Barragan, 65, was awarded Ecuador's National Order Award of Merit from the country's president, Alfredo Palacio, in a ceremony at the 1-800 Mattress warehouse on 48th Avenue in Long Island City. Luis Gallegos Chiriboga, Ecuador's ambassador to the United States, presented the award to the mattress mogul."This is a very proud moment for me, my family and the employees of 1-800 Mattress," Barragan said. "Despite all the other accolades I have achieved throughout my life, there is nothing more heartwarming than being honored by one's native country."Barragan was born the son of a farmer in Bilovan, Ecuador, but left for Colombia in his early 20s to teach. But in 1969, he moved with his family to the United States and worked at factory jobs in plastics, carpeting and shoe manufacturing. In 1975, he and his family opened a small furniture store in Jamaica, which would later become his $170 million 1-800 Mattress corporatio
©2007 Community News Group
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