HLG Esperanza Awards

The Anthony B. Ramirez Premio Esperanza (Hope Award) was established by The Hispanic Leaders Group of Greater St. Louis (HLG) in 2003 under the initiative of Anthony B. Ramirez. Initially named Premio Esperanza, its name was change in 2010 in posthumous honor of Anthony B. Ramirez, founder of HLG and creator of the award.


The purpose of the award is to acknowledge those that have contributed significantly to the Hispanic community in such fields as business, community service (health, social welfare, and housing), culture and the arts, education, human rights, and public office.

The award is presented once a year recognizing the service provided by the awardees for a few years and it is given during a special event.


Nominations may be made by individuals, organizations, institutions, and agencies within the greater St. Louis region. Consideration is given to individual/organization’s accomplishments during the previous years. Nominations must address the criteria set forth by HLG’s Board of Directors. Nominations are normally open in July of every year.

Learn more about the nomination process HERE.

Download the nomination form HERE.

Premio Esperanza Committee

A committee consisting of three to five members of the HLG administers the program and considers the nominations. By secret vote, the committee determines the winner(s) and presents its decision to the HLG Board of Directors for its ratification.

Presentation of Award

The award will be presented during a special ceremony which happens in October of every year.

At least 50% of any profit from this vent will be allocated for HLG Scholarships.

Award Inscription

The award’s inscriptions read as follows:

"To you, for giving hope...

To those, seeking change..."

"A Usted por impartir Esperanza...

A esos que buscan Cambio..."

List of past Awardees


Esperanza Award - 

Gabriela Ramirez-Arellano (Community Services) Cortex

Jose Gomez (Community Services) LiUNA


Esperanza Award - Jomo Castro (Community Services) AT&T

Champion Award - Joe Palm  - HHS Regional Director, Region 7 


Esperanza Award - Sal Valadez (Community Services) Liuna 110

Champion Award - Susan and Mauricio Gobbo 


Cancelled due COVID-19 crisis


Esperanza Award - Carmen Dence (Community Service) Grupo Atlantico

Champion Award - Don Willey - LiUNA


Esperanza Award - Jorge Riopedre (Community Service) Casa de Salud

Champion Award - Rush Robinson - St Louis College of Health Careers 


Not awarded. Latinas of Distinction event held.


Esperanza Award - Richard (Ricardo) Vogt, S.J. (Community Service) Our Lady of Guadalupe


Esperanza Award - Antonio (Tony) Maldonado (Community Service) Civic Leader


Esperanza Award - Hon. Charlie S. Dooley (Public Service) St. Louis County


Eileen Wolfington (Community Service) Casa de Salud


Esperanza Award - Anna Crosslin (Community Service) International Institute St. Louis


Esperanza Award - Robert (Bob) Fox (Community Service) Civic Leader


Esperanza Award - Guillermo A. Rodríguez (Community Service) Webster University


Esperanza Award - Jaime Torres (Community Service) ERIBEC & Associates


Esperanza Award - Hon. Maria Chappelle-Nadal (Public Office) State of Missouri Representative

Esperanza Award - Hon. Timothy (Tim) Flook (Public Office) State of Missouri Representative


Esperanza Award - Anthony B. Ramirez (Community Service) Anthony B. Ramirez, P.C.


Esperanza Award - Rafael Nun Marín (Business) President, HCCMSL (US Bank Manager)


Esperanza Award - Domingo Martínez (Education) Cambio Center, UM - Columbia

Esperanza Award - María Virginia Braxs (Community Service) Washington University in St. Louis


Esperanza Award - Susana Hamilton (Culture and the Arts) Arts & Treasures from Latin America


Esperanza Award - Marvin G. Kanne (Community Service) St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Esperanza Award - C. William Chignoli (Community Service) Acción Social Comunitaria – La Clínica