NFL Hispanic Heritage Leadership Award (Video)
Montgomery County Recreation Department Director Gabriel Albornoz has received the National Football League’s Hispanic Heritage Leadership Award. The award is presented by Courtyard by Marriott during Hispanic Heritage Month in all 32 NFL markets nationally.
Albornoz was recognized onstage during a star-studded 26th Annual Hispanic Heritage Awards ceremony at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. and was introduced by NFL Hall of Famer Anthony Muñoz. The prestigious Hispanic Heritage Leadership Awards were created by The White House to honor notable Latinos who have distinguished themselves in various fields and made an impact on America and beyond.
The NFL will celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month during week three of the 2013 football season. Albornoz will be recognized at Fed Ex Field during the September 22 Washington Redskins game vs. the Detroit Lions.
“Gabriel Albornoz is a dedicated, committed leader who has remained focused on the importance of providing purposeful and meaningful programs and services to ensure that all residents have opportunities to accomplish their full potential,” said County Executive Isiah Leggett. “The NFL made an excellent choice in selecting Gabe as a leader who has made many significant contributions in enhancing the quality of life for so many in the Washington metropolitan area, and I congratulate Gabe on receiving this prestigious award.”
“I am honored to receive this award and thank the National Football League,” said Albornoz “The award reflects the achievement, dreams and promise of my heritage. It speaks to the tremendous support of my family and colleagues and reflects the values of the Recreation Department and the entire Montgomery County Government that celebrates and recognizes the richness of Latino culture and the value of diversity.”
Albornoz has served as the director of the Montgomery County Recreation Department since his appointment by Leggett in January 2007. He is the youngest cabinet level appointment in the history of Montgomery County. As director, he is responsible for overseeing a $28 million budget; 34 recreation facilities, including community recreation centers, administrative offices, aquatic centers and senior centers; and more than 3,000 employees. Through its programs, services and facilities, the department serves more than 600,000 County residents each year.
Since his appointment, Montgomery County has faced unprecedented budget challenges. Albornoz earned a reputation for being steadfast in providing programs and services for the most vulnerable Montgomery County residents, including programs serving youth identified to be at a greater risk for academic failure and services to ensure that senior adults have ample opportunities to live independent and healthier lives. In addition to serving as director of the department, Albornoz has also been appointed by the County Executive to serve as co-chair of the County’s Positive Youth Development Initiative and co-chair of the Senior Sub-Cabinet. He was appointed by Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley to serve on the Commission for State Parks, as well as the Maryland Partnership in Nature Initiative. Albornoz also serves on the board of directors for the Collaboration Council for Children Youth and Families, St. Anne’s Home for Children, Youth and Families, and currently serves as Chairman for the Montgomery County Democratic Central Committee.
Albornoz is a graduate of the University of Maryland’s Rawlings Fellowship and is a member of the Leadership Montgomery Class of 2008. He has received numerous community awards recognizing his work with youth and families including the “Poder Con Ganas” award from the Hispanic Democratic Club of Montgomery County, the “Hometown Hero” award from Commerce Bank, and the “Community Hero Award” from the Long Branch Athletic Association. Albornoz is a lifelong Montgomery County resident. He graduated from Walt Whitman High School, and received his Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Maryland and a Master’s Degree in Business Administration from Johns Hopkins University.