libertad Lamarque, Marga López, Tito Puente and Myrta Silva.
Besides Fernando Campos, its current president, and the above-mentioned Miguel Angel Gallástegui and Emilio García, ACE also has had as presidents Ramón Plazza, Iván Gutiérrez, Manolo García-Oliva and Juan I. Veira.
Mr. Plazza and Mr. García-Oliva were subsequently awarded the permanent title of Presidents of Honor by ACE’s Board of Directors, a title also held by Mr. Campos, in recognition of their outstanding performance during the periods they have led the organization.
ACE can boast remarkable prestige at an international level. And its annual awards ceremony is perhaps the most widely publicized Latin event of its kind in the United States, with extensive press, radio and television coverage.
Fernando Campos, a naturalized American citizen who was editor-in-chief for 23 years of the landmark entertainment magazine Canales, is the current president of ACE. Mr. Campos has been a subject of biographical record since 1996 in The Marquis Who’s Who in America, and currently maintains columns in New York’s weekly newspapers El Especial and Impacto.
Other members of the Latin ACE Executive Board of Directors are Manolo García-Oliva and Ramón Plazza, honor presidents; Welquis López, vice president; Luz Marina Mejía, secretary; Albert L. White, treasurer; Frank Castro, press secretary; Miguel Ángel Rodríguez, director of public relations; David González, director of communications; and Johnny Huertas, executive producer.
The Professional Ethics Commission is led by Arnaldo Rodríguez, president; and its voting members are: Antonio Bones, Roberto Gerónimo, Ramón Aníbal Ramos and Diana Zulka . In addition, the Comission of ACE Special Events is led by commissioner Amparo Gordillo.
The influential Board of Commissioners that works with the president of ACE to determine the nominees and winners of the Latin ACE Awards is composed of the following commissioners: Fabián Ross and Carlos Navedo (Cinema); Hernando Merchand and Lenin Medina (Concerts); Lissette Montolío and Deysi Mena (Radio); Wilson Aguilar and Mariann Mendoza (Records); Adela de Luppi and Nilda Tapia (Theater); Charito Cisneros and Laura Orvieto (Television); Zunilda Fondeur and José Inoa-Báez (Cable TV); and Lupita Carvajal and Stefan Segadlo (Variety).
As president of ACE, Fernando Campos is committed to strengthening the organization’s international ties, and also continuing its tradition of presenting every year the most prestigious awards ceremony honoring the achievements of Latin entertainment in the United States.