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Charlotte’s Latin American Coalition Wins Xerox Office Makeover


“It’s time to add bold, expressive colors, new technology and design elements that reveal this office’s true spirit!” says Brice Cooper of HGTV’s “Design on a Dime”

CHARLOTTE, N.C., July 19, 2006 -- Every month, the Latin American Coalition lends a hand to nearly 1,000 people in Charlotte. Now, it’s the Coalition’s turn to receive some help.

Judges have selected the organization as Charlotte’s most outdated nonprofit office and winner of Xerox Corporation’s (NYSE: XRX) “Helping Hands” Office Makeover Contest. The prize: a document technology and design refresh worth approximately $15,000.

Putting its own technology and design needs on the back burner to focus on its clients, the Latin American Coalition is often the first point of contact for Latino families in need. The nonprofit helps people find jobs, offers English classes, and provides referrals for medical, housing and financial needs. According to the U.S Census Bureau, the Hispanic community in Mecklenburg County, where Charlotte is located, has grown nearly 1,000 percent since 1990.

As winner of Xerox’s “Helping Hands” Office Makeover Contest, the Coalition will receive an office technology assessment; Xerox Phaser™ color printers; software; and a Xerox WorkCentre™ digital multifunction system, which prints, copies, scans and faxes. It also receives design services from Brice Cooper, host and designer of HGTV’s popular show Design on a Dime, and office furniture from The HON Company.

“Our motto is ’Educate, Advocate and Celebrate,’” says Jess George, associate director, Latin American Coalition. “Our goal is to treat Latino residents with dignity. A vibrant and efficient work space will improve our ability to serve our clients and create a more welcoming and comfortable environment for them.”

“Obsolete equipment, stark white walls and fifth-generation furniture are a far cry from reflecting the community service and cultural celebration that are the heart of the Latin American Coalition,” says Cooper. “It’s time to add some bold, expressive colors, new technology and design elements that reveal this office’s true spirit!”

Struggling with outdated and inefficient document technology has impacted the office’s productivity. The organization’s old analog copier cannot reliably collate or staple documents. Slow and costly inkjet printers leave few options for adding color to fliers to attract attention. Quarterly newsletters cannot be produced in-house. Important paperwork such as client registration forms are stored in old-fashioned filing cabinets making it tough to find and share critical information.

“By implementing the right mix of hardware and software, we’re going to find ways for the Latin American Coalition to work smarter,” says Jeff Bercaw, who manages Xerox sales agencies in the Charlotte area. “The makeover will serve as an example of how small changes in technology and design can result in big boosts in productivity for other nonprofits and small businesses.”

The HON Company will replace the nonprofit’s mismatched furniture with desks, chairs and storage systems designed to make the office more comfortable and efficient.

The Latin American Coalition is Charlotte’s oldest and largest Hispanic-focused agency. In the last six years, the Coalition’s services have increased and diversified, now including a first-time homebuyers program, consumer and labor rights initiatives, and a variety of cultural celebrations.

The makeover will be completed in early August. For more information on Xerox’s “Helping Hands” contest, visit


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