Gomez named United Way campaign chairman

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Photo courtesy of United Way of West Alabama

By WVUA 23 Digital Reporter Kyle Hamrick

United Way of West Alabama announced today that Jheovanny Gomez, philanthropist and owner of Mexican grilled with jalapenoswill serve as the 2022 campaign chair.

According to a press release, Gomez will be responsible for “(setting) the annual campaign goal, (helping) identify new sources, and (building) relationships with community leaders and corporate donors” to benefit the 26 agencies. UWWA partners in the region.

Jackie Wuska, who is president and CEO of UWWA, described Gomez as “an outstanding example of giving back to our community” who is “always looking for ways to make a difference.”

Originally from Colombia, South America, Gomez immigrated to Tuscaloosa in May 1991 to study English at the University of Alabama’s English Language Institute.

After earning an associate’s degree in business administration from Shelton State Community College, Gomez opened the first Jalapenos Mexican Grill in downtown Tuscaloosa in 2001. He later opened two more locations: one in Northport and another in Tuscaloosa.

Gomez is active in the community, serving on the boards of the Tuscaloosa Education Foundation, Truist Bank, DCH Foundation and many others. He was inducted into the Tuscaloosa Civic Hall of Fame in 2021 and currently serves on the Tuscaloosa County Economic Development Board and the Northport Redevelopment Authority.

His efforts to work with Alabama lawmakers to allow 18-year-old restaurant workers to serve alcohol to customers were vindicated when Governor Kay Ivey signed House Bill 178 earlier this month.

“Jheovanny leads through action,” said UWWA Campaign Director Monique Scott, “and we look forward to having her lead our campaign this year.”

For more information on United Way of West Alabama, visit their website.

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