(This article originaled appeared in La Opinión de Málaga)
The gala awards ceremony of the 2019 Malaga Awards, organized by La Opinión de Málaga y Prensa Ibérica, was held at the Edgar Neville Auditorium, of the Malaga Provincial Council and was attended by more than 400 guests. The newspaper celebrates the annual awards ceremony to show its continued support for the city of Malaga since it first arrived at newsstands in May 1999.
Guests included personalities from the world of sports, entertainment, media, business, as well as officials from the provincial and regional governments, local foundations, and tourism associations. La Opinión de Maálaga’s annual awards gala celebration perfectly reflects the culture of Malaga and serves each year as encouragement and inspiration for local leaders to contribute to the progress of the province.
The prize given to each of them is an original statuette by the Malaga-based sculptor, Juan Vega. Domi del Postigo, newspaper columnist at La Opinión since its foundation, served as Master of Ceremonies.
The first intervention of the night was carried out by the CEO of Prensa Ibérica, Aitor Moll, who stressed that “rigor, professionalism, and independence have been the hallmarks of the Prensa Iberica group and that it has always worked to maintain these attributes.” Moll stressed that «La Opinion de Malaga is part of this collective desire that drives the Prensa Iberica, journalism that offers proven news and plural opinions ». In addition, he said that these awards are “a milestone on the road to doing things right.”
Next, the 2019 Tourism Award recognized Les Roches Global Hospitality Education for its 25-year achievement in developing professionals for the hotel and tourism sector on the Costa del Sol and worldwide. The merits of the award selection are seen in the more than 4,000 graduates of Les Roches Marbella who hold management positions in important hotel establishments in more than 64 countries. In addition to applying Swiss standards of hospitality with rigorous practical and academic training, Les Roches’ success lies in its unique multicultural campus, where students from over more than 85 countries converge with one mission in mind: to be the future leaders of the global hospitality industry.
The award, presented by the director of operations of City Sightseeing, Luis Miguel Labrado, was picked up by the CEO of Les Roches Marbella, Carlos Díez de la Lastra, who thanked and stressed that this is a very important recognition for Les Roches. In addition, he stressed that “Les Roches is proud to attract and develop talent from Malaga and the Costa del Sol. Local talent is a crucial element in the Costa del Sol tourism industry.”
The 2019 Business Award recognized the more than fifty years of service to the city of Malaga by Navarro Brothers. In 1963, Baltasar and Antonio Navarro opened a shop on Carretería Street that quickly became a leader in motorcycle sales in Malaga. Navarro Brothers, known affectionately as “the motorcycle guys”, have sold more than 120,000 two-wheeled vehicles since first opening their doors 56 years ago.
The prize was given by the Malaga territorial director of Unicaja, José Manuel Alba, and was received by the company’s two founding brothers, Antonio and Baltasar Navarro. In a short speech, the two brothers recalled how their family arrived sixty years ago from a small town in Almeria and discovered that Malaga was “the best city in the world.” Their motto, «work with honesty and effort» led them to be recognized as an important component of Malaga’s economic success over the last several decades.
The Society Award was awarded to the Corinto Foundation. The social economy of this charitable and welfare foundation is an initiative of solidarity character-driven, in origin, by twenty brotherhoods of Malaga. The foundation is about to complete its first ten years of existence.
The director of AAPP of the Southern Territory of Telefónica, Joaquín Segovia, presented the statuette to María del Carmen Ledesma, president of Corinth. She said that one of the most exciting things to ever happen to her is to receive this award on behalf of the foundation.
Ledesma had words of thanks both for the media and for the businesses, brotherhoods, and volunteers that make it possible to “show the city the other side of Holy Week,” and Malaga’s commitment to the needy.
The fourth prize of the night, the 2019 Culture Award, recognized the work of actress Laura Baena Torres. With this award, La Opinión de Málaga applauds the solid trajectory of a woman who is now reaping the fruits of her labor without hurrying or shortcuts, and who has before her “much more future than past”.
The actress received the award from the director of external relations of Cerveza Victoria, Sergio Ragel. In her speech, Baena expressed her great satisfaction for being recognized for her work. “It will be marked forever in my heart. Thanks to La Opinión for the good opinion they have of me”, she said in a speech in which she also had words for the Malaga neighborhood of La Palmilla, who welcomed her with “so much love ”, in the filming of the movie, Malaka.
Finally, the 2019 Sports Award was awarded to Damián Quintero. The Malaga native is ranked second in the world in karate will fulfill his dream of participating in the Olympic Games when he competes in Tokyo 2020.
The athlete picked up the prize that was given to him by the territorial director Costa del Sol of Aedas Homes, José Ignacio Fernández de Jódar. Quintero highlighted “the support and recognition of institutions is very important because we feed on that,” he said. “I also feel encouraged by the press in Malaga, which has always supported me,” he added.
The awards gala represents a tribute from the newspaper to its readers, advertisers, and all the citizens of the province of Malaga and was reflected in the speeches of the institutional leaders during the event.
The mayor of Malaga, Francisco de la Torre, stressed that these awards “are a stimulus for individual achievements and for society as a whole. This province is full of talent.”
The president of the Diputación, Francisco Salado, said that these awards are “one of the main events of Malaga in autumn” and that the winners “are an example to be followed by society.” In addition, he thanked the newspaper for its “serious and rigorous” work.
The newspaper’s director, José Ramón Mendaza, congratulated the winners and talked about the digital transformation of the newspaper and the need today more than ever for journalism professionals who “verify and put their information in context”, in an age where fake news proliferates on the internet.
Finally, the delegate for Public Administration and Interior for the Andalusian Government, Elías Bendodo, affirmed that the government is proud to see local citizens of Malaga being recognized for their achievements and contributions to the region.
The Opinion of Malaga will publish on Thursday, October 31, a full-color supplement of 72 pages with all the information of the gala.