Thursday, January 11th, 2018


The Morris County Board of Freeholders last night honored the Morris County Hispanic-American Chamber of Commerce (MCHACC) for three-decades of leadership and excellence, and recognized several individuals for outstanding business achievements.

Freeholders Honor Morris County Hispanic-American Business Leaders

Attached is a photo of the event. Caption: (l/r) Gilbert Carpeta, Freeholder Deborah Smith, Dr. Suhaib Nashi, Freeholder Director Doug Cabana, Esperanza Porras-Field, Hope Field, Cesar Lasso, Freeholder John Cesaro, Victor Gallardo, Freeholder Tom Mastrangelo, John Edwards Escobar, and Freeholder Christine Myers. (Ponciano and Lorenzo could not attend. Gallardo, a police officer from Morris Township and director of MCHACC’s work-force development team, stood in for Hector Lorenzo).

The Freeholders welcomed Chamber Executive Director Hope Field, founding member Esperanza Porras-Field, and other leaders of the organization to the county government meeting in Morristown for the special event.

“For almost 30 years, the Hispanic-American Chamber of Commerce has been the leading advocate for Hispanic-owned businesses in Morris County,’’ said Freeholder Director Doug Cabana. “As we all know, small business is the backbone of each community in our county, state and nation, so the work done by Hope and her team has greatly benefitted our entire county,’’ Freeholder Cabana said.

Those honored by the Freeholders, and receiving county resolutions, were:

  • Norma Ponciano, owner of Taquitos y Mas in Morristown, and the MCHACC Business Woman of the Year;
  • Cesar Lasso, owner of CJ Lasso, LLC in Morris Plains, and the MCHACC Business Man of the Year;
  • Gilbert Carpeta, owner of High End Barbershop in Morristown, who recently received the MCHACC New Business of the Year award;
  • Suhaib Nashi and AdvoCare Morristown Pediatrics, which recently received the MCHACC Excellent Years of Service Award;
  • Hector Lorenzo of Victory Gardens, a CPA and account for the Chamber, and the MCHACC Volunteer of the Year;
  • John Escobar Edwards, of Long Valley, who is the Chamber’s publicist and MCHACC Board Member of the Year.

The Hispanic-American Chamber of Commerce has more than 350 members who benefit from a wide range of programs offered by the group, from seminars to business training and business incubation.

The Chamber holds more than 20 annual events that range from seminars, training, business incubation, and procurement opportunities, to business card exchanges, networking events and social/fundraising events.

Two of its three founding members remain active; they are former Chamber Presidents Esperanza Porras-Field and John Sanchez. Neyla Porras de Moreno, the third founding member, moved away from Morris County, but still remains active in another Hispanic Chamber.

For more information on the Morris County Hispanic-American Chamber of Commerce, visit:

Freeholders Honor Morris County Hispanic-American Business Leaders

(L/R) Victor Gallardo, Dr. Suhaib Nashi, Esperanza Porras-Field, Gilbert Carpeta, Hope Field, Cesar Lasso, and John Edwards Escobar

Here is a snapshot of each Freeholder Board honoree:

MCHACC Business Woman of the Year, Norma Ponciano, Taquitos y Mas (Morristown)

A Guatemalan native, Norma started her first homegrown business venture as a candy maker and sold her candy to her classmates in Guatemala.

She learned about running a business under the tutelage of her grandparents, who were business owners in Guatemala.

Norma arrived in the U.S. in her early 20’s, and through hard work she opened her own business, and over the years she has successfully built, owned and sold several businesses including restaurants, delis, and a catering service.

Norma exemplifies the ideals of the Morris County Hispanic-American Chamber of Commerce. She truly has made a positive impact on our county.

MCHACC Business Man of the Year, Cesar Lasso, CJ Lasso, LLC (Morris Plains)

A Colombian native, Cesar founded a cosmetics business in 1992 that delivered beauty and fragrance products to companies across the world.

In 2012, he founded CL Lasso LLC to fulfill his dream of creating his own fragrance and beauty products.

Cesar has focused on developing exceptional, high-quality products for his customers and has set the highest standards when it comes to service, reliability, safety, and cost-containment for his distribution network.

He has become a leading distributor in the United States for designer-branded and over-the-counter cosmetics, and toiletries, and cosmetic accessories from his global headquarters in Morris Plains.

Cesar exemplifies the ideals of the Morris County Hispanic-American Chamber of Commerce to advocate, promote and advance the interests of business owners, professionals, and organizations within Morris County, and has made positive on our county.

 MCHACC New Business of the Year, High End Barbershop – Gilbert Carpeta, Owner (Morristown)

A Colombian native, Gibert’s vision for High End Barbershop was to recreate a barbershop from past generations, to offer clean-cut styles from the 50s and 60s, and to offer more than simply just a haircut — but an experience for his customers.

He lamented the loss of traditional barber art forms, and has restored those traditions for his customers, who can expect a sanctuary for men, and a place where they can find an old-school barbershop experience – just a few doors off the Morristown Green.

High End Barbershop customers get hot lather shaves; brow, ear, and nose trimming; scalp massages, shampoo and conditioning; and “High End’’ grooming services.

Gilbert obviously exemplifies the ideals of the Morris County Hispanic-American Chamber of Commerce and has truly made a positive impact upon Morris County – just ask his satisfied customers!

MCHACC Excellent Years of Service Award, AdvoCare Morristown Pediatrics, Dr. Suhaib Nashi (Morristown)

Advocare Pediatric was founded in 1972 by Dr. Martin Cohen, with an emphasis on unparalleled customer service and satisfaction.

It has long been a good friend to the county’s Hispanic community, working to ensure the best health care available is provided to babies, children and teens.

With a focus on the latest clinical and technological advancements, the practice offers patients a wide variety of medical services, including preventive medicine, and treats acute and chronic illnesses, disabilities, developmental and behavioral disorders, adolescent concerns, and other medical issues concerning parents.

Advocare’s staff includes Drs. Martin Cohen, Meera Gupta, Karolina Janasek, Lauren Martin, Suhaib Nashi, Gwyn Poblete, and Tamara McCluskey.

MCHACC Volunteer of the Year, Hector Lorenzo, CPA (Victory Gardens)

Hector Lorenzo, a native of Ecuador and a resident of Victory Gardens, has a certified public accounting business at five New Jersey locations, including Dover.

He has volunteered his professional expertise to ensure that all aspects of the Hispanic-American Chamber of Commerce’s finances are in full compliance with all laws, and has volunteered his services to all members of the organization.

He has participated in the Chamber’s national-level events, and is known throughout the organization for his integrity and attention to detail

MCHACC Board Member of the Year, John Edwards Escobar, Director of Public Relations (Long Valley)

John Edwards Escobar, a native of Colombia and a resident of Long Valley, is Director of Public Relations for the Hispanic-American Chamber, and for the past two years has helped spread the organization’s message about its goals and objectives.

He is a proponent of productive networking who has been successful in bringing in new members and then helping them develop and grow their businesses in Morris County.

Both men exemplify the ideals of the Morris County Hispanic-American Chamber of Commerce.