EL PASO, Texas – The Sun Bowl Association announced on Sunday, May 3, that Natalia Flores is the 87th President of the Sun Bowl Association Board of Directors, beginning her term immediately.
Natalia Flores Zesati, a native of El Paso, is the Marketing Manager of FirstLight Federal Credit Union and has worked there for 13 years. She earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Public Relations and Advertising from the University of Texas at El Paso and an MBA from the University of Phoenix.
“It’s an honor to serve as the 2020-2021 Sun Bowl President and look forward to working with Bernie Olivas,” Flores said. “I would like to thank the Sun Bowl staff and Board, our amazing Sponsors and over 700 volunteers, as this organization would not be sustained without them.”
Flores is a high-caliber sales and marketing professional with over 15 years of outstanding marketing, sales, customer service and management experience with many achievements. Through a series of increasingly responsible positions, Flores has eagerly accepted challenges presented with outstanding results.
Sun Bowl Association Executive Director Bernie Olivas mentioned, “Natalia has been with us for many years and understands what this organization truly means to the community. I cannot wait to see what is in store with her leading the way.”
Flores has been very involved with and throughout the community and previous to this had been a member of the El Paso Chamber of Commerce Armed Forces Committee, the VP of Marketing with the Association of the United States Army, and a part of the International Relations Committee of Texas Credit Union League.
“The Sun Bowl Association is such an outstanding organization that helps promote economic development for our Sun City by hosting a myriad of events for our community to enjoy,” Flores said.
Under Flores’ leadership, the FirstLight Federal Credit Union has received several recognitions and awards, such as the Honorable Order of Saint George Medallion (United States Army), the Distinguished Credit Union of the Year in 2006 and 2014 (from the Department of the Army), Corporate Sponsor of the Year 2007 (from the Association of the United States Army-Bradley Chapter), as well as many community awards. Flores was also part of Leadership El Paso, Class XXXII and was awarded the President’s Award at FirstLight Federal Credit Union for her tremendous dedication. She is married to John C. Flores and they have two children, Marco and Diego.
A message from SBA Board President Natalia Flores
EL PASO, Texas – Tony The Tiger teamed up with Sun Bowl Association outgoing board president Stuart Sliva, incoming president Natalia Flores and Executive Director Bernie Olivas to help distribute boxes of cereal at the El Pasoans Fighting Hunger Center on Thursday, April 30 in El Paso, Texas.
Kellogg’s, who sponsors the Tony the Tiger Sun Bowl, donated 25,000 pounds (44 pallets) of cereal to be distributed to those in need. According to the El Pasoans Fighting Hunger organization, approximately 2,000 vehicles drive through each day to pick up food since the COVID-pandemic started.
Sun Bowl Association 2019-20 president Stuart Sliva said, “What a great-humbling day to finish off my year with the Sun Bowl.”
Tony the Tiger was out in the warm weather from 10 a.m.-12 p.m. bringing cheer to, not only those picking up food, but also to those distributing it.
“In all the years of being with the Sun Bowl Association, this has to be one of the most humbling,” Executive Director Bernie Olivas said. “El Paso is everything to me so it is an honor to be out here helping out.”
A photo album of Tony The Tiger distributing food will be available on the Sun Bowl Association Facebook (
TonyTheTigerSunBowl), as well as some photos on Instagram (tonythetigersunbowl).
For more information on the Sun Bowl Association and the Tony the Tiger Sun Bowl go to www.sunbowl.org.
EL PASO, Texas – Tony The Tiger and the Sun Bowl Association are looking to make some friends on the Borderland! The Sun Bowl Association is open to any events you would like to schedule but prefers to put smiles on kids’ faces.
“We want to get Tony the Tiger out in the community to help bring smiles on faces and to help make the events a bit more enjoyable,” said Sun Bowl Association Executive Director Bernie Olivas. “He has already made appearances at local hospitals and even joined Spike the Rhino during an El Paso Rhinos game.”
“The Sun Bowl staff will take all applications into consideration,” Olivas said. “But we cannot guarantee that Tony the Tiger will be available for all events.”
If you want to see where Tony The Tiger has visited recently, or if you want photo examples of what he can do at your event, follow The Sun Bowl Association on Facebook (
TonyTheTigerSunBowl), Twitter (TonyTheTiger_SB), and Instagram (@tonythetigersunbowl).
Tony The Tiger can be booked for your events at www.sunbowl.org.
By Monika Chavez-Valtierra-On behalf of the Sun Bowl Association
EL PASO, Texas – The Sun Bowl Association is now accepting applications for the 2020-21
Sun Court. Applications are available online at sunbowl.org and the deadline to apply is Wednesday, June 3, 2020 by 3 p.m. (MT). All interviews will be held on Saturday, July 11 beginning at 9 a.m.
The El Paso area will be represented by the city’s young women to serve as community ambassadors during all Sun Bowl events including the Sun Bowl Parade on Thanksgiving morning and the Tony the Tiger football game on December 31, 2020.
“Each year the quality of contestants that apply to be a part of the Sun Bowl Sun Court rises,” Executive Director Bernie Olivas said. “We are proud to have such amazing, talented and hard-working ambassadors to help showcase all our events and the City of El Paso. We are excited to start the process of looking for this year’s Sun Court and hope to receive many applicants.”
The Sun Court dates back to 1935 when organizers planned the event as a companion to the first Sun Bowl game. This is a great time for young women to promote their city and to volunteer as community ambassadors. Contestants are selected based on poise, appearance, personality, communication and interpersonal skills, and the ability to demonstrate knowledge of El Paso. Participants must be full-time students at a college or university and in good academic standing.
For questions, please contact the Sun Bowl Association Office at (915) 533-4416 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Eligibility and Rules:
All Sun Princess Applicants must fit criteria in order to be eligible.
•A female between the ages of 18-22 (as of Sept. 1) and have completed one year of college
•Have not been married and have not had any children
•Must be enrolled as a full-time student taking a minimum of 12 academic hours or full time in a graduate program
•A cumulative grade point average of at least a 2.5 on a 4.0 scale (Transcript must be included with application)
•Sun Princesses may not hold any other title during the time they are members of the Sun Court (i.e. Miss El Paso, Miss Texas, etc…)
•Responsible for their own transportation costs to attend mandatory events
Application/Submission Process: Official application, an official transcript, a professional resume, a color head shot no larger than 5×7, and an essay (500 words or less) telling us about yourself; include school activities and awards, community involvement, employment and why you want to be a Sun Princess.
EL PASO, Texas – An opportunistic Arizona State defense made play after play and held on to edge Florida State 20-14 Tuesday afternoon, closing out the final day of 2019 with the victory in the 86th Annual Tony the Tiger Sun Bowl.
Arizona State freshman defensive back Willie Harts struck like a lightning bolt in the final quarter, picking off a James Blackman pass and darting 25 yards untouched into the end zone for the game breaker, giving the Sun Devils their 20-14 final margin with 10:06 left.
Arizona State finished the season 8-5 with Tuesday’s win. Florida State closed out 2019 at 6-7.
A crowd of 42,412 turned out on a sun-swept 50 degree day for this old bowl bash.
The Sun Devils gifted freshman quarterback Jayden Daniels won the C.M. Hendricks Most Valuable Player trophy, completing 12-of-28 passes for 195 yards. The swarming Florida State defensive line hounded Daniels all afternoon, sacking him three times and giving him little time to throw and even less room to operate. Still, Daniels maintained his composure, completed key passes, ran for 36 yards and did not turn the ball over.
Seminole defensive lineman Robert Cooper was awarded the Jimmy Rogers Jr. Most Valuable Lineman Award and Arizona State’s Cristian Zendejas won the John Folmer Most Valuable Special Teams award by kicking four field goals – tying the Sun Bowl record shared by Paul Rogers of Nebraska in 1969, Drew Dunning of Washington State in 2001 and Conrad Ukropina of Stanford in 2016.
“You have to give credit to both defenses, I thought they both played really good and when you play in a game like that it becomes a defensive game. There were a couple scores but for the most part it was made by both defenses not allowing a lot of big plays,” said Arizona State head coach Herm Edwards. “I can’t say enough about our kicker and our defense, when you get 6 turnovers you should probably win a game. With that being said these guys (Florida State) kept fighting back, I give them a lot of credit. I’m happy for our seniors.”
The first half was defense, defense and a little more defense. Defense and Zendejas field goals. Arizona State led 3-0 after the first quarter off a 40-yard Zendejas kick. The Sun Devils led 9-0 at the half – thanks to a 26-yard Zendejas boot and a 24-yard Zendejas kick.
Florida State came roaring back in the second half. The Seminoles finally got on the scoreboard thanks to a three-yard run by Ontaria Wilson and a Ricky Aguayo extra point, narrowing the Arizona State lead to 12-7 with 3:17 left in the third quarter.
Florida State then dialed long distance to take the lead. Blackmon hit Tamorrion Terry streaking down the right sideline for a bowl record 91-yard touchdown pass with 1:04 remaining in the third quarter, giving the Seminoles a 14-9 edge.
The throw and catch and run broke the previous Tony the Tiger Sun Bowl record of 80-yards for longest pass play, a mark set by Purdue’s Kyle Orton, who connected with Brian Hare against Arizona State in 2004.
But the young Sun Devil defense would not yield again.
Zendejas connected on his fourth field goal, a 34-yarder with 12:02 left in the game to cut the Seminole lead to 14-12.
And then came the Harts lightning bolt. Harts read the play perfectly, darting in front of the receiver and then dashing to the end zone with what would ultimately be the game winner.
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