Arizona Chamber to honor Tommy Espinoza with Heritage Award

Longtime Arizona community and business leader Tommy Espinoza, will be awarded the Arizona Chamber of Commerce & Industry’s Heritage Award at a special event next week. 

Espinoza will join the likes of Barry Goldwater, Sandra Day O’Connor, and John McCain in receiving the Heritage Award, the Chamber’s highest honor. Since 1991, the Arizona Chamber each year has recognized distinguished individuals in Arizona who have served as leaders in business, politics, the arts, athletics and civil society.

A Phoenix native Espinoza has committed his professional life to supporting Latino families and individuals through educational opportunities and the advancement of community and business development. He currently serves as the president and CEO of Espinoza Community Development LLC, a corporation devoted to private community development.

Espinoza served as president and CEO of Raza Development Fund (RDF), which he co-founded. For the past two decades, RDF has held the distinction of being the largest Latino Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) in the United States, managing assets totaling half a billion dollars. 

“The Chamber is proud to recognize Tommy Espinoza with our highest honor, the Heritage Award. From neighborhood projects to developments of national significance, few can match Tommy’s contributions not only to the business community but to the entire fabric of Arizona,” Arizona Chamber President and CEO Danny Seiden said. “This will be a great event for a great Arizonan.” 

In 1998, Espinoza introduced an innovative faith-based approach to community development by establishing the Partnership of Hope (POH) and the Hope Fund, which later became RDF. Under his guidance, RDF has extended financial support to Latino-focused organizations across the country. These organizations have not only received financial aid and technical guidance but have also facilitated the mobilization of more than $5 billion in private capital. This capital has been directed towards projects in education, affordable housing, and healthcare, all aimed at benefiting low-income families and individuals.

Espinoza is a board member for Glacier Bancorp, Foothills Bank, the Catholic University of America, Greater Phoenix Leadership, Arizona State University, the Catholic Association of Latino Leaders (CALL), the National Catholic Education Association, and then San Juan Diego Institute.

The list of accolades for Espinoza is a long one, having been recognized by dozens of organizations with distinguished honors including the Arizona Hispanic Chamber of Commerce’s Legacy Award, the Arizona Asian Chamber of Commerce’s Lifetime Achievement Award, Valley Leadership’s Man of the Year Award, and many more. The nation got to meet Espinoza when he eulogized Sen. John McCain at McCain’s 2018 funeral. 

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