Gomez named United Way campaign chair

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 Jalapenos Mexican Grill, will serve as 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 UWWA’s 26 partner agencies across the region.

Jackie Wuska, who serves as UWWA President & CEO, described Gomez as “an outstanding example of giving back in our community” who is “always looking for ways he can make a difference.”

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

After completing an associates degree in business administration at Shelton State Community College, Gomez opened the first Jalapenos Mexican Grill in downtown Tuscaloosa in 2001. He would go on to open two other 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 Tuscaloosa’s Civic Hall of Fame in 2021, and currently serves on the Tuscaloosa County Economic Development Board and Northport Redevelopment Authority.

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

“Jheovanny leads by action,” said Monique Scott, UWWA Campaign Director, “and we are looking forward to having him at the helm of our campaign this year.”

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

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