La Casa de Esperanza leader wins national award

Anselmo Villarreal, Ph.D., has been selected as the recipient of the 2014 Peter B. Goldberg Aramark Building Community Executive Leadership Award.


The award celebrates excellence in community center leadership. Among more than two dozen applicants from across the country, Villarreal, president and CEO of La Casa de Esperanza, Inc., was chosen for his continued efforts to strengthen families and communities.

His organization, based in Waukesha, primarily serves Hispanic residents and families with programming that addresses workforce development, education, tax assistance and weatherization among other social needs. Villarreal, who has worked for La Casa de Esperanza for 24 years, has helped expand the organization to an $18 million operation serving more than 200,000 annually.

“Our panel of judges was highly impressed with Anselmo’s vision for La Casa and his vision for the role community centers play in building strong neighborhoods,” said Bev Dribin, Aramark vice president of community relations. “Aramark’s mission is to enrich and nourish live every day not only for our customers and clients but also in our communities. This award recognizes the value of inspirational and effective community center leadership.”

The Peter B. Goldberg Aramark Building Community Executive Leadership Award, in its fourth year, is distributed by Aramark, a Philadelphia, Pa.-based company that specializes in food and facilities management services. The award falls under Aramark’s philanthropic and volunteer program known as “Aramark Building Community.”

The award is also presented by Washington D.C.-based nonprofit Alliance for Strong Families and Communities (formerly the Alliance for Children and Families) and is named for the late Peter Goldberg, who was president and CEO of the alliance.

“As a true servant-leader and advocate for those less fortunate, Anselmo Villarreal personifies the qualities of the Peter B. Goldberg Aramark Building Community Executive Leadership award,” said Susan Dreyfus, current president and CEO of the alliance. “I am honored to call Anselmo a longtime friend and the alliance is especially lucky to have him within its network. Anselmo has truly made the Waukesha area a better place by leading with integrity, respect and inspiration, continually moving beyond the status quo.”

Along with the award, Villarreal will receive a $40,000 grant, which he plans to put toward the opening of La Casa de Esperanza’s new charter school next year.

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