www.ambiente.us    APRIL | ABRIL 2011

Hispanic Business Council members win three of eleven
Stars Over Ocala Awards

OCALA, FL – On February 15, the Ocala/Marion County Chamber of Commerce
(Chamber) hosted its Sixth Annual Stars Over Ocala Business Recognition
awards at the Ocala Civic Theatre. Of 11 awarded, Hispanic Business Council
(HBC) members took three, including the coveted Small Business Person of the
Year to Rolando Sosa, Architecture Studio, Inc. Lila Ivey’s submission for
Hospice of Marion County received the Non-Profit Business of the Year, and HBC
Chair John Sotomayor was named Journalist of the Year.
Rolando Sosa, president/co-founder of Architecture Studio, Inc., est. 1994, has a
vibrant leadership style that has driven his firm to a high level of success within
the community and the state. Sosa not only received the Small Business Person
of the Year, but his firm was also a finalist for Business of the Year. A recently
completed example of his firm’s work includes the Fifth Judicial Circuit’s Marion
County Judicial Center, $40 million, 5-story-150,000 sq. ft.; the largest capital
improvement project in Marion County. His firm is also responsible for the
second largest project, the Marion County Jail Expansion, $31 million-160,000
sq. ft. Other notable projects include Best Home design over 6,000 sq. ft., by
Ocala Home Magazine, summer/fall 2010; the only USGBC gold LEED accredited
building in Marion County; and only the third such library in Florida, the Marion
County Forest Library. The Ocala Star Banner newspaper and both Ocala
Magazine and Ocala Style magazines have recognized many of his projects as
well as his contributions to the community. His community involvement includes:
Chamber/HBC member, past Chamber board member and Business
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Networking International leadership.
Since 1983, Hospice of Marion County has provided care for those in the final
stage of life in the comfort of their own homes, assisted living centers, skilled
nursing facilities or at its four Hospice Houses. Lila Ivey joined Hospice of Marion
County in April 2006 as Director of Community Outreach. Spending almost 20
years as a news producer, anchor and reporter, she won a 1991 Emmy for
breaking news in New England. She also created an ongoing news series called
“Healthline.” Discovering she enjoyed the healthcare industry eventually brought a
shift in careers. Ivey left TV news in 1992 to begin healthcare marketing for Hospice
Care of Rhode Island, Lifespan Health Care System, and Hahnemann University
Hospital in Philadelphia. She came to Florida in 2002 as the Business and
Marketing Director for the Amrit Yoga Institute in Salt Springs. She is the marketing
co-chair for the HBC.
John Sotomayor is serving his second term as Chair of the HBC and has been on
the Chamber’s board of directors since January 2010. He is the president of
Sotomayor Media Creations LLC, an award-winning media company with
newspaper and magazine clients throughout Florida. In March 2011 he became
Associate Editor for Ocala Magazine. Since 2007 he has been recognized with
numerous awards, among them: Florida Magazine Association Silver and Bronze
Charlie for Best Feature and Silver for Best Public Service Coverage (2007); Forty
Under 40 by Ocala Magazine (2008); Florida Press Club Excellence in Journalism,
first place in community news (2009) and consecutive first place community news
(2010) plus 2nd place community news and 2nd place minority news; the Mary Sue
Rich Diversity Award bestowed by the City of Ocala (2010); and his business
Sotomayor Media Creations was named 2009 Minority Business of the Year by the
Chamber. Prior to his media career, he worked as a litigation paralegal for