September 15, 2000

Recognition Luncheon Held for La Prensa San Diego

By Berenice Cisneros

Much to the surprise of our publisher, Daniel Muñoz, his supposed business luncheon at the Imperial House turned out to be a surprise luncheon sponsored by the local Pacific Bell telephone company and Regional President Dave Nichols with Manny Aguilar, Director of External Affairs.

"Wow, was I surprised! Even my wife kept it a surprise," exclaimed Mr Muñoz.

Publisher Daniel L. Muñoz (center) with Manny Aguilar, Director, External Affairs (left) and Dave Nichols, Regional President, Pacific Bell.

"At the last minute the secret almost became a public notice!" said Phyllis Muñoz Leigh, Vice Principle of Nestor Elementary School, who was in charge of distracting her father all morning and keep the fiction alive of this being a business luncheon. "I almost lost it as I spotted Ruth Jaramillo walking in at the same time as we arrived!" she said.

"The luncheon was a surprise. I made sure everyone was informed not to `spill the frijoles!" stated Mr. Manny Aguilar. "A group of us felt that Mr. Muñoz and La Prensa should be recognized for approaching 25 years of publishing without missing a single deadline. Many folks out there are not aware that La Prensa San Diego saw the light of day as a political newsletter `Tezozomoc Speaks' that was written and produced by then Professor Daniel Muñoz. When it grew to 2,000 copies weekly, Dan decided that it was time to change career paths and go into the newspaper publishing business of which he knew very little about. Now, 25 years later, this is what we are celebrating here today 25 years of consistent service to San Diego," stated Mr. Aguilar.

Daniel H. Muñoz, editor of La Prensa San Diego led off the luncheon with a narrative of the ups and downs in the life of La Prensa and of the hard pressed publisher, who just happens to be his father. Various attendees saying a few words followed suit.

Honoring Daniel Muñoz and La Prensa San Diego, (standing, left to right): Daniel Muñoz, Jr., editor, Horace Estrada, Tom Martinez, Francisco Zavala, Gabriel Muñoz, Publisher Daniel Muñoz, Don Leigh, Bishop Gilbert Chavez, Ernie Reyes, Chairman NAHREP , Josh Mellinger, Director, External Affairs, Pacific Bell, Sheri Thompson, Pacific Bell, Charlie Vasquez, Manny Aguilar, Director, External Affairs, Pacific Bell. (Seated, left to right) Pearl Martinez, Bea Estrada, President LULAC, Lydia Muñoz, Phyllis Muñoz, Barbara Monzon, and Sister Margaret Castro.

Aux. Bishop Gilbert Chavez, who joined Manny Aguilar, David Nichols, Phyllis Muñoz, and Lydia and Dan Muñoz at the head table, blessed the luncheon and took the opportunity to speak of the contributions La Prensa San Diego had made to the Catholic Church, the community, and to society through his coverage and promotion of family values. He also called attention to the large role that Dan had personally taken to assure that San Diego would receive its first Mexican-American Auxiliary Bishop. He noted the editorial support that Mr. Muñoz, through La Prensa, give to the farm workers, the Chicano movement, and to improving the political, social and educational life of the Chicano-Mexican-American-Latino people of the city, county and state.

Joining in the accolades were Irma Alvarez, Professor Southwestern College, Sister Margaret Castro, Ruth Jaramillo, Partner in Triton Productions, Tom and Pearl Martinez, Horace Estrada and Bea Estrada, President of the League of United Latin American Citizens, Ernie Reyes, Chairman of the National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals, Attorney Daniel Marshall, Barbara Monzon, Filipino Community, Charles Vasquez, Public Defenders, Gabriel Muñoz, Sweetwater School District, Francisco Zavala, Tijuana, and Nicole Rogers.

Also attending were Josh Mellinger, Dir. External Affairs, PacBell, Sheri Thompson, PacBell, and Don Leigh with son Justin (proud grandson of the publisher).

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