By Linda Kor
As Valentine’s Day approaches, Winslow residents will be looking forward to something a little spicier than the traditional Valentine fare. This year, as for the past 15 years, Lorraine Lucero-Gonzales, the Winslow branch manager of Pioneer Title Agency, will be turning her office into “Salsa Central.”
From now until Feb. 12 she and her co-workers, Hanna Gonzales and Kimberly Salazar, will be taking orders for homemade salsa, which is made fresh by Lucero-Gonzales and her family, and ready for pickup on Feb. 14. A pint jar of salsa, along with a bag of chips, will be sold for $8, with the funds to go to a Soroptimist Violet Richardson Award. The $250 award is given each year to a high school girl who has dedicated herself to volunteer work. An additional $250 will go to the charity of the girl’s choice.
“This started with my mother and now my husband is involved. We make it fresh on Feb. 13, and Pioneer Title supports this endeavor by letting us sell it here at the office,” explained Lucero-Gonzales, who added that they deliver around Winslow for those who can’t come to the office. She noted that they would be happy to deliver to Holbrook if a case or more were to be ordered.
The Winslow native has worked for Pioneer Title for the past five years, but has been in the title business for the past 25. In addition to volunteering as vice president of Soroptimist of Winslow, she is also on the board of the Winslow Chamber of Commerce and the finance council for her church, is a member of Catholic Daughters and attends each meeting of the Holbrook Chamber of Commerce. She was recently asked to be on the Little Colorado Medical Center Board of Directors and while she was humbled by the offer, decided it was one board too many. “I just couldn’t see where to fit it in,” she said.
As Lucero-Gonzales talks about her endeavors, it’s obvious that she looks upon them as opportunities, not as work. She talks with excitement about an upcoming Bunco fundraiser that will be held at the Hubbell Trading Post.
“This is another Soroptimist fundraiser, and the funds earned from this endeavor will go toward a $1,000 Women’s Opportunity Award,” she explained. The award is presented to a woman in the community who is the primary financial support for her family to help offset the cost of higher education. “This is a terrific award. It usually goes to a woman who has overcome a lot and strives for success. Last year our recipient went on to receive the regional award for $5,000,” she said.
In the middle of what may seem like an exhaustive schedule of events, Lucero-Gonzales has managed to make time for one more. The Winslow Pioneer Title Agency is the call center for a blood drive that will be held at the Winslow Elks Lodge on March 13.
“Pioneer Title has been very supportive about our efforts and I have wonderful people to work with,” she noted.
Through Lucero-Gonzales, Pioneer Title has also contributed to neighboring communities such as Holbrook. Both Lucero-Gonzales and her co-worker Hannah Gonzales attend the Holbrook Chamber of Commerce meetings on behalf of Pioneer Title each month in order to keep up with local events and lend support such where they can, such as providing water bottles during Wild West Days and other events.
“I’ve been in the title business for 25 years and I really love what I do. It can get stressful and hectic, but I love it and the people in the community are very supportive of us,” stated Lucero-Gonzales. She also offered her thanks to Pioneer Title officials for their support.
According to Alison Bailin Batz, senior account executive of HMA Public Relations, which promotes Pioneer Title Agency, Lucero-Gonzales is a prime example of the company’s philosophy of commitment to service. “Pioneer’s management and staff are empowered to take an active role in the communities where they live and work, and this is no more obvious than with Lorraine.”
For more information on the upcoming events mentioned, contact the Winslow branch of Pioneer Title at (928) 289-2028.
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By Linda Kor