Pittsburgh — Spilman Thomas & Battle, PLLC (Spilman) announced that Stephen D. Yslas, who serves as Senior Advisor to the law firm, recently received the Ohtli Award, the highest honor bestowed by the Mexican Secretariat of Foreign Affairs to individuals or organizations that have worked to empower the Mexican diaspora and helped to open a path for future Mexican-American and Hispanic generations.
"Ohtli" is a Náhuatl word meaning "pathway," alluding to the idea of opening a path for others. Since 1996, it has been administered by the Secretariat and given annually. Recipients receive a medallion, silver rosette, and diploma.
"Steve is so deserving of this honor," said Ron Schuler, Member in Charge of Spilman's Pittsburgh office. "He is deeply committed to community service, and he has worked throughout his lifetime to open doors and help expand available opportunities for Hispanics in the U.S."
Yslas currently serves on the Board of Trustees for the Ahmanson Foundation, which supports the arts, education and health, including social services and health care in the predominantly Hispanic eastern Los Angeles.
He is a member of the Hispanic National, Mexican American, California, and Washington, D.C., bar associations. He is an Honorary Trustee of the Mexican American Bar Foundation and has been honored for community service and professional achievement by the Mexican American Bar Foundation. His other community activities include the following: Martin Luther King Community Hospital Foundation, serving South Los Angeles with its predominant Hispanic population - inaugural Board member; UCLA Chicano Studies Research Center (Chon Noriega, Director), Patron of CSRC; National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO) - former member.
The Los Angeles Legal Aid Foundation also honored Yslas for Distinguished Public Service in 2010. He served on the City of Los Angeles Board of Police Commissioners from 1980 to 1990. He also served as a Trustee of Claremont McKenna College.
In his acceptance speech, Yslas urged more Latino participation in senior positions and on the boards of Fortune 500 companies.
"I hope my community service and career path plays at least a small role in clearing the way for other Hispanics to find their own place and make their own mark in government, non-profits and the business world," Yslas said.
Prior to joining Spilman, Yslas was General Counsel of Northrop Grumman, responsible for all of the company’s legal matters. In previous assignments, he led Northrop Grumman’s legal team on regulatory matters, including those involving the acquisitions of Litton, Newport News and TRW. His responsibilities at the global aerospace company included international transactions, mergers and acquisitions, export control, antitrust, government contracts and other federal regulatory matters. He earned both his bachelor's degree and law degree at UCLA.
About Spilman Thomas & Battle, PLLC
Spilman Thomas & Battle is a full-service, super-regional law firm serving local, regional, national and international businesses. Founded in 1864, Spilman has offices in Harrisburg and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; Charleston, Morgantown and Wheeling, West Virginia; Winston-Salem, North Carolina; and Roanoke, Virginia.