Business group honors community leaders

ROCHESTER — R. Carlos Carballada and the late Ed Navarro were honored last month during the Rochester Hispanic Business Association’s annual luncheon.

Carballada, the city’s commissioner for neighborhood and business development, received the Hispanic Business Person of the Year award at the Sept. 30 event attended by more than 200 people at the Riverside Convention Center. Carballada had a long banking career and held key posts at M&T Bank Corp., Rochester’s Central Trust Co. and the First National Bank of Rochester. He also has served on the New York State Board of Regents and went on the become chancellor from 1991-94.

Grace Tillinghast, chair of the association, said that Carballada is an icon in the Hispanic community and the community at large. He is a true leader who also is humble, she noted.

"He treats people with the utmost respect," Tillinghast said.

Carballada, whose father and mother traveled alone at a young age to the U.S. from Spain and Peru, respectively, said that his parents would have been proud. They always emphasized the importance of education when he was growing up, and he is grateful to them for that.

"The education of our youth is one of the most important projects all of us have," he said.

He also emphasized the importance of Latino students knowing English and Spanish and what an advantage being bilingual will give them as they go on to their careers.

"It will open up opportunities for them if we can convince them to spend the time learning both languages fluently," he added.

The family of Navarro, a community leader who died earlier this year, was honored with a plaque from the city for the creation of the "Eduardo Navarro Empresario Latino Business Development Training Seminars, " which have been taking place this fall. His wife, son and two daughters accepted the award.

"Life doesn’t always go the way we hope it will be," said his wife, Beth. "(What) Ed left all of us with was pride and dignity."

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