Rowland Unified School District

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Nogales High School Wall of Fame Inductees - Ceremony June 9


LA PUENTE, CA – JUNE 8, 2011Nogales High School will be hosting their Alumni Wall of Fame Induction Luncheon on Thursday, June 9, at 12:45 p.m. in the Mack Pace Pavilion (Gym). The 2011 inductees are: Susana Gonzalez (Class of 1983), Physician/Obstetrics and Gynecology; William Jones (Class of 1969), Campus Peace Officer for the Rowland Unified School District; Fernando Perez (Class of 1983), real estate/finance expert and radio/TV personality; Tom Soto (Class of 1981), founder and managing partner of Craton Equity Partners; and Lorenzo Vazquez (Class of 1987), physician and decorated battalion surgeon for Operation Iraqi Freedom. The Nogales High School Wall of Fame honors the outstanding success of former students. This year, inductee Tom Soto, who was named by Hispanic Business Magazine as one of 2010's, “One Hundred Most Influential Hispanics in the United States,” will be the featured guest speaker at this year’s graduation ceremony later that day at 5 p.m.

Tom Soto (Class of 1981)Founding, Managing Partner of Craton Equity Partners

Tom Soto graduated from Nogales in 1981 and received his “Masters” in life at Todd Shipyards in San Pedro. After being laid-off at the shipyard, Soto enrolled at Cal Poly where he studied political science and then transferred to UCLA where he graduated in 1987. He became the Political Director for Campaign California under the leadership of 60’s anti war activists Assemblyman Tom Hayden and his then wife, actress and business leader Jane Fonda. He became an environmental justice activist fighting for clean air programs throughout the state and the country, and he organized conferences supporting the need for more communities of color to be involved in the environmental movement. He was appointed by President Clinton to be a commissioner on the Border Environmental Cooperation Commission and advised President Clinton and Vice President Al Gore on economic and environmental matters throughout their two terms. Soto served as advisor to Mayor Tom Bradley of the city of Los Angeles and was a dual appointee of Governor Gray Davis as Vice Chair of the Board of Corrections and on the State Coastal Commission. He remains an outside advisor to the Obama administration on green jobs and clean technology programs and was asked in December 2009 to be the Clean Technology Voice at the White House Summit on jobs that the President hosted and participated in. Hispanic Business Magazine selected him as one of 2010’s, One Hundred Most Influential Hispanics in the United States.

 Officer William Thomas Jones II (Class of 1969) Campus Peace Officer – Rowland Unified School District

 William “Bill” Jones attended La Seda Elementary, Alvarado Intermediate School and Giano Intermediate School, then graduated from Nogales High School in 1969. After graduation he worked as a movie theatre projectionist then enrolled in college studying aircraft engineering. After college he started a small contracting company fixing up houses for realtors. His next endeavor was as a loss prevention manager where he discovered a knack for catching thieves in retail stores.

In 1986, Rowland Unified District created an independent district patrol and he joined the force at its inception. For the past 25 years, Officer Jones has worked in the community to prevent violence, intimidation, assaults, drugs, arson, rape, stolen vehicles, and has worked with both the Industry and Walnut Sheriff Stations and with the West Covina Gang Unit. For the past several years he has helped prevent drinking and driving through his active support and participation in the “Every 15 Minutes” program at both Rowland and Nogales High Schools.

Fernando A. Perez (Class of 1983) President and CEO of Best Funding Mortgage Loans, Inc.

Perez graduated from Nogales in 1983 and then attended California Polytechnic University in Pomona graduating with a BS in Aerospace Engineering with a Minor in Finance, Real Estate, and Law in 1989.

In addition to being President and CEO of Best Funding Mortgage Loans, Inc., he serves as Vice President of Public Relations for the National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals (NAHREP). He is also a frequent guest and commentator on Univision, Telemundo, ABC, and CBS Radio programs as a Real Estate Finance Expert and has been recognized by CBS Radio as “The Most Recognized On-Air Personality/Advertiser” in Southern California and Phoenix, Arizona. He has a recent history in advising local and national political figures in the areas of Affordable Housing and Urban In-Fill Development. He is currently Co-Manager of a $450 Million Distressed Commercial Real Estate Acquisition Firm comprised of Pension and Endowment Funds.

Susana G. Gonzalez, M.D., F.A.C.O.G. (Class of 1983) Obsetrician and Gynecologist

As a student at Nogales, Gonzalez, served as Junior Class secretary, ASB Vice President, and was the Girls State representative. She graduated in 1983 and attended Mt. St. Mary’s College. As a student at St. Mary’s, she received St. Catherine’s Medal for Service and Leadership and was inducted into Kappa Phi Honor sorority for service. She graduated in 1987 Magna Cum Laude with a B.S. in Biology and a B.A. in Chemistry.

She attended the USC school of Medicine (now known as Keck School of Medicine) on a full tuition scholarship based on her academic achievements and service to the community. Gonzalez was inducted into the Alpha Omega Alpha medical honor society.

Dr. Gonzalez completed her internship and residency at L.A. County/USC Women’s and Children’s Hospital. Following that she became an assistant professor in Obstetrics/Gynecology and Family Medicine at the USC school of Medicine, where she published multiple articles in the field of benign breast disease and preventative health.

In 2004, Dr. Gonzalez moved to Napa and joined Napa Valley Women’s Healthcare. She pioneered robotics for a minimally invasive surgery program in gynecology. She currently practices medicine in obstetrics and gynecology.

 Lorenzo Vazquez, M.D. (Class of 1987) Medical Doctor

Lorenzo emigrated from Mexico to the United States in 1976. Less than three years later his father passed away and Lorenzo was raised by his mother in the City of La Puente. Vazquez attended Rorimer Elementary, Rincon Intermediate School, and Nogales High School. He discovered a love for chemistry at the Home of the Nobles. His former chemistry teacher Mr. Chavez (who is retiring this year), taught him that “chemistry is beautiful” and instilled in him a passion for science.

With aspirations to become a Medical Doctor, Vazquez completed his undergraduate work at Cal Poly, Pomona and then graduated from Medical School at the University of Southern California in 1998. He completed his residency in family medicine at Kaiser Permanente, Riverside in 2001.

In 2002, Dr. Vazquez opened his first clinic on the corner of Nogales and Amar in the City of West Covina incorporating as Nogales Medical Clinic. Currently, he is the owner and Chief Medical Director of three clinics, one in Moreno Valley and two in the City of La Puente. He is a much loved provider and a highly appreciated physician in the area.

Inspired by his love of the United States, the land of opportunity where all men are given the right to pursue happiness and follow their dreams and “Be all that you can be,” he became a Major in the Medical Corps of the United States Army Reserves. He proudly served his country as a Battalion Surgeon in Baghdad, Iraq in 2006 as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom. He has earned many awards such as the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Iraq Campaign Medal, Armed Forces Reserve medal W/M Device, and the Army Service Ribbon.


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