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Hispanic Business Leaders Give Estrella Award to Anil Puri, CSUF Economist and Former Mihaylo Dean

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Anil Puri, director of the James and Jeanette Woods Center for Economic Analysis and Forecasting, received the Estrella Award for Lifetime Achievement, Saturday, April 21, from the Orange County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.

Another Titan, Rosalina Davis, and her husband, Raul, received the Estrella Award for Business of the Year, for their Placentia restaurant — Tlaquepaque.

The awards were presented at the black-tie Estrella Awards fundraising event in Anaheim. The annual awards recognize the outstanding contributions in business, community and education, and the nominees all have a significant connection or membership in the Orange County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, said Reuben Franco, president and CEO of the group.

Puri has been a board member with the chamber for more than seven years and was recognized for his steadfast dedication to education, Franco said.

At CSUF, Puri was appointed interim provost and vice president for academic affairs July 2016 through December 2017 after serving as dean of the Mihaylo College of Business and Economics since April 1999. As dean, he led the six-year, $50 million capital campaign that helped fund construction of Mihaylo Hall and resulted in the naming of the college and the addition of several endowments.

“His significant work as the dean of the Mihaylo College of Business and Economics, the $50 million raised to build Mihaylo Hall and the impact that Dr. Puri has had in our community are the main reasons for him being recognized,” Franco said.

Puri also was instrumental in creating a partnership between Cal State Fullerton in Irvine and the OCHCC, he added. “It is a game-changer for the OCHCC, Mihaylo’s Small Business Development Center and the Orange County business community.”

“It is a great honor to receive this award from OCHCC,” said Puri. “The relationship between Cal State Fullerton and the chamber has been historic and enduring, and I am proud to have contributed to it over the years,” he said.

“The work that the chamber and Mihaylo College do to support the small and entrepreneurial businesses greatly strengthens the Orange County economy. A public university such as Cal State Fullerton has a special obligation to support its community, and I feel fortunate to have had the opportunity to be a part of that effort.”

Rosalina and Raul Davis are longtime members of the Orange County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, said Franco.

The couple co-founded CSUF’s Hispanic Scholarship Golf Tournament in 1987, he said. The tournament has raised more than $1 million in scholarships for the Abrego Future Scholars Program, which provides financial and academic support, including mentoring, advising and leadership opportunities for disadvantaged, first-time freshmen and transfer students at Cal State Fullerton.

“The Davises are representative of everything we look for in our Business of the Year: a great business run by community leaders,” Franco said.