[Congressional Record (Bound Edition), Volume 147 (2001), Part 14]
[Extensions of Remarks]
[Page 19738]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office, www.gpo.gov]

[[Page 19738]]

                      TRIBUTE TO ANNA MARIA ARIAS


                        HON. GRACE F. NAPOLITANO

                             of california

                    in the house of representatives

                        Friday, October 12, 2001

  Mrs. NAPOLITANO. Mr. Speaker, I rise today with a heavy heart to 
honor the memory of an exceptional woman, Anna Maria Arias. On Monday, 
October 1, 2001, Anna Maria lost a seven-year battle against aplastic 
anemia and passed away from complications related to a bone marrow 
transplant procedure at MD Anderson Medical Center in Houston, TX.
  Anna Maria Arias was born on July 12, 1960 in San Bernardino, 
California. She attended San Diego State University but her passion for 
media and journalism eventually led her to Hawaii Pacific University 
where she received a Bachelor of Arts degree in communications. When 
she was offered a Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute Fellowship to 
Washington, D.C. Anna Maria saw her opportunity. She accepted the CHCI 
fellowship and was assigned to the Washington, D.C. bureau of CNN where 
she became part of the production team at CNN's Crossfire program.
  As the founder and president of Arias Communications, Anna Maria 
enjoyed a varied and accomplished communications career. She worked as 
a radio news anchor, news-writer, and as a media and campaign organizer 
for presidential and local candidates at the Democratic National 
Committee. Anna Maria honed her publishing skills and earned the 
respect of her peers during her five years as managing editor for 
Hispanic Magazine. Her editorial direction and keen insight into the 
issues affecting the Hispanic community were instrumental in making the 
publication one of the most respected media vehicles in the Hispanic 
  In October of 1994, she launched a brand new, long awaited Hispanic 
publication and fittingly named it Latina Style Magazine. To this day, 
the magazine remains the only national publication that is one hundred 
percent Latina-owned. With a circulation of 150,000 and a readership of 
more than 600,000, Latina Style Magazine is the first national magazine 
that covers issues pertinent to the contemporary, professional, 
Hispanic working-woman from a Latina point of view.
  Anna Maria wanted to make Latina Style Magazine not just a medium to 
express Latina society and culture, but also a source of valuable 
information to the Latina professional, business owner, and college 
student to help them succeed in their endeavors. Anna Maria's passion 
and commitment bore fruit when Latina Style Magazine was selected by 
the National Association of Hispanic Publications as the Outstanding 
English or Bilingual Magazine for 1999. During the same year, Anna 
Maria was honored by the Greater Washington Hispanic Chamber of 
Commerce with the 1999 Entrepreneur of the Year Award and by the 
Changing Images in America Foundation with the Entrepreneurship Award,
  Everyone who knew Anna Maria will tell you that from her youth, she 
was one of the most dedicated individuals they had ever met. Once she 
set her sights on something, there was no stopping her. When family and 
ftiends asked why she was choosing to undergo the complicated bone 
marrow surgery, Anna Maria simply said, ``I have to do this, we have 
important work to do and this thing keeps getting in the way.'' That 
was Anna Maria, totally devoted to her work and committed to serving 
  Last Sunday, I attended Anna Maria Arias' memorial mass at the Church 
of Guadalupe and her burial ceremony at Mt. View Cemetery, in San 
Bernardino, CA. Her husband Robert Bard and her mother Rita Valenzuela 
spoke of the tremendous courage and determination of one so young.
  Mr. Speaker, I ask all my colleagues to please join me in honoring 
the life and achievements of a great Latina role model and leader, Anna 
Maria Arias. She has, by example, inspired generations of young Latinas 
to reach for their dreams. Her enthusiasm, her zest of life, her caring 
nature, and love for her family, friends and co-workers will never be 
forgotten. Anna Maria, amiga querida, dios te Ilamo y nos dejoste un 
gran vacio. Adios.