One of Kent's most dedicated volunteers and business owners was honored Wednesday by the Washington State Senate in a resolution.
Roberto Gonzalez, a longtime business owner and community leader, was on hand as the Senate recognized him and his family for decades of service to the Kent and South King County community.
"For many years Roberto has left his mark on Kent and continues to generously dedicate himself to create a community we can all be proud of," said Sen. Joe Fain, R-Auburn, who sponsored the resolution and represents part of Kent in the Washington State Senate. "His dedication to the people of Kent has led to great respect from the community as a whole, which speaks to Roberto's character and passion for all of our friends and neighbors."
Gonzalez moved to the Pacific Northwest from Mexico in 1960 at the age of 17. In 1975 he founded and has since operated the Mexico Lindo restaurant, which is celebrating its 40-year anniversary.
"Roberto's selfless and considerable contributions to our community speak louder than any words I could use to describe him," said Sen. Karen Keiser, D-Kent, who also represents Kent in the Senate. "Roberto and his family make Kent and our extended community a better place. We are lucky they chose our city to call home."
Gonzalez previously served on the board of directors for the Kent Chamber of Commerce and Kent Downtown Partnership and is a member of the Kent Rotary Club. He has also been a contributor to many local social service organizations, while volunteering with the Kent School District and serving as a liaison to the Hispanic community for Kent's mayor.
Gonzalez also led the efforts to create the Lucy Lopez Community Center, which opened in 2006. The bilingual center provides a variety of workshops including computer classes, help navigating government, cooking classes as well as access to computers and other education and training materials.
Gonzalez was joined in Olympia by his wife, Araceli, and many friends and family members.