ATLANTA, May 14, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- As the number of Hispanic professionals and community leaders continue to grow, it is fitting that the annual Hispanic Achievement & Business Leadership Awards (HABLA) luncheon, which is presented by Verizon and produced by Lanza Group, LLC, is also expanding. Charlotte, NC and Orlando, FL were added in 2012, this year; Houston has been designated as the latest addition to the HABLA Awards. The 2013 HABLA Awards, the leading Hispanic business to business (B2B) event in Atlanta, Charlotte, Houston and Orlando will recognize the accomplishments of Hispanics as nominated by the community at large in the following four categories: corporate executive, civic-government, entrepreneur, and unsung hero. In addition to recognizing Hispanic professionals and community leaders, the luncheon is an opportunity for budding Hispanic students to be acknowledged for their contributions as they evolve into tomorrow's leaders. Verizon, the presenting sponsor for the four-city HABLA tour, has established four (4) $5,000 scholarships for Hispanic students, one for each of the markets. Scholarships in each market will be awarded to a deserving student who is either 1) a rising high school senior (class of 2014) entering college in the fall of 2014 or 2) a college freshman commencing studies in the fall of 2013. Since the inception of HABLA Atlanta in 2008, Verizon has been an unwavering corporate supporter. "We are thrilled to expand HABLA beyond Orlando, Charlotte, and Atlanta under the Verizon Latino Business Series to include the Houston market," states Leroy Williams, Area VP of Marketing and Sales. "As a compliment to Verizon's sincere commitment to the growth and success of small and medium sized businesses within the Hispanic community, we are proud to expand our reach by recognizing the exemplary efforts of deserving community leaders and a deserving student in Houston." Ralph E. Herrera, Founder & President of Lanza Group, adds, "When we launched HABLA Awards over five years ago as an Atlanta focused Hispanic Heritage Month event we had no idea that it would grow to a four city event. We now have the opportunity to showcase all the positives of the Hispanic community in four terrific cities across the country! Verizon continues to deliver on its promise of supporting the Hispanic business and civic communities and with the addition of the Houston event; Verizon continues to set the example of a true corporate leader." With the tremendous Hispanic growth in these four cities, HABLA offers the opportunity to highlight the amazing feats that are occurring in each city. "The time is right to recognize the growing Hispanic business leaders and encourage new ones," added Herrera, "and to highlight the importance of continuing education."