By Leonard Rodriguez

This column highlights inspiring stories of Latino leaders. For more than 500 years, Latino men and women have positively influenced the face of United States society. Let us celebrate these outstanding hispanics.

Bob Vila

After restoring a Victorian house in Massachusetts which was held as the “Heritage House of 1978” by Better Homes and Gardens magazine, Robert Joseph Vila was offered the opportunity to host a 13-part step- by- step home renovation TV series. The premiere of “This Old House” in 1979 was such a success that it was picked up by PBS for National syndication, and Home Improvement guru Bob Vila was born. After hosting the show for 10 years, Vila with Sears Roebuck and Company founded BVTV, Inc to produce “Bob Vila’s Home Again.” He is the host of today’s American Home segment of NBC TVs today and a spokesman from numerous home oriented products. King of the do-it-yourself movement, Villa is the recipient of numerous honors including two Emmy Awards.