As the Valley’s original sports team, the Phoenix Suns have remained dedicated to the rich history and culture of the Hispanic community.
In 2018, the Suns launched the Los Suns Small Business MVP program, an initiative designed to highlight outstanding Hispanic small business owners and entrepreneurs that fuel our local economy. This week, the team honored Dr. Alicia Ruiz, owner of Central Phoenix Animal Hospital as the 2022 Los Suns Small Business MVP for her constant efforts in giving back to the Valley community.
Ruiz received a $5,000 grant courtesy of FirstBank to assist in supporting her business and will also experience an in-game recognition during the Suns home contest against the Chicago Bulls on March 18, a one-on-one interview with Arturo Ochoa from La Mejor 106.5 and a one-year membership with the Arizona Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.
WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO OPEN YOUR PRACTICE?
Since childhood, I have always wanted to be a veterinarian. I had been working for the practice for five years with the future goal of being my own boss. An opportunity opened up for me to purchase the established practice I was at I took over.
WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE A HISPANIC BUSINESS OWNER IN THE COMMUNITY?
It’s great to be the boss and final decision maker for the practice. It’s important to me to be accessible and available to my community. Being bilingual in both English and Spanish helps me help others in need within the community and that is what I enjoy the most.
HOW HAVE YOU BEEN ABLE TO CONNECT TO THE LOCAL COMMUNITY THROUGH YOUR BUSINESS?
Primarily word of mouth. Several clients of ours refer the practice to friends and family. We’ve conducted interviews with Spanish radio. Most importantly, just being involved in our community. I grew up in the Garfield Historic District and with the practice nearby, it’s provided an opportunity to give back where I grew up.
WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO YOU TO RECEIVE THIS RECOGNITION FROM THE PHOENIX SUNS?
I am very honored. It took a while for it to sink in, I tend to be a humble person – according to my husband at least – I do not toot my own horn much. I feel very proud; I think my parents would be very proud as well. This means a lot.
CENTRAL PHOENIX ANIMAL HOSPITAL
ADDRESS: 25 W Thomas Rd, Phoenix, AZ 85013