Tonight, DAMA Annual Dinner And Award Ceremony 2014, Moderating Tsi-Tsi-Ki Feliz Univision, Honoring Pedro L. Vergés and Luis Saldaña
Annual Dinner And Award Ceremony hosted by Dominican American Midwest Association
The Dominican-American Midwest Association (DAMA) is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization seeking to address the needs of all Dominicans and Dominican-Americans in the Midwest region of the U.S.
The DAMA Mission
The Dominican-American Midwest Association (DAMA) is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization seeking to address the need of all Dominicans and Dominican-Americans in the Midwest region of the U.S. Specifically, DAMA will create an avenue for analysis, planning, and action concerning political, educational, economic, and health-related issues that affect their lives. DAMA will strive to create an awareness in the Dominican-American community that rights and duties permeate all social, cultural, economic, and political activity.
Honoring, Pedro L. Vergés. Dominican writer born in Santo Domingo.
Vergés studied philology at the University of Zaragoza and received a doctorate in Hispanic-American literature from the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid. He has worked as editor of the journal Cam de l’Arpa in Barcelona. Later, also in Barcelona, he co-founded the journal Hora de Poesía. In addition, he has been a professor at the Universidad Nacional Pedro Henríquez Ureña and the University of Illinois at Chicago.
He has served as director at the Instituto de Cultura Hispánica in Santo Domingo and has been honored as Ambassador of the Dominican Republic in Spain from 1996 to 2000, in the Federal Republic of Germany from 2005 to 2009 and in Japan from 2009 to 2012. He has been honored several times by the King of Spain and the Emperor of Japan. Vergés currently serves as Permanent Ambassador to the Organization of American States (OAS), of which he was chair, and as President pro tempore of the System of Central American Integration (SICA). In Chicago, he has supported and cultivated a special relationship with DAMA.
He is a recognized member of the Dominican Academy of Language. He achieved his greatest success as a writer in 1981 with the novel Sólo Cenizas Hallarás (Bolero), which Spain awarded the coveted Premio de la Crítica de Narrativa Castellana (Spanish Narrative Criticism Award) and the Premio Internacional Blasco Ibáñez (Blasco Ibáñez International Prize). This novel is considered an important landmark work of Dominican literature. In addition, his books of poetry include Juegos reunidos (1971) and Durante los inviernos (1977). Currently in progress are a novel, a book of short stories, and an extensive essay on Juan Bosch, which several prestigious publishing houses are vying to publish. DAMA feel doubly privileged to honor such a distinguished Dominican and to include such a prominent member in its ranks.
Acknowledging, Luis Saldaña is the owner of Tumbao Bar and Grill located in Logan Square.
He is the son of Idalia Morales, from Puerto Rico and Sergio Americo Saldaña, from San Juan de la Maguana, Dominican Repubulic. Since 2007, Tumbao has become an important in the community and a strong representation of his heritage. Tumbao was designed to be a place where one can go and enjoy latin culture through the food, music and dancing. Aside from the food, music and dancing, Luis has used his business as a place to pay it forward by supporting many local non for profit organizations.
Prior to opening Tumbao, Luis began working in the real estate industry in 1996. He successfully opened his own office, “New Town Realty”, from 2002-2007. In 2008 he was awarded “Entrepreneur of the year”. During his spare time, Luis enjoys playing fast pitch men’s softball, which has been his passion since childhood. He has participated in numerous national and international championships. During that time, he proudly represented the USA Dominican National team.
This passion of his now leads him to his newest endeavor: “Champs Athletic Training and Fitness”. This is will be a new venue geared towards advance sports training for amateur and pro athletes. Throughout Luis’ entrepreneur career he has experienced many triumphs and tribulations. But through it all he has maintained his integrity and dedication and learned that simply giving up is not an option. Luis currently resides in Lincolnwood, IL with his family, which means more to him than anything else, his wife Annette, 14 year old son Anthony, and his daughters 12 year old Isabella and 10 year old Sofia. And let us not forget his dog Mambo… his BF!