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Filipina leadership summit issue | AUGUST 2012 F I L I P I N A





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9th Annual Filipina Summit San Francisco
100 Most Influential Filipina American Women in the U.S.


Marily Mondejar

Seven Seven Corporate Group Congratulates the 100 Most Influential Filipina Women

he culmination of our annual nationwide search for the 100 Most Influential Filipina American Women in the United States, which focuses on expanding our pipeline of qualified leaders, has finally arrived.


M e s s a g e f r o m T H E P RES I D E N T
Since the launching of the Pinay Power 2012 campaign in 2006 with The Five Action Projects—Capacity Building, Support Systems, Infrastructure, Forums and Panels, and Shape the Filipina Image—we have embarked on a journey that has resulted in recognizable changes in our Filipina community. We have made our presence known and have garnered awareness of our ability to make a positive contribution towards the future of America. Although this is the Filipina Women’s Network’s final year in conducting the search for the 100 Most Influential Filipina American Women in the United States, I believe we have accomplished our six year goal and we are now ready to extend to our Pinay sisters around the globe. With our goal to commemorate, empower, and advance Filipina women in the U.S. workplace, we will continue to take giant steps. The energy and strength that collects at our Filipina Leadership Summits does not merely stay within the circle of the summits, but spreads out to the world that surrounds us. I believe that through the amplified awareness of Filipina women’s capabilities we have proven that we have

HERMANA MAYOR AsianWeek Foundation

Marily Mondejar

NINANG Ramar Foods International Southwest Airlines KABABAYAN AT&T Hana Zen TFC Wells Fargo KASAMA SPONSORS AAA Insurance Academy of Art University All Natural Calamansi Chevron Corporation Filipino American Arts Exposition Genevive Wines Mama Sita Mariluz Design ADVERTISERS 77 Software Inc. AT&T California Group Chevron Corporation Hana Zen Haw’n Rock Products Josie Jones Matson Moylan’s Insurance Ramar Foods International Southwest Airlines Wells Fargo

President, Filipina Women’s Network the skill and stamina to excel as a minority, and I would like to congratulate all the 100 Most Influential Filipina Women in the U.S. finalists from 2007, 2009, 2011, and 2012 on showing that the power of the Pinay will continue to gain momentum and is here to stay. The time has come for Filipina women to embrace who we are, and we are global women.



any likened the Filipina Women’s Network to Time Magazine in its nationwide search, as if obsessed with finding the Person of the Year or the 100 Most Influential People in America. Wouldn’t you know, FWN did it better! It created a master quilt of Filipinas – the Founders and Pioneers, the Innovators and Thought Leaders, the Policymakers and Visionaries, the Builders and Emerging Leaders, the Behind-the-Scene Leaders, the Revolutionary Nicoles, the Filipinas Who Could Be President, the Artists, the Entrepreneurs, the Healers, the Glass Ceiling Breakers –

the Remarkables. These Filipinas all agree that the future is about the power of the Filipina legacy here in America, hence FWN Future Search-themed gatherings that looked back to honor the past 100 years of Filipino achievements and channeling the outstanding contributions of Filipinas, including personal stories of transformation, decolonization and perseverance, to inspire the next generation of Filipina leaders. No stronger resolve than to mark Pinay Power in 2012; no better investment on the future than to launch the young protegés who’ve been gifted with the influence of the unique breed that is

of Pinay genes and genius. Proudly we gather again to listen to and to honor the contemporary collective voices and to move passion and life dreams into a strong and empowered presence right here in America, supersized with hundreds of Pinay protegés. On this occasion we will also advance, along with the company of mothers, daughters, sisters, aunties, amigas, empowered Filipinas in the global community, our penchant for taking bold steps. Fasten your seatbelt for the next Pinay global journey! FWN believes that it will be a remarkable legacy for accomplished and influential Filipinas, with their

MARILY MONDEJAR Publi sher A l S . P ere z Art Director M ari q u i t Pala b ya b R e b e c c a Cor t e z a FWN Fellows

Chair, FWN Board
leadership skills and tending instincts, to mentor another Filipina. Beyond this future planning strategy is the awakening of an untapped force that will lead to the rise of Pinay Power in any milieu, indelibly marking the Filipina’s place in herstory.

FWN Board
Al Perez Bambi Lorica md Elena Mangahas Maria Beebe phd Marily Mondejar Maya Ong Escudero Col. Shirley Raguindin Sonia Delen Susie Quesada


FILIPINA WOMEN AGAINST VIOLENCE Campaign to end violence against Filipina women and girls in collaboration with Eve Ensler’s V-Day organization. All-Filipina women benefit production of “The Vagina Monolgues” (TVM) performed in English and Filipino (“Usaping Puki”). Presented in March annually in celebration of Women’s History Month. Recent benefit productions held in San Francisco, New York and Washington, DC. V-Diaries: Anti-Violence Resource Guide Annual publication designed to provide a voice for domestic violence survivors and Filipina women and girls in abusive situations including a resource list of domestic violence agencies, shelters, legal and counseling services and law enforcement offices. Publication date: Annually in March. Filipina Women Who Could Be President Emerging Leaders program for Filipina women. Building the Filipina community’s pipeline of qualified leaders, to increase the odds that some will rise to the position of president in all sectors. Sponsor a “presidential candidate.”

Mission Statement Established in 2001, FWN’s mission is to enhance public perceptions of Filipina women’s capacities to lead, change biases against Filipina women’s leadership abilities and build the Filipina community’s pipeline of qualified leaders, to increase the odds that some will rise to the President position in all sectors. FWN achieves its mission through public education forums that heighten Filipina women’s visibility, research on Filipina women’s issues, leadership, skill building and career development programs for Filipina women, and influencing popular culture.

FILIPINA SALO SALO In collaboration with highly acclaimed restaurants and food organizations who serve authentic Filipino and Filipino-inspired dishes, the Filipina Women’s Network (FWN) cordially invite you to embark on a year-round culinary adventure celebrating the many flavorful and exotic ingredients, cultural and regional influences, cooking and dining traditions of Philippine cuisine. In 2009, each restaurant highlighted its unique recipe of the “adobo” dish. PINAY SPEED FEMTORING Developing the next generation of leaders.

How to reach the Filipina Women’s Network: P. O. Box 192143, San Francisco, CA 94119 | Phone: 415. 935. 4FWN | Fax: 415. 839. 6741 | | Twitter@filipinawomen

Summit Steering Committee Al Perez Bennie Lou Quevedo Blesilda Ocampo Edcelyn Pujol Elena Mangahas Gloria T. Caoile Marily Mondejar Sonia Delen Susie Quesada Filipina Summit Scholarship Grants Constance Santos JoAnn Fields Kamry Fields Mutya San Agustin Paulita Malay Victoria Lagula 100 Femtees Volunteers Anastazja Ragasa Bob Manalo Cori Kaylor Elaine Sung Elena Mangahas Franklin Ricarte Genevieve Dwyer Ian Panaszewicz Jennifer Manglicmot Ken Marquis Lani Ruiz Mariluz Santos Panaszewicz Ragasa Norman Ragasa PJ Quesada Ray Abad City of San Francisco Elsie McAteer Florence Corteza Hydra Mendoza PHILIPPINE CONSULATE GENERAL Consul General Jun Paynor Consul Reginald S. Bernabe Consul Ray Quinones Entertainment Bami Lorica md DJ Mykey Kit Palabyab Mitch Franco Ron Quesada FWN100 Selection Committee Cherina Tinio Cynthia Rapaido Esther Chavez Gloria T. Caoile Judy Arteche Carr Mutya San Agustin md Col. Shirley Raguindin Thelma Boac Photographers Gani Ricarte Gary Cruz Nilar Amanda Khaing FWN Fellows Mariquit Palabyab Rebecca Corteza Stanford Court Hotel Amiee James Aileen Calalo (Swank Audio Visuals) Maggie Camillo Timothy Thomas

Genevive Wines

Mariluz Design




The views and opinions of advertisers and contributors expressed in this publication do not necessarily state or reflect those of Filipina Women’s Network. © 2012 Filipina Women’s Network. All Rights Reserved. No part of this publication may be published without the expressed written permission of the publisher.

Fundraising Events, Corporate Sponsorships and Naming Opportunities: Partner with the Filipina Women’s Network and support Filipina women, America’s untapped source for leadership and talent.

Power Lunch: Remarkable Filipina Women Make ME a Filipina Millionaire Forum In support of Make Mine a Million $$$$$$ Business, a program of Count Me In for Women’s Economic Independence, Filipina entrepreneurs will share their journey – how they reached their first million dollars in business, as they work their passion, achieve their dream and share their prosperity with those who need it. Filipina Women’s Network Magazine Annual publication about the nuances of Filipina culture, empowerment articles, career strategies and highlighting the accomplishments of Filipina women in the U.S. Publication date: Annually in the Fall.

AT&T is proud to support The Filipina Women’s Network and the Ninth Annual Filipina Leadership Summit.

The California Group is one of Northern California’s leading fundraising and public affairs firms, specializing in campaign management, fundraising, communications and crisis management. Founded in 2008, the firm’s clients include Federal, State, and Local elected officials, candidates, and leading advocacy organizations. The firm brings decades of experience at the very highest levels of government, media, private and social sectors.  The California Group prides itself on its individualized client services to deliver the optimal results for each situation, background, and opportunity. The firm has unparalleled relationships across the spectrum of federal, state, and local leadership, and takes pride in the customized services it provides each of its clients.


C ris Comerford T he W hi te Ho u se c he f
orn in Manila, Philippines, Cristeta “Cris” Comerford (FWN100’12) now works in the most famous house in the United States of America. Mrs. Comerford became the first woman to become the executive chef at the White House since the Kennedys appointed the position to a high-profile statement of personal style. She is also the first minority, a Filipino-American to hold the position. Serving as an assistant chef during the Clinton Administration, her consummate passion and talents proved worthy. Mrs. Laura Bush appointed her in August, 2005. She continues to serve the President and First Lady Michelle Obama. Her many responsibilities include designing and executing menus for state dinners, social events, holiday functions, receptions and official luncheons. The First Lady’s Food Initiatives have encouraged her White House culinary team to adopt an elementary school in DC, the Harriet Tubman Elementary School as a part of the Let’s Move Campaign. Her team of chefs have continually embraced healthy cooking and eating as a passion and lifestyle choice. Chef Comerford attended the University of the Philippines to pursue a Bachelor of Science in Food Technology. Her 26 years of culinary experience include fine dining restaurants in Washington DC, Chicago, Austria, Napa Valley and France. As a member of the Club Chefs du Chef, an association of chefs of heads of


states, she had continually pursued her growth in techniques, abilities and food trends. Because of her strong belief in family and community, she had faithfully served as a church deacon and currently leading a home study group with her husband, John. They have both volunteered on humanitarian trips to an impoverished town in Brazil. Her eleven year old daughter Danielle had shown her culinary interest by writing their New Year’s Eve Dinner menu and family events. They live in Columbia, Maryland in between visiting families in Seattle and Chicago.

CBS News



White House Archives



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FWN 100 Keepers of the Flame

Sustaining Pinay Power 2012 was quite a challenge. As the excitement dies down and reality sets in, many will drop out and others will pick up the torch. The Keepers of the Flame are the caretakers, ensuring the Pinay Power 2012 Vision is kept alive. “Never again forget the role of Filipina women in the building of America.” –Marily Mondejar



Cherina Tinio

Cynthia Rapaido

Elena Mangahas

Esther Chavez

Gloria T. Caoile

Josephine Romero

Judy Arteche Carr

Lilia V. Villanueva

Maria Beebe phd

Marily Mondejar

Maya Ong Escudero

Mutya San Agustin Shaw md

Shirley S. Raguindin

Sonia Delen

Susie Quesada

Thelma Boac



......... SUMMIT FACULT Y ......... Al S. Perez Commissioner, San Francisco Entertainment Commission; President, Filipino American Arts Exposition Blesilda Ocampo Hydra Mendoza (FWN100 ‘09) Mayor Edwin Lee’s Education and Family Services Advisor; former President of the San Francisco School Board Atty. Rafael Ace Climaco Immigration Attorney Rita Dela Cruz (FWN100 ‘12) Audit Partner, Lindquist, von Husen & Joyce LLP

Catherine Eusebio Jeanette Delagarza Judge Rosa Moran former UC Berkeley Chief Operating Officer, (FWN100 ‘11) Wells Fargo Wholesale Administrative student, DREAMer Owned Real Estate, Director, Division of Constance Santos Wells Fargo Worker’s Compensa(FWN100 ‘12) Jennifer Espanol, tion, State of California Trustee, Filipino American Council of Esq. Ruth Uy Kronick, Moskovitz, Asmundson Chicago Tiedemann & Girard (FWN100 ‘07) Cora Aragon former Mayor, JoAnn Fields Soriano City of Davis (FWN100 ‘12) (FWN100 ‘12) Management Analyst, Associate Director, Sheryll Casuga, Marketing & ComCity of PsyD (FWN100 ‘12) munications, RealLos Angeles Sport Psychologist; ity Changers/College Postdoctoral Fellow, Cris Comerford Apps Academy Center for Autism (FWN100 ‘12) and Related Disorders Joanne del Rosario Executive Chef, The (CARD) (FWN100 ‘09) White House former Mayor, Town Col. Shirley Daz Lamparas of Colma Raguindin Founding Leader and (FWN100 ‘07) Jose Librojo National Executive Chief Diversity Officer, former student, Board Member, SF Air National Guard DREAMer chapter President, Asian Pacific American Joselyn GeagaSoledad Manaay Labor Alliance (APALA) Rosenthal (FWN100 ‘11) Founder & CEO, (FWN100 ‘09) Diana Reyes Care on Call Baughman Laura Izon Powell (FWN100 ‘11) Esq. (FWN100 ‘07) Sonia T. Delen Manager, California Kronick, Moskovitz, (FWN100 ‘07) Corporate Affairs, Tiedemann & Girard Senior Vice President, Chevron Banc of America Maricel Lichauco Leasing, Bank of Edcelyn Pujol, CFP® Quiroz America Merrill Lynch (FWN100 ‘12) (FWN100 ‘12) Northwestern Mutual President, Keyrose Susie Quesada Financial Network (FWN100 ‘07) Corporation Executive Vice Hon. Edwin Lee Marily Mondejar President, Ramar Mayor of San Francisco (FWN100 Keeper of Foods International Eleanore Fernandez the Flame) Dr. Tess Mauricio President, Filipina (FWN100 ‘12) (FWN100 ‘11) Women’s Network; San Francisco Founder & Owner, President, FRIENDS Public Utilities of the San Francisco Scripps Ranch Commission; Dermatology Cosmetic San Francisco Water, Commission on the Center, M Beauty by Status of Women; Power & Sewer Dr Tess Clinics, Cardinal Executive Board Emily Nishi Member, Leadership 99 Productions Director of People California Theresa Chua Operations, Google (FWN100 ‘12) Mila Pefianco President, Gail Alvarez Thomas Real Estate Investor Organizing Coordina- Consultthread LLC Tonette Garcia Genevieve Jopanda tor, SEIU 1021 Founding Member, (FWN100 ‘07) Mivic Hirose Philippine Assistance National Vice (FWN100 ‘09) for Technology and President, KAYA CEO & Executive Health (PATH); Catholic Administrator, Laguna Gloria T. Caoile Bishop’s Conference Honda Hospital (FWN100 ‘07) Victoria Santos Senior Political Myrna de Vera (FWN100 ‘12) Director, APALA (FWN100 ‘09) (Asian Pacific Ameri- former Mayor, City of President, Filipino American National can Labor Alliance) Hercules Historical Society Gloria Gil (FWN100 Dr. Penelope Flores (FANHS), East Bay ‘11) (FWN100 ‘12) Managing Director- Professor Emeritus, Real Assets, University San Francisco State of California Regents University

About the Filipina Leadership Summit
Filipina Women’s Network’s annual Filipina Leadership Summit is the leading national forum of its kind. Filipina professionals-decision makers in leading industries – gather to learn the latest developments for multicultural professionals in the U.S. workplace and make the connections that will advance their businesses and professional careers.

Influencing the World: the Future We Make
Owning Our Power: The most important thing as a woman leader – is that you have a position of leadership and power and if you don’t use it in a different way, then you’re wasting it. So when people used to say to me when I was the first woman president of PBS, “Does that mean that as a woman you’re going to be a different kind of president?” And I would say, Well, I hope so!” – Pat Mitchell PINAY POWER 2012 is finally here. Launched in 2006 at the Philippine Consulate in San Francisco, we envisioned the Pinay Power 2012 campaign – a dream with a meaningful purpose – to double the number of Filipina women leaders by 2012. To implement the campaign, we launched in 2007 the search for the 100 Most Influential Filipina Women in the United States envisioned as a working recognition award. We asked each selected awardee to “re-invent herself by giving back” to the future of the Filipina American community by femtoring ONE protégée thus helping in building the talent pipeline of Filipina leaders. THE TIME HAS COME. This year we gather to ask, “what have we accomplished?” FWN will be honoring THE INFLUENTIAL FILIPINAS – paying tribute to their work and collectively enhancing the rich history of our Filipina American culture.

Pinay Power

Thursday, AUGUST 30 – Saturday, SEPTEMBER 1 2012
Stanford Court Renaissance Hotel 905 California Street (in the Nob Hill district), San Francisco, CA 94108

WHY PARTICIPATE: Whether you’re an entrepreneur, student, career changer, homemaker, new or re-entering the workplace, up-and-coming supervisor, seasoned manager, or top executive, the Filipina Summit has a place for you. FWN provides tools to improve life skills, career competencies, and capacities for leadership effectiveness – thinking strategically, acting decisively, and influencing others. Focusing on real life, business, and career advancement experiences from practitioners, corporate managers, and community leaders along with peer-to-peer networking are the distinguishing features of FWN meetings.




Angie Louie
For Your Selection to the 100 Most Influential Filipina American Women in the U.S.

Filipina Women’s Net work

Filipina lEaDERSHip Summit
R E U N I O N : P I N AY P O W E R 2 0 1 2


D AY O N E :

Confirmed Speakers: » Gail Alvarez, Real Estate Investor » Maricel Lichauco Quiroz, President, Keyrose Corporation (FWN100 ‘12) » Soledad Manaay, Founder & CEO, Care on Call (FWN100 ‘11) » Dr. Tess Mauricio, Founder & Owner, Scripps Ranch Dermatology Cosmetic Center, M Beauty by Dr Tess Clinics, Cardinal 99 Productions (FWN100 ‘11) 2:30 PM – 3:30 PM PINAY TALKS @ California Suite (lower level) EXTRAORDINARY VOICES: THE POWER OF TELLING OUR FILAM STORIES Pinay Talks are short, powerful presentations about your personal or professional lives. Previous attendees have found this session meaningful and provide a foundation for new friendships. You will leave this panel with a deeper understanding of the struggles and triumphs of the first generation Filipina American immigrants and a profound appreciation of the foundation laid for us by those who have come before us. Previous summit attendees have found this session meaningful and FUN. Presenters utilize song, dance, poetry and good old PPT to make their presentations unique and well... uniquely FUN! Panelists include the 100 Most Influential Filipina American Women in the United States Awardees: » Joselyn Geaga-Rosenthal (FWN100 ‘09): My Mom Was Fearless » Sheryll Casuga, PhD (FWN100 ‘12): Positive Bahala Na: Embracing Our Power » Cora Aragon Soriano (FWN100 ‘12): My Fear Motivated Me To Change » Dr. Penelope Flores (FWN100 ‘12): Patronymic and Cultural Capital of Pinay Power » JoAnn Fields (FWN100 ‘12): Filipina What?? Filipina Who?? » Rita Dela Cruz (FWN100 ‘12): Being FilAm: Now What? » Eleanore Fernandez (FWN100 ‘12): My Journey is a Poem » Victoria and Constance Santos (FWN100 ‘12): A Mother/ Daughter Conversation: Filipina Activism for Social Change » Theresa Chua (FWN100 ‘12): Finding My Voice 3:40 PM – 4:30 PM LABOR PANEL: CLASS STRUGGLES OF FILIPINO AMERICANS The organization of the working class of America is known as the labor movement. Trade unions have become the “combat” organizations of the working class. They defend workers’ rights, fight for political power for the working class and a fair share of the super profits. Discussion of the history of the Filipino labor movement and the modern day struggles of the working class. Session Chair: Blesilda Ocampo, Department of Child Support Services, City and County of San Francisco » Daz Lamparas, Founding Leader and National Executive Board Member, SF chapter President, Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance (APALA) » Honor Nono, Peoples Association of Workers and Immigrants (PAWIS) » Mila Pefianco Thomas, Organizing Coordinator, SEIU 1021 » Ryan Mariategue, Labor Organizer, SEIU 1021 » Tonette Garcia, Founding Member, Philippine Assistance for Technology and Health (PATH); Catholic Bishop’s Conference 4:30 PM – 5:20 PM DREAM ACT: MYTHS & FACTS @ California Suite (lower level) Panelists will engage us in sorting the truth, myths and facts of the Dream Act (Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors) and how Obama’s executive announcement – Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) – impacts our community. Session Chair: Sonia T. Delen, Senior Vice President, Banc of America Leasing, Bank of America Merrill Lynch (FWN100 ‘07) » Catherine Eusebio, former UC Berkeley student, DREAMer » Jose Librojo, former student, DREAMer » Julie Soo, Esq. » Atty. Rafael Ace Climaco, Immigration Attorney 5:50 PM If you’re registered for the full summit, PROMPTLY board the Academy of Art University shuttle buses at the Stanford Court Rotunda. Buses will take you to City Hall. If you miss the bus call Yellow Cab (415-333-3333) and take a taxi to City Hall.

Stanford Court Renaissance Hotel (except as noted) 905 California Street (Nob Hill), San Francisco All sessions and events are open to full Summit registrants; no additional fees are required. All others: session-only, event-only and one-day-only attendance tickets can be purchased at 8:00 Am – 8:30 Am Stanford Court, 905 California St. San Francisco [California Foyer (lower level)] Summit registration desk open for Pinay Power Fun Walk ONLY 8:45 Am PROMPTLY board the Academy of Art University shuttle buses at the Stanford Court Rotunda to take you to the Golden Gate Bridge. If you miss the bus call Yellow Cab (415-333-3333) and take a taxi to Golden Gate Bridge Pavilion Area. 9:00 Am – 10:45 Am POWERFUL PINAYS AT THE BAY We kick-off the Filipina Summit with a Pinay Power FUN Walk at the historic Golden Gate Bridge in celebration of the contributions of Filipinos in the building of the bridge 75 years ago. Participants will receive a commemorative Rosa t-shirt, backpack and brown bag lunch. 10:45 Am Return to Stanford Court Hotel 12:30 Pm – 4:00 pm Summit registration desk open. Pick up Filipina Leadership Summit Credentials @ California Suite Foyer (lower level), Stanford Court Hotel Attire: Professional Business; wear your FWN name badge Contribution: Included in full summit registration or Thursday-Only day registration 1:30 pm – 5:30 pm CONCURRENT SESSIONS # A Time Capsule Project (FWN100 Awardees ONLY) » Individual Photo Sessions @ Nob Hill Room (street level) » Individual Video Sessions @ Russian Hill Room (street level) 1:00 Pm – 1:15 Pm WELCOME REMARKS @ California Suite (lower level) Marily Mondejar, President, Filipina Women’s Network (FWN100 Keeper of the Flame) 1:15 PM – 2:30 PM MAKE ME A FILIPINA MILLIONAIRE @ California Suite (lower level) Session Chair: Edcelyn Pujol, CFP,® Northwestern Mutual Financial Network (FWN100 ‘12) Moderator: Judge Rosa Moran, Administrative Director, Division of Worker’s Compensation, State of California (FWN100 ‘11)

Hon. Ed Lee, Mayor, City of San Francisco Hon. Myrna de Vera, former Mayor, City of Hercules Hon. Ruth Uy Asmundson, former Mayor, City of Davis Hon. Joanne del Rosario, former Mayor, Town of Colma and Hon. Hydra Mendoza, Mayor Lee’s Education and Family Services Advisor request the pleasure of your company at

~ Gastronomika & Pulitika ~ The Mayor’s Reception Honoring the

Most Influential
And to formally kick-off the 9th Filipina Leadership Summit Thursday, August 30, 2012 6:30 – 8:00 pm
RSVP at $48 FWN member, $58 Nonmember 415. 935. 4FWN

South Light Court at City Hall One Carlton B. Goodlett Place, San Francisco





Sponsored by Ramar Foods International


Schedules, speakers and programs subject to change. Updated conference Schedules will be available during the Summit at the Registration Desk.

D AY T W O :

9:30 A M – 10:45 AM KEYNOTE Gloria T. Caoile, Senior Political Director, APALA (FWN100 ‘07) ADVANCING OUR AGENDA – CALL TO ACTION (AOA/CTA) » Mivic Hirose, CEO & Executive Administrator, Laguna Honda Hospital (FWN100 ‘09) 3:30 PM – 5:00 PM SPEED FEMTORING @ California Suite (lower level) Session Chair: Laura Izon Powell Esq., Kronick, Moskovitz, Tiedemann & Girard (FWN100 ‘07) Every year, FWN invites to the Summit, Femtees – young (and not-so-young) Filipinas seeking career guidance. This is a complimentary session for the Femtees. Pinay Speed Femtoring is a networking event at which femtees / protégés can ask experienced professionals like yourselves the “everythingyou’ve-always-wanted-to-know-butdidn’t-know-whom-to-ask” questions. Femtees will have the opportunity to interact with Femtors during the course of the event by moving to different topic tables every 15 minutes. Pinay Speed Femtoring: A gathering of 200 women – Femtors and Femtees – getting together to lay the groundwork for the next generation of Filipino American leaders. 6:30 PM Registration desk opens for Gala Awards Celebration & Dinner @ Stanford Court Ballroom Foyer (lower level) 7:00 PM – 1:00 AM FWN100 GALA AWARDS CELEBRATION & DINNER @ Stanford Court Ballroom (lower level) See invite (shown at left) for details Attire: Black Tie/Barong, Filipina Formal; please wear your FWN name badge Contribution: Included in full summit registration or Friday-Only day registration 100 Most Influential Filipina American Women in the U.S. Awards Gala U.S. National Anthem by Bambi Lorica Philippine National Anthem by Kit Palabyab Acceptance Keynote: Cris Comerford, Executive Chef, The White House Launch of the search for FWN Global100 Pinay Power After Hours – dance, dance, dance!

6:30 PM – 8:00 PM GASTRONOMIKA & PULITIKA South Light Court @ City Hall, One Goodlett Place, San Francisco The Mayor’s Reception Honoring the 100 Most Influential Filipina American Women in the U.S. and to formally kick off the 9th Filipina Leadership Summit » Hon. Edwin Lee, Mayor of San Francisco » Hon. Joanne del Rosario, former Mayor, Town of Colma » Hon. Myrna de Vera, former Mayor, City of Hercules » Hon. Ruth Uy Asmundson, former Mayor, City of Davis » Hon. Hydra Mendoza, Mayor Lee’s Education and Family Services Advisor; former President of the San Francisco School Board Sponsored by Susie Quesada (FWN100 ‘07), Ramar Foods International
F O U N D E R S • A N D

8:00 PM PROMPTLY board in front of City Hall (Polk St. side) The Academy of Art University shuttle buses to take you back to Stanford Court Hotel. 9:00 PM – 10:30 PM FWN100 AWARDS REHEARSAL SPEED KWENTUHAN (Pajama Party) @ California Suite (lower level) Moderator: Gloria T. Caoile, Senior Political Director, APALA (Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance)

Moderator: Gloria T. Caoile, Senior Political Director, APALA » Lillian Galedo, Executive Director, Filipinos Advocates for Justice » Marily Mondejar, President, Filipina Women’s Network » Genevieve Jopanda, Co-Chair, KAYA National 11:00 AM – 12:45 PM LUNCH BREAK Lunch at San Francisco’s famous SOMA StrEAT Food Park 1:30 PM – 3:30 PM MAKE ME A FILIPINA CEO @ California Suite (lower level) How do Filipina American Women use their Pinay Power? How do Filipina American Women reach the top jobs? You will leave this panel with action strategies on how to accelerate your career. Examining the obstacles in greater depth, achieving success, taking charge, managing upward, finding a sponsor vs a mentor, nurturing your career network, being corporate savvy, networking the corporate hierarchy – the many pieces of the puzzle to be mindful on how to reach your full potential. Session Chair: Edcelyn Pujol, CFP,® Northwestern Mutual Financial Network (FWN100 ‘12) Moderator: Diana Reyes Baughman, Manager, California Corporate Affairs, Chevron (FWN100 ‘11) CEO Panel: » Cris Comerford, Executive Chef, The White House (FWN100 ‘12) » Emily Nishi, Director of People Operations, Google » Gloria Gil, Managing Director-Real Assets, University of California Regents (FWN100 ‘11) » Jeanette Delagarza, Chief Operating Officer, Wells Fargo Wholesale Owned Real Estate, Wells Fargo » Col. Shirley Raguindin, Chief Diversity Officer, Air National Guard (FWN100 ‘07)






Please join the Filipina Women’s Network in Honoring



@ the 9th Filipina Leadership Summit | Aug 30 – Sept 1, 2012

Most Influential
Executive Chef, The White House FWN 100 Acceptance Keynote



AwArds C elebrAtion G AlA
Cristeta Comerford



Friday, August 31, 2012 7:00 pm – Dinner & Awards Ceremony Filipina Attire / Formal / Barong / Black Tie Stanford Court Hotel, 905 California Street, Nob Hill, San Francisco RSVP before August 27, 2012 415. 935. 4FWN
FWN 100 AWARDS GALA HOST COMMITTEE Al Perez | Bambi Lorica md | Blesilda Ocampo | Cherina Tinio | Cynthia Rapaido | Edcelyn Pujol | Elena Mangahas | Esther Chavez Franklin M. Ricarte | Genevieve Dwyer | Gloria T. Caoile | Hydra Mendoza | Judy Arteche-Carr | Mariluz Ragaza | Marily Mondejar Maya Ong Escudero | Maria Beebe Phd | Mutya San Agustin md | Shirley Saoit Raguindin | Sonia Delen | Susie Quesada | Thelma Boac












D AY T H R E E :

8:30 AM – 12:00 PM Summit registration desk open @ California Suite (lower level) Pick up Filipina Leadership Summit Credentials @ California Suite Foyer (lower level), Stanford Court Hotel Continental Breakfast Attire: Professional Business; please wear your FWN name badge Contribution: Included in full summit registration or Saturday-Only day registration 9:00 AM – 11:00 AM PINAY TIME CAPSULE CLOSING CEREMONY @ California Suite (lower level) Session Chair: Al S. Perez, Commissioner, San Francisco Entertainment Commission; President, Filipino American Arts Exposition Pinay Power 2012: Time Capsule Project – Archiving our life stories to inspire the next generation of Filipina Leaders In preparation for Pinay Power 2012 and the celebration of the next 100 years of Filipina presence in America, FWN will interview FWN’s 100 Most Influential Filipina American Women in the United States to create a digital and print archive that will serve as a time capsule for future generations. A time capsule is a way for us to deliver important messages that we create today to our loved ones at some time in the future. We can put items that are meaningful to us as a group and as individuals. The time capsule will be opened by our designated heirs in 2106. We are giving our heirs a sense of who we are today and what life was like for us in 2012. 11:00 AM – 12:00 PM THE GLOBAL FILIPINA @ California Suite (lower level) Filipina women whose work impacts the world. Be inspired! Moderator: Betty O. Buccat, Administrative Law Judge, California State Department of Social Services Invited Speakers: » Conchita Bathan, CEO, Core Tech International Corporation » Jacqueline Dumlao Yu, Attorney, Horton, Roberts & West LLP/KAYA Filipino Americans for Progress/Filipino American Democratic Club of San Francisco » Janet Nepales, Journalist, Manila Bulletin » Laura Izon Powell Esq., Kronick, Moskovitz, Tiedemann & Girard (FWN100 ‘07) » Olivia Finina De Jesus, Managing Director of ABS-CBN North America, ABS CBN International » Victoria Santos, Retired Cultural Diversity Trainer and Consultant, Santos Associates » Vivian Zalvidea Araullo, Head of News Production and Executive Producer, ABS CBN International

100 Most Influential Filipina Women in the U.S. Awards ™ A Filipina Women’s Network’s Pinay Power 2012 Campaign – A Nationwide Search for the Filipina Women Who Are Influencing and Contributing to the Building of America. The nationwide search for the 100 Most Influential Filipina American Women in the U.S. is the ultimate showcase of the Filipino American community’s most inspiring individuals in the private and public sectors, which exemplify innovation, mentorship, professionalism, gender empowerment and leadership. “Being honored as one of the 100 Most Influential Filipina American Women in the U.S. in 2007 introduced me to a network of women who recognize your achievements and who want to help in any way they can to ensure that you remain a success. This award, and the recognition that comes with it, has really given me the urge to propel forward with more vigor than ever before,” says Lieutenant Colonel Shirley Saoit Raguindin, an executive at the office of the U.S. Secretary of Defense. The search is part of a larger game plan called “Pinay Power 2012” – a dream with a meaningful purpose – to double the number of Filipina women leaders in the U.S. by 2012. Pinay Power is about advancing Filipina women in the U.S. workplace. The 100 Most Influential Filipina American Women in the U.S. Awards™ is a working recognition award, a key initiative of Pinay Power 2012. FWN asks each selected awardee to “re-invent herself by giving back” to the future of the FilAm community by womentoring ONE protégée thus helping in developing tomorrow’s Filipina Leaders NOW. All FWN 100 awardees are invited to return to the Filipina Leadership Summit in 2012 with their protégées for a grand reunion and celebration. Protégée – a female protégé (person) who is guided and supported by a more experienced or influential person. Femtorship refers to a developmental relationship in which a more experienced or more knowledgeable female person helps a less experienced or less

knowledgeable female person --who can be referred to as a protégée. Peer fe,mtoring is encouraged. Pinay Synergy – Synergy (from the Greek syn-ergos, συνεργός meaning working together) is a term used to describe a situation where Filipina women from different backgrounds and experience levels come together willingly to cooperate advantageously for a final outcome (Pinay Power 2012). Simply defined, synergy means that the whole is greater than the sum of the individual parts. Nomination Categories Founders & Pioneers honor Filipina women in their capacities as the chief executive, president, executive director or founder of a U.S. based company, community organization, non-profit, or business venture that they helped start, build or significantly grow. Innovators and Thought Leaders recognize Filipina women who have broken new ground in the U.S. through vibrant, energetic presentations of critical ideas, transforming the way people think, in the fields of arts and letters, performing arts or through pop culture, or have improved the lives of others by helping develop a product or service in the fields of science, technology, biotechnology or medicine. Policymakers & Visionaries recognize Filipina women leaders who have made or are making a difference in U.S. government policies or laws that impact business, industry, and society and who enrich the lives and careers of others by sharing the benefits of their wealth, experience, and knowledge. Behind the Scenes Leaders recognize Filipina women who, though they may not have the big title or corner office, are a driving force behind the success of their U.S. employer or organization and who have gone beyond the call to devote time, energy, and resources to support their community. Builders & Emerging Leaders are making their mark in a large workplace environment, displaying high energy and skill in a leadership role at a U.S. nonprofit institution, government agency, or organization in any field.



“Nicole” honors Filipina women whose words, actions, and activism, inspire others to act and revolutionize our society’s way of understanding traditional beliefs and customs. This category is inspired by “Nicole” who sparked an international dialogue about women’s rights, national sovereignty, and international law as she steadfastly pursued justice against her rapists. P I N AY P OW E R 2012 – Developing tomorrow’s Filipina leaders today The nationwide search for the 100 Most Influential Filipina American Women in the U.S. is a campaign to advance Filipina women in the U. S. workplace – 1. identify the Filipina women who are shaping our community’s influence in American society today and are impacting our future – and 2. double the number of Filipina leaders by 2012. This prestigious recognition is a working award – the Top 100 are invited to womentor a protégée. Selection Criteria – Honorees wERE determined by: Impact: The significance of an activity, program, or project the nominee may have created, been part of, or have managed and how it affected the quality of life of individuals and her constituency or community (in the U.S.). Innovation: A strategy, project or activity that the nominee may have created, managed or improved that has benefited the U.S. workplace or FilAm community. Original and pioneering strategies for problem solving are especially encouraged. Involvement: Demonstrated example of how nominee has been involved with other people (U.S. based groups, businesses, government agencies, community members, etc.) in her activities. Femtorship: Nominee’s femtoring experience as a femtor (U.S. based). [A femtorship is a supportive relationship established between two individuals where knowledge, skills, and experience are shared. The femtee is someone seeking guidance in developing specific competencies, self-awareness, and skills in early intervention. The femtor is a person who has expertise in the areas of need identified by the femtee and is able to share their wisdom in a nurturing way.] Sustainability: Nominee’s efforts to ensure long-term sustainability of a project or activity that is U.S.-based (e.g., continue making positive impact, increase involvement of constituents, use of resources, etc.).

Professionalism: Demonstrated example of nominee’s professionalism (U.S. workplace example). [Professionalism includes integrity, courtesy, honesty, and willing compliance with the highest ethical standards. Professionalism goes beyond observing a profession’s ethical rules: sensitively and fairly serves the best interests of constituents, colleagues and the public. Professionalism fosters respect and trust.].

B e h ind t h e S c enes L eaders Evelyn Luluquisen

Proudest professional achievement in the U. S. workplace / community: With my husband Joseph, raising four marvelous Filipino-American individuals. Biggest workplace challenge as a Fil-Am woman: Filipina women are perceived as quiet and meek. Always just following directions/command. I have learned to respectfully challenge the norm. Complacency is not my favorite thing. Five year goal: Write a book about my life’s journey. The ONE thing that we would not guess about you: I went white water rafting and gliding! Filipino custom or tradition I would like to pass on to others: Pasalubong!




Executive Director, Manilatown Heritage Foundation

Residence: Oakland, California Education: B.A. Environmental Studies First job in the US: Job Developer for Asians for Job Opportunities in Berkeley (AJOB) Proudest professional achievement in the U. S. workplace / community: The publication of two photo-journal documentaries about “Filipinos in the East Bay” and “Filipinos in San Francisco.” Biggest workplace challenge as a Fil-Am woman: Manuevering through the workplace dominated by White Anglo-Saxon Protestant values that contradict Filipino values. Five year goal: Establish programs that link first generation children of the Filipino diaspora living around the world. The ONE thing that we would not guess about you: I used to be a rock climber.

Gretheline Bolandrina

Clinical Instructor, Massachusetts Bay Community College Residence: Douglas, Massachusetts Education: BSN First job in the US: Job Developer for Asians for Job Opportunities in Berkeley (AJOB) Fil-Am s/hero in America: My Dad, the late Teddy C. Ramos Litt B Journalism, UST Law Grad, MLQU. He instilled in us (seven kids: six girls and a boy) love of country and service to countrymen.

America’s Favorite Dermatologist, Dr. Tess Dermatology and Cosmetic Center Residence: San Diego, California Education: MD, Stanford University Medical School First job in the US: McDonald’s cashier FilAm s/hero in America: Tony Meloto – Founder of Gawad Kalinga. He has the vision to end poverty in the Philippines. He has the passion to pursue it. He has the talent to take on the challenge, and I know he has the determination to see it through. Proudest professional achievement: Becoming nationally recognized (on Rachael Ray, the Doctors’ Show, America’s Top Model, and The Talk!) as a true expert in my field of Cosmetic Dermatology. A true milestone for FilAms. Biggest workplace challenge as a Fil-Am woman: Getting equal recognition for work done. During my dermatology residency, I had to do the work of 2 residents (literally, as one of my colleagues took maternity leave) for an entire year and it was still determined that I was NOT a team player during this period. My biggest vindication was that 5 years after finishing, the head of the department personally apologized for her unfair treatment of me. Five-year goal: To become the first self-made female FilAm billionaire. The ONE thing that nobody would guess about me: I was once very insecure about my appearance. This is what lead me I to the field of Dermatology. Through my gained knowledge, I am able to help myself and others. Filipino custom or tradition I would like to pass on to others: How we respect and care for our elders.

Corporate Affairs, ABS-CBN Interational Residence: San Mateo, California

Judge Cheryl Nora Moss
District Court Judge, 8th Judicial District Court, Family Division (Las Vegas, NV

Residence: Las Vegas, Nevada Education: B.A. Political Science 1989 George Washington University; Juris Doctorate 1994 Columbus School of Law First job in the US: Judicial Law Clerk to the Honorable John H. Bayly, Jr., Superior Court of the District of Columbia FilAm s/hero in America: My late mother, Rena Oquendo Magno Nora, M.D. (1940-2008). My mother was my inspiration, my mentor, and most of all my hero. She taught me life skills, the value of education, and self-confidence. Proudest professional achievement: Being elected as the first Filipina Judge in the State of Nevada’s history in 2001. Eleven years later, I am still the only Filipina District Court Judge in Nevada. Biggest workplace challenge as a Fil-Am woman: Being the only Asian American Judge in Clark County Family Court. I feel a greater responsibility to represent the Las Vegas Fil-Am community and to succeed and do well in my job. Five-year goal: I intend to run for re-election for a 3rd time in 2014. The ONE thing that nobody would guess about me: I have a 5th degree black belt in Taekwondo and am an avid indoor soccer player. 15


Behind the Scenes Leaders Angie Louie

President, Hana Zen, Inc. Residence: Brisbane, California Education: Masters in Business Management/ BSC - Accounting Community Involvement: President, San Francisco Filipino American Chamber of Commerce First job in the US: Restaurant Owner Proudest professional achievement: Being the President of the San Francisco Filipino American Chamber of Commerce. Biggest workplace challenge as a Fil-Am woman: To open the only Japanese Restaurant in Pier 39 in San Francisco when the business risk was very high in 2010. Also to successfully manage the opening of the restaurant while simultaneously taking care of my family as well as supporting the community. Five-year goal: My goal as President of the San Francisco Filipino American Chamber of Commerce is to increase its business network, membership, as well as the benefits to the members and community. I plan to reach out and recruit from the business community, other organizations, or individuals actively promoting goodwill in the Filipino community. To increase the business network, I will work with media resources and band with or re-establish with other Filipino organizations. In order to develop a business database profile for the Chamber members, I will contact other communities, business organizations and social media to bring awareness.

the Technology industry and acquired the Project Management Certification (PMP) in 1995. Biggest workplace challenge as a Fil-Am woman: Balancing work and life. I have had to learn to prioritize, make difficult choices and rely on others. Filipino custom or tradition I would like to pass on to others: The Filipino extended family concept... my grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces, nephews, 2nd cousins, etc. are a great source of love and support; the family gatherings, the sharing of family recipes, and stories are how we pass on traditions. Associate Director, Outreach and Communications, Reality Changers Residence: Chula Vista, California Education: Community Economic Development, College of Business Administration, San Diego State University Community Involvement: Public Relations Officer, Filipino American Educators Association of San Diego County; Secretary, Ground-Up Youth Foundation; Board Member, Prime Motivation Fil-Am s/hero in America: Rozita Lee – for her continued dedication to FilAm youth and young professionals. She is also a 2009 100 Most Influential award recipient, and has mentored me while serving on the National Executive Board of the National Federation of Filipino American Associations (NaFFAA) when I was National Youth Chair. Rozita has many accomplishments. From 1981 to 1983 she produced and hosted a TV program called SPECTRUM for PBS Television Channel 10 KLVXTV, which featured various ethnic groups in Las Vegas. From 1991 to 2012, Rozita was the owner of RVL, Inc., a Polynesian/Hawaiian Entertainment company. She was also the founding Chairwoman of the Board for the Asian Chamber of Commerce and President of the Las Vegas Chapter of the Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance. Currently serves on President Obama’s Advisory Commission on Asian and Pacific Islanders and is an inspiration for many young women. She inspires them to embrace our culture, speak our mind, and to collaborate whenever possible. I appreciate her enthusiasm and energy, especially in the area of politics and advocacy. Proudest professional achievement: During my time as the Communications Director for City of San Diego Council Member Tony Young where I was provided the opportunity to conceptualize, produce and execute the 1st Filipino American Heritage Festival in San Diego County to celebrate Filipino Heritage month in the heart of Paradise Hills. To this day, the FilAm Festival continues to grow and has become an annual event that allows a younger generation of organizers to participate and demonstrate their leadership skills. The festival has been showcased in the main stream media outlets and is a magnet for multi-generations of Filipinos throughout Southern California. Biggest workplace challenge as a Fil-Am woman: The perception of being a threat instead of a professional who can speak her mind. At times, I find myself challenged by people who would rather oppress a rising leader to keep their position instead of creating a pipeline to develop new leadership and embrace collaboration. I often hear that “usually” Filipinas are not |

JoAnn Fields

that outspoken and are usually submissive. Regretfully, there are other women who try to encourage that sentiment to just smile and nod my head to say its ok rather than speak out and embrace different points of views and thought processes. Five-year goal: To contribute to the expansion of the Reality Changers program throughout Southern California and eventually throughout the U.S. Currently, Reality Changers is the number one tutoring program to obtain college scholarships in California. I would like to reach our Filipino students to participate and become confident and qualified college graduates. Most importantly, I would like to help educate our Filipino families how to access scholarship opportunities to alleviate the stress of how to pay for college and to help parents become more supportive of their students if they prefer to pursue a non-traditional career that maybe different from their “plan”. Filipino custom or tradition I would like to pass on to others: The celebration of Filipino Heritage Month in October! It is a great opportunity to showcase the achievements and contributions that Filipinos have provided in American history locally, statewide and nationally. Filipino Heritage Month is a venue to not only learn about our achievements and contributions but to inform the community at-large who their Filipino neighbors are. Therefore, we must continue to celebrate!

Fil-Am employees we have whose voices were not being heard and who didn’t seem to aspire to go higher in their careers. My goal as the President of Chevron’s Filipino Employees Network is to be able to train and mentor high performing young employees of Filipino heritage to be more active in the network and to break the glass ceiling and become part of Chevron’s senior management. The one thing that nobody would guess about me: I may be a Gabriela Silang but I am a softie. I cry even just reading books or news reports. Filipino custom or tradition I would like to pass on to others: Bayanihan is the most important Filipino value for me. The act of being selfless and being ready to help anyone in need is the ultimate word to describe a Pinoy or Pinay. My family has always instilled in us the importance of helping and giving oneself and time to others. My mother calls me a professional volunteer. She never forgot how their home in Iloilo was always open to people from all walks of life who were fed and helped when her grandfather was active in politics. This has made a strong impression on her and in turn, she has always impressed on us to continue giving back to the community even without being recognized publicly. “To him whom much has been given, of him much is desired.”

Marian CatedralKing

Maritessa Bravo Ares

Edcelyn Pujol

California Education: BA Business/Accounting Community Involvement: Board Member, Primo’s Run for Education. Last year, we raised $275,000 for the San Ramon Education Foundation and voted “Best of the East Bay”. First job in the US: File Clerk Fil-Am s/hero in America: Marily Mondejar – she has opened my eyes to possibilities, expanded my “world” from my suburban community to the larger Filipino community. I can learn a lot from her. Proudest professional achievement in the U. S. workplace / community: Prior to my financial advising career, I was a project manager. In those days, project managers where primarily from the male dominated construction industry. I was among the pioneers that ‘legitimized’ project managers in 16

Certified Financial Planner Professional, Northwestern Mutual Residence: Danville,

Education: College Graduate Community Involvement: Board Member, San Ramon Chamber of Commerce; Board Member, Leadership San Ramon Valley; President, Chevron Filipino Employees Network First job in the US: Global Representative, Chevron Proudest professional achievement: As a Filipina-American and new immigrant, it was a bit daunting to work in the mainstream U.S. corporate world. My first 3 years working for Chevron in the U.S. was still focused on Asia Pacific, and it was only in 2009 that I was given the opportunity to work with U.S. local communities where I was tasked to handle community relations in Northern California, Washington, and Oregon. My proudest professional achievement is being able to assimilate and successfully work in the U.S. corporate culture after only being in the U.S. for a short period of time. Biggest workplace challenge as a Fil-Am woman: The initial fear of being accepted in the local communities I serve because of being a Filipina. Will I be judged because I am not one of them? Will they look at me because of the perception some people may have of the corporation I represent? Those whom I thought would give me a hard time became my steadfast supporters in the community. I learned that at the end of the day it is not about the color of your skin but the hard work, sincerity, and determination you put in that will enable you to come out a winner as well as a valued and trusted member of the community. Five-year goal: I was struck by how many talented

PGPA Representative, Chevron Residence: San Ramon, California

History at UC Berkeley Community Involvement: Board Member, Cal Alumni Association (UC Berkeley); State Treasurer, API Democratic Caucus of the California Democratic Party; Board Member, Asian Pacific American Caucus of Alameda County First job in the US: Legislative Analyst FilAm s/hero in America: I applaud the pillars of our community who have blazed trails for us, and it’s for this reason Mona Pasquil is my Fil-Am shero. Not only does she represent the Filipino community well with her leadership at the statewide level, but she also works tirelessly to strengthen and grow the pipeline of Filipinos and Asian Americans in the political arena. Mona, while serving as the acting lieutenant governor and now as the appointments secretary for Governor Brown, has set a positive example for young Filipinas. I first met Mona when we were in the all-filipina production of the Vagina Monologues a few years ago, and I continued to see her at events in which she encouraged and trained women to understand the political process. Not only is Mona an expert in her field, but her values, commitment, and strong moral compass make her a Filipina Shero. Proudest professional achievement: The establishment of a laptop scholarship for former foster youth or survivors of domestic violence who are enrolled in college in the Sacramento area. While there are scholarships that provide assistance to students for tuition or books, there were few specifically for laptops. This scholarship will allow the recipients, who would otherwise not have the funds available to purchase a computer, be able to start a new school year prepared.

Executive Program Assistant, Green For All Residence: Berkeley, California Education: BA in


Biggest workplace challenge as a Fil-Am woman: I feel fortunate that I currently work at a national nonprofit based in Oakland that is inclusive, supports women and people of color, and is invested in the professional development of its employees. In a field with few Asian Americans, my biggest challenge is to represent my community well and to build and grow the pipeline of APIs interested in sustainability and green entrepreneurship. I hope my work will open doors for others. Five-year goal: To establish myself as an expert in green business development and sustainability and serve as a bridge between sound public policy and publicprivate investments that create stronger, more resilient communities. The one thing that nobody would guess about me: I was adopted at the age of 3. Filipino custom or tradition I would like to pass on to others: My favorite tradition is when the elders teach young Filipinos how to make and roll the lumpia. I have fond memories of learning how to make lumpia as a child from my mother and my lola, and it goes beyond the actual food itself. I remember learning about Filipino traditions, sharing stories, and spending quality time with my family in the kitchen. I think that symbolizes how the family is a core unit of Filipino society and how we can keep our traditions alive.

pass on to others: “Mano po” to the elders – it’s the tradition of respect that should be passed on to our future generations.

Yong Chavez

Finance Director, BlackRock Residence: Union City, California Education: BS in Business Administration Community Involvement: SF Board, Women’s Initiative First job in the US: Auditor, PriceWaterhouse Coopers Proudest professional achievement: Landing a job at one of the “Big 8” immediately out of college and receiving my CPA. Being the eldest child to immigrant parents, I always felt that it was my duty to break new ground as each achievement was a “first” for my family. Besides being the first to graduate from a U.S. university in my family, I feel that this achievement affirmed the hard work that my parents endured to ensure a promising future for their children. Not to mention the fact that my Dad was most proud because he was a CPA in the Philippines. Biggest workplace challenge as a Fil-Am woman: Fortunately, I have worked for companies that did not deny me of opportunities because of the color of my skin. However one challenge that most women face is “asking” – whether it is asking for a raise, a challenging assignment, or flex schedule. What I’ve learned through some amazing mentors that I’ve been fortunate to have is that if you don’t ask, how will they know? Five-year goal: Ensuring the health, livelihood and happiness of my daughters, Gary, and Mom – they mean everything to me! The one thing that nobody would guess about me: I love to sing! I sang in a “funk” band pre- kids; however these days, my only gig is being part of the church choir. Filipino custom or tradition I would like to

Theresa Noriega-Lum

Hills, California Education: BA Communication Arts First job in the US: Tour Guide in Disneyland FilAm shero in America: My shero is Lori Gopiao. She was an ordinary mom, a hardworking nurse, and a devoted daughter. Early last year she was diagnosed with leukemia, and was thrust into the spotlight when she became the subject of my TV reports on the need for bone marrow donation. Although she suffered from the devastation of her illness, I never once saw her fighting spirit flag. To the end, Lori fought for her life and many other Filipinos in need of donors. With her story, Lori encouraged many others to register to be a donor and created a major buzz within the Filipino community, one of the least represented in the national bone marrow registry. Sadly, Lori passed away last May, but I will never forget her and will forever be inspired by her courageous heart. Proudest professional achievement: I am definitely proud of being the first Filipina TV reporter from ABS-CBN The Filipino Channel to do red carpet reporting at major mainstream Hollywood events like the Primetime Emmys & the Oscars. It is thrilling to interview Filipino newsmakers, especially at that moment when they make history. I’m proud of my extensive and regular TV reports on Jessica Sanchez during the FilAm singer’s entire American Idol run. I’ve been told many times that the reports mobilized community support for her. Biggest workplace challenge as a Fil-Am woman: I’m a pioneer in my field so many mainstream colleagues are still getting used to the idea of an international reporter claiming a spot alongside them. Sometimes, people look down on you. But as long as I do my job well, it doesn’t bother me. Sometimes, the challenge comes from our community, too, when crab mentality pops up and you find yourself marginalized. Also, being identified as a part of a community can require additional challenge. Instead of being responsible only for your own behavior and professionalism, you can suddenly be lumped into one group and declined access if one misbehaves. Five-year goal: I do plan to finish writing at least one of my novels. I have already started four and I keep getting ideas for new ones. I am grateful for having a rich imagination but I have to work more on putting them all on paper. In my reporting job, I am able to produce within tight deadlines, and I am bound by facts and certain parameters. In my novels, I am free to create characters - no restrictions. I love doing both. The ONE thing that nobody would guess about me: I’m a big fan of Eminem. Filipino custom or tradition I would like to pass on to others: Bayanihan. We Filipinos take care of each other. It is a wonderful trait that deserves to

TV Reporter and Newspaper Columnist, ABS-CBN TFC & Pacific Daily News (Gannett) Residence: Chino

be shared to others. This is a tradition that defines our community – wherever in the world we end up in. It is a joy to behold whenever we mobilize as a community to help others in need. We extend our help, in public and in private, in gestures big and small. In my work, I’ve seen this custom manifested many times. It always makes me proud to be a Filipino.


Executive Director, Susie Tompkins Buell Foundation Residence: San Francisco, California Bio: A self-described “social change dreamer, devoted mother & wife, foundation director, political kibitzer, fundraiser, peacemonger, and writer.” As Executive Director of the Susie Tompkins Buell Foundation, she manages a San Francisco-based foundation capitalized at over $6 million. Susie Tompkins Buell, founder of the Esprit de Corp clothing company, inspired the clothing industry with her revolutionary fusion of corporate mission with social responsibility. Created in 1990, the Foundation directs funding using a “women and girls lens,” evaluating potential grantees for their inclusion of women and girls, not only as recipient of services but also for their representation on boards and staff. Belinda’s pivotal role in directing this private Foundation towards causes supporting women and girls. Belinda Munoz is the political advisor focusing on fundraising for progressive women candidates. Some of the candidates that Belinda has fundraised for are Hillary Clinton, Kirsten Gillibrand, Elizabeth Warren and Kamala Harris to name a few. In her down time, Belinda can be found either blogging about anything from politics to poetry or on the move in pursuit of the perfect playground. She is married with one son and lives in San Francisco.

Cynthia A. Bonta

Education: Masters Degree Community Involvement: President, Philippine National Day Association; Officer at Large, CAPITAL (Council of Asian Pacific Islanders Together for Advocacy and Leadership); Chair, Alameda to Celebrate FILAM History; Member, California Multicultural Park Foundation; Member, CSUS Multicultural Center; Member, CSUS Advisory Council on Human Relations. First job in the US: Researcher/Writer, Oakland Public Schools Fil-Am s/hero in America: Starting at an early age, Chief Justice Tani Gorre Cantil-Sakauye, California

President, Philippine National Day Association (PNDA) Residence: Alameda, California

Supreme Court, set out to be the best that she could be in all aspects of her life. Choosing a career in law, it was not long until she ascended through the ranks of the justice system. From Superior Court Judge to the Court of Appeals, Third District becoming the first Filipina Asian Pacific American and only the 6th woman Associate Justice in a hundred years. After five short years, Tani was appointed, confirmed, and ratified as Chief Justice of the California Supreme Court becoming the first Filipina to ever be in the State’s Supreme Court and only the second woman to be Chief. She is my shero not only because she broke the glass ceiling for Filipino Americans and women but because she grounds herself in her farmworker roots, Filipino history and community, while acknowledging these publicly. Proudest professional achievement: Annually, 8th and 12th graders are identified and challenged to be leaders who will empower the Filipino community. A leader empowers the community by being secure in his/her Filipino identity while modeling it and by bringing positive change in the community with his/ her talents, skills, achievements. Students submit a list of school achievements, community experience, and a personal essay about his/her Filipino pride. They are interviewed and given awards, including scholarships. The award serves as a leadership assessment. An annual leadership conference is conducted to further educate the youth on Filipino history and community issues. Community service opportunities are provided. Biggest workplace challenge as a Fil-Am woman: I investigated a complaint of sexual harassment from a Hispanic woman for the Civil Rights Office. Being Filipina while the alleged harasser was a white male, I knew that if I did not thoroughly investigate the case, confirming all information gathered, I may be deemed sympathetic to the alleged victim. On the other hand, I did not want to be criticized for being pro-management, either. I consulted with another Investigator. My conclusion was no sexual harassment. The case was appealed all the way to the Attorney General’s Office, and each time it reached a higher level, my ruling was upheld. Five-year goal: Hundreds have passed through our leadership development program. The goal is to connect these alumni back to PNDA so that as a body, they can organize projects according to their interests and talents. Year One: Board approves a five year plan, budget, and personnel while employing different ways of contacting alumni. Year Two: A core made up of alumni in the local city forms to plan an organizing conference. Year Three: Core expands to various working committees of alumni from other cities and holds the Organizing Conference. Year Four: Projects are reviewed, prioritized, set up. Year Five: First project launched. The one thing that nobody would guess about me: That I went to seminary. Filipino custom or tradition I would like to pass on to others: The parol, a star lantern, symbol of the Bethlehem Star, lighted up and hung over a window as a welcome to guests or carolers during the Christmas season is a custom that can be integrated into the observance of Christmas in America today as a beautiful addition to the multicultural customs that already enriches this festive holiday.



Purchaser/ Marketing Specialist, The Young Filipino Professionals Association / The San Francisco Public Utilities Commission Residence: Newark, California Education: B.A., English Literature/College Degree Community Involvement: Advisory Board, The Young Filipino Professionals Association First job in the US: Partners Program Marketing Coordinator, Platinum Technology Fil-Am s/hero in America: Tessie Guillermo has been a member of The California Endowment’s Board of Directors since April 2003 and was elected chair in April 2010. Ms. Guillermo has been President and CEO of ZeroDivide since 2002. She has led the foundation’s efforts to achieve a “zero divide,” which involves investing in technology based solutions in community enterprises, to improve economic conditions and increase civic engagement in disadvantaged communities. Prior to ZeroDivide, Ms. Guillermo served for 15 years as CEO of the Asian and Pacific Islander American Health Forum, a national health policy/advocacy organization based in San Francisco, California. . Proudest professional achievement: When I initially began working for the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC) within their Communications group, I was tasked with the SFPUC Water Quality Division for coordinating, marketing, and selling lead-free kitchen faucets to SF residents at a substantially reduced price as part of the City’s lead-free program. It was rewarding that I was helping out the City residents in providing them low cost sinks and faucets that would ultimately benefit their health and well being, and that I was also a big support to the program staff. I developed a trusting and productive working relationships with the general public and my colleagues. Biggest workplace challenge as a Fil-Am woman: Working in a very heavily dominated male field that is engineers, scientists and city leaders, getting your voice heard amid the establishment can be the biggest hurdle. Yet, I believe in doing 4 simple things. I believe that it takes four “H”s; there’s Homework, Hard work, the Hustle and Humility to get things done... homework is getting the knowledge just like in school to get the terminology and background of expertise down so you can communicate clearly what you need to a team, the hard work is simply getting down and showing you can perform the task at hand, the hustle is getting people to hitch on to your ideas, and the humility is being humble enough to know that you are always learning from your colleagues, and that the work you do helps the team around you. Five-year goal: To be frank, I am not sure what I may be involved in the next five years because I have so many aspirations both personally and professionally, but I do hope I will further my skills in strategic planning, team building, community engagement, youth mentoring and just giving more back to the community at large and representing Fil-Ams using whatever resources I have and wherever my abilities take me. My motivation comes from doing good for my little daughter, my 18

Eleanore Fernandez

family, friends and community at large. I really just hope I can accomplish even half the things I want to achieve realistically. The one thing that nobody would guess about me: I used to temp for a toy company that sold the very first Spice Girls dolls and I had to promote them over the phone. I think I honed my marketing skills on why a store needed a Posh or Scary Spice doll. Filipino custom or tradition I would like to pass on to others: I do love “Mano po” because I associate it so much with my lola who passed away, even when she was at the end of her life and was too ill to even speak, me doing that gesture would make her smile – it was a sign of respect was my tacit sign that I still honor her and my family. “Mano po” refers to a physical gesture of taking the hand of an elder and bringing it towards your forehead. This is a sign of respect for the elder and is usually done at the point of greeting or farewell. Children are expected to perform this gesture towards adult relatives & adult family friends. Failure to perform “mano po” would be considered as disrespectful.

Esther Lee

Medical Technology Community Involvement: District Governor 20112012; District 4-C4, Lions Clubs International Fil-Am s/hero in America: Loida Nicolas. I have attended a few of her meetings and I am very impressed with her accomplishments. Proudest professional achievement: Providing the first Free Eye Clinic in the Philippines (with the assistance of 6 clubs in District 4-C4) and to make this the center for recycled eyeglass in Asia. Biggest workplace challenge as a Fil-Am woman: Advancement to the position of Manager instead of training them and working as an Administrative Analyst IV with the title of Administrative Assistant. Five-year goal: To continue the set-up of Free Eye Clinic in the Philippines, in-line are Nueva Ejica, Batangas, Davao, Cebu, and Baguio and here in U.S., to continue involvement in Dr. Mehmet Oz project thus getting more youth involved and trained and serve more needy individuals. The one thing that nobody would guess about me: That I will not stop volunteering. Filipino custom or tradition I would like to pass on to others: Respect for elders is very important because it is the foundation of someone’s upbringing, if you have this value, you take it with you wherever you go and you project the quality of individual you are as a reflection on your family.

Retired Administrative Assistant; Lions Clubs International Residence: South San Francisco, California Education: BS in

Jacqueline Dumlao Yu

Attorney, Horton, Roberts & West; KAYA Filipino Americans for Progress; Filipino |

American Democratic Club of San Francisco Residence: San Francisco, CA Education: Juris Doctorate (Notre Dame Law School); Masters of Law in Business, Law, and Taxation (UCLA School of Law); Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Asian American Studies (UCLA) Community Involvement: Board Member, Filipino American Democratic Club of San Francisco; Board Member, KAYA Filipino Americans for Progress Bay Area Chapter First job in the US: Community Relations Officer for the Asian Affairs Task Force of the United Nations Association National Capital Area FilAm s/hero in America: California Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye. For many Filipina American attorneys, Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye personifies our American dream, and it’s a rarity to find such a role model in the legal profession that continues to lack representation from minority communities in leadership positions both in the public and private sectors. Proudest professional achievement: Having had the opportunity to present a comprehensive bench memorandum to a three-judge panel on the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals who considered and incorporated my recommendations and analysis in the Ninth Circuit Court’s published opinion. The case involved a trademark claim by a manufacturer of pharmaceutical products against a distributor who used the plaintiff’s trademarked name as a generic term that applied to his own product. It was an assignment that required in-depth research and analysis and clear articulation of the facts and law regarding a technical area of trademark law, in which I previously did not have any knowledge nor background. Suffice it to say that I was proud to have been able to play a significant part in influencing the panel’s decision. Biggest workplace challenge as a Fil-Am woman: Being underestimated for my capabilities as an attorney solely because of my race, gender, and stature. It’s unfortunate that this is still a reality for many female Asian attorneys despite the progress the legal community has made to increase the level of diversity in its profession and promote diversity trainings in the workplace. Indeed the days of female attorneys being mistaken for the paralegal or secretary are not over, which I quickly realized during the first few weeks of practicing, and this experience, I think, is so much more prevalent for young female attorneys. Contrary to being a detriment, however, this experience has only pushed me to excel further in my profession. In doing so, I, along with many other female minority attorneys, are slowly changing the social and cultural landscape of our profession. Five-year goal: Showing respect to our elders by the gesture of “Mano po” –bowing in front of our elder and pressing our forehead on the elder’s hand as a greeting. This custom takes personal significance to me because it symbolizes the contributions and hardships the older generation of our community have endured so that we may succeed and reach new heights. The one thing that nobody would guess about me: I love to travel and explore the world – oftentimes on solo trips to places like Peru and Morocco. Filipino custom or tradition I would like to pass on to others: Showing respect to our elders by the gesture of “Mano po” –bowing in front of our

elder and pressing our forehead on the elder’s hand as a greeting. This custom takes personal significance to me because it symbolizes the contributions and hardships the older generation of our community have endured so that we may succeed and reach new heights.

Founder and CEO; LTD Global Residence: Dublin, California Education: BS, Business and Accounting Community Involvement: Officer, PICPA-USA; Officer, SFMSCC; Sponsorship Co-Chair, Kalayaan 2012 Committee; member, NorCal 8(a); member, Toastmasters; member, Oakland Metropolitan Chamber; member, US-Pan Asian American Chamber of Commerce; member, US-PAACC; member, FWN; member, Filipino Entreprenuer’s Network; volunteer, PhilDev First job in the US: Budget Analyst for a software company FilAm s/hero in America: I would have to say, Sheila Marcelo. She is a highly successful female entrepreneur that founded her own company. I admire women entrepreneurs in general and Sheila, being a Fil-Am, is someone I can even more closely relate to. As an entrepreneur, I constantly need inspiration and motivation. Her story inspires me to keep on going. Proudest professional achievement: Having founded my own company, LTD Global. When I moved to the US in 2000, I worked for a software startup company, which was eventually acquired by Siebel. At that point, I decided to take the opportunity to start my own business. Instead of looking for another job, I looked for my first client. Being able to shift from an employee to an entrepreneur is a feat that I realized is not easy. I am proud that I was able to take that leap. I am even prouder that I have grown my company to the size it is now. Biggest workplace challenge as a Fil-Am woman: When I started working in the US, my first challenge was making my employers realize how skilled and talented I was. My lack of US experience made it difficult to initially find a job, even though I had come from one of the best schools in the Philippines and was a manager for a Fortune 500 Subsidiary in the Philippines. It was such a humbling experience as it really felt that I was a small fish in a much bigger pond. After a lot of hard work and adjustment to the US corporate culture, I was able to regain respect from my associates and management. Five-year goal: One of my main goals is to promote and support entrepreneurship in the Fil-Am community through small business workshops, roundtables and organizational events. Through the achievement of this goal, I know that I can directly impact the community since businesses will create jobs. The one thing that nobody would guess about me: I won a national essay contest about Ninoy’s assassination in elementary and the prize was personally handed to me by Cory Aquino. Filipino custom or tradition I would like to pass on to others: I have always admired the way we show our respect for elders in the Philippines. We have a lot of traditions that show our respect – in how we act

Lili Tarachand


and speak to those older than us. Not only do we speak respectfully but we have words that, in themselves, connote respect. Examples are ‘po’, ‘opo’, ‘ate’ and ‘kuya’. In my family, I have my son call his older brother ‘Kuya Andre’. I think that term ‘Kuya’ connotes a lot of respect that is inherent in our culture. There is no equivalent in the English language and so this is something that I hope my sons will continue to practice and pass on.

Nadia Catarata Jurani

Education: Juris Doctorate Community Involvement: Regional Chair Emeritus, NaFFAA; Commissioner of State of Nevada Equal Rights Commission; President, Technical Organization of the Philippines; Founder, Past President & Board Adviser, Philippine Bisayan Society of Nevada; Chair, Clark County Voters Outreach; Hearing Officer, Clark County of Nevada; Executive Board, Asian American Group; Founding Board, Phil Americans in Business & Accountingg in Las Vegas; Board Member & Legal Counsel, FirstMed Health & Wellness Center First job in the US: Accounting Clerk FilAm s/hero in America: Cristeta Comerford is awesome as the first Filipino American woman to be selected as a White House Executive Chef since 2005! She is a model of hard work and outstanding work ethics. I am very proud of her achievement and all Filipinos should be proud of her. When the Barrack Obama transition team announced on January 9, 2009 that Cristeta Comerford was to be retained as the administration’s head chef, Michelle Obama, the first lady, stated that as a mother of two young daughters, she appreciated hers and Cristeta’s shared perspective on the importance of healthy eating and healthy families. Proudest professional achievement: As a practicing Filipino attorney in Nevada, it is an honor to be awarded Outstanding Pro Bono Lawyer of the Year in 2010 by the Nevada Legal Services for providing pro bono services to the growing Asian population in southern Nevada and also for have been offering several free seminars in the community for the Filipino groups and for the other immigrant communities on the their employment opportunities and on the new tax laws and application of these laws to the best advantage of the taxpayers. This award was a recognition of my over 20 years of service in the community as Certified Public Accountant and Attorney at Law. Biggest workplace challenge as a Fil-Am woman: Working with executives in the male dominated society encouraged me to pursue the highest educational level to be at par with them. Managing and motivating American workers can be quite challenging for an immigrant but I continued my education by obtaining a Masters degree and Juris doctorate. Five-year goal: To continue to help the Filipino community in Nevada to be aware of all their legal rights, especially the abused Filipino women and children and workers who feel they have been discriminated at work. As a board member and legal counsel of a health clinic,

CPA, Attorney at Law; Nadia C. Jurani, Esq. Residence: Las Vegas, Nevada

I can continue assisting the needy/un-insured/underinsured Asian population get the needed medical care. The one thing that nobody would guess about me: That I can also dance although not as good as Cheryl Burke! Filipino custom or tradition I would like to pass on to others: Taking care of the family and making the family necessities the number one priority. Family integration, such as taking care of elderly parents and the less fortunate relatives, taking care of and sending nephews and nieces to school if their parents cannot afford to do so, is something first generation immigrants happily and willingly do.

Natalie C. Aliga

Residence: Benicia, California Education: Bachelor of Arts, English Literature & Bachelor of Arts, American Multicultural Studies First job in the US: Claims Coordinator FilAm s/hero in America: Dr. Elenita Strobel for being my college mentor. She asked difficult questions and named the process of decolonization which helped so many Filipino American students like myself reclaim our cultural pride and self-worth. She taught the unwritten, unspoken history of Filipinos in America, the various struggles and issues we faced and how we overcame them as a people. She challenged us to work towards solidarity, to break stereotypes and to preserve and practice our cultural values. She was our faculty champion who supported our efforts to raise cultural awareness and appreciation on a college campus that was lacking in diversity at the time. Proudest professional achievement: Having found happiness in a rewarding career as well joy in being a mother and a wife. Receiving this award is a testament to my amazing support system of family and friends who encourage my dreams, and shows that great things will come when you follow your passion. Working in Corporate Social Responsibility is a job that connects with my personal values and allows me to exercise my desire to help others, give back and have a positive impact in the world. I am sincerely blessed and grateful to have been selected for this honor. Biggest workplace challenge as a Fil-Am woman: Looking so young and being so petite. People always ask me “What are you?” I’m often telling them my ethnicity and my age. I always have to manage other people’s perceptions and expectations, and try not to be insecure. But when you’re less than 5 feet tall, sometimes people simply don’t notice or consider you. Therefore, I’m constantly trying to be taken seriously, demonstrating competence and adding value when I speak. I also often have to remind people that being a nice person is not equal to being weak or weak-minded. Great things come in small packages sometimes. Five-year goal: To complete my MBA in Marketing. I received a Premiere Partners Business Scholarship from Brandman University and was identified as a high-potential employee in my company. Attaining this

Grants Administrator, AAA Northern California, Nevada & Utah Insurance Exchange

degree is a crucial step in my professional development and will help me ascend to a managerial role or other position of influence. As a full-time working mother of two daughters – ages 3 and 1 1/2, I hope to inspire and motivate others to success. Thankfully, I am on track to finish my post graduate degree by the time my eldest daughter is in Kindergarten, and that is a wonderful light at the end of the tunnel to focus on! The one thing that nobody would guess about me: My mother is disabled; she is a polio survivor who taught me to believe that anything is possible. When opportunity knocks, you must have the faith and courage to open the door. Filipino custom or tradition I would like to pass on to others: There are so many wonderful customs and traditions to pass on. In addition to our love of a great party and sharing delicious Filipino recipes, I hope to continue the Filipino values of “Manang Po” (Respect for Elders) and the Bayanihan Spirit (Helping Others). I think those are the founding principles that make our community so great! Unfortunately, I do not speak our language – it’s one of the greatest things I wish I could pass on to my children. But at least I can instill the same family values and teach them to pay respect and honors to those who came before us, those who led the way and opened doors for future generations.

Olivia Finina De Jesus

Managing Director of ABS-CBN North America, ABS CBN International

Prosy AbarquezDelacruz, J.D.

Residence: Los Angeles, CA Education: Executive Leadership Program, Harvard Kennedy School of Government; Juris Doctor Degree, Whittier College School of Law in California; BS Food Technology, University of the Philippines, Diliman Community Involvement: Formerly on the Board of Directors of SIPA, The Clinic for Women, Asian Pacific American Legal Center, Food Industry Business Roundtable. First job in the US: Re-Insurance Clerk, Transamerica Life Fil-Am s/hero in the US: Loida Nicolas Lewis she embodies generosity of spirit in caring for our community, she actualizes her values of patriotism, love of faith, love of homeland, community service in her activities and she stays accessible and humble. I am guided by the depth of her spirituality, she has a favorite saying, “God is good, God is on time!” If you hear her pray, it is amazing to hear her talk to the Lord, as her best friend. If you are with her, she is constantly laughing and full of upbeat ideas and stories.

Opinion Editorial/ Features Writer, Asian Journal Publications, Inc.

Proudest professional achievement: I co-created a Food Safety Training Institute with Food Industry Business Roundtable. The net effect is a decade-running safety institute that transfers knowledge in health and safety codes aka statutes from government officials to ordinary production workers, quality control supervisors and owners of small businesses to form a workplace team. The consequences are increased compliance, reduced workmen’s compensation costs, increased vendor ratings, harmony in the workplace, knowledge in the domestic life of workers learning food safety, and in profits. We did not anticipate all these ancillary changes and consequences of workplace harmony and improvements in lifestyle based on food safety knowledge and awareness. Biggest workplace challenge as a Fil-Am woman: As a Filipina woman, my ideas were not taken seriously and I was marginalized, and experienced hostile workplace environment at a state public agency. However, that hostility was transformed into creative opportunities of teamwork with staff members who reported to me. Folks I mentored while in that agency have now moved up their career ranks to achieve higher positions and career promotions. Five-year goal: To travel to all of America’s National Parks, to provide one on one mentoring to key folks I meet and help advance their career goals and to gather resources and to assist Immaculate Heart of Mary Church’s innovative music education program for their elementary and middle school children multiply and grow! The one thing that nobody would guess about me: I create food recipes for my family and enjoy going to the organic produce markets. Filipino custom or tradition I would like to pass on to others: ”Kagandahang Loob” – it is to be a bridge builder and give all that I can within me, and give to that one person whom I am mentoring loving guidance, strategic direction, and insights derived from life experiences. It is also about providing truthful feedback when a person seems astray. This is why I have gotten a nickname of “Miss Prosy Like and Miss Prosy Don’t Like.”

Audit Partner; Lindquist, von Husen & Joyce Residence: Milbrae, California Education: College Community Involvement: West Bay Housing, Inc., Treasurer First job in the US: Staff Auditor at Lindquist, von Husen & Joyce LLP Proudest professional achievement: Being accepted as an Audit Partner in a U.S. CPA firm is one of my proudest professional achievement. Being entrusted with that role by the other partners in our Firm makes me really proud as a Filipina. Biggest workplace challenge as a Fil-Am woman: The biggest challenge I had as a FilAm woman in the workplace was having to prove my worth in the corporate world. I believe that my credentials and

Rita Dela Cruz



work experience in Manila was more than what was expected of me when I started with my job here in the U.S. but having to prove that was initially a challenge. However, due to the admirable work ethics that Filipinas are known for, it did not take too long before the Firm recognized the treasure they had when they hired me. The one thing that nobody would guess about me: People I meet do not immediately believe that I have 4 kids until they see me with them. Rocio Nuyda Owner, Grace Events; U.S. Pinoys for Good Governance Residence: Reseda, California Education: Bachelor

will be introduced to a higher form of musicality and I also hope that through solid musical programs the young talents grow a keen appreciation of the arts. The one thing that nobody would guess about me: You would never guess that I am by nature a shy person. Filipino custom or tradition I would like to pass on to others: The tradition of “pamanhikan”. That today’s generation may continue to follow the refinement of the old world in formally “asking” for the hand of a woman in marriage. That, modern day men may be cognizant of such tradition so that modern day women are treated with respect and deference as it pertains to this tradition. Sheryll Casuga, Psy.D. Doctor of Clinical Psychology / Sport Psychologist; CARD / Self-Employed Residence: San

The one thing that nobody would guess about me: I can beat most guys in any game of pool/ billiards. Filipino custom or tradition I would like to pass on to others: The tradition of “ate” and “kuya”. For me, being “Ate Shyi” was more than just a title. It’s a big piece of who I am as a member of my Filipino family. Also using “po” to address someone politely. Stefanie Medious Regional Sales Manager, Recology Residence: Concord, California Education: B.A. in Political Science Community Involvement: Advisory Board, Gender Equality Principles; Formerally, Family Paths; Executive Board, Fremont & Union City Chamber of Commerce First job in the US: Administrative Clerk for a local radio station in SF: KPOO Fil-Am s/hero in America: Marily Mondejar is inspirational in her tireless efforts to improve the lives of women and community through political activism. Marily embraces being a FilAm shero in a time when being a feminist has not always been welcome within the larger community. From the moment that I began working in San Francisco six years ago, Marily embraced me and encouraged me to be more active in the Filipina community. Given that I am both Filipina and African American she assured me that the community would welcome me personally and professionally. Marily is inspirational in her tireless efforts to never give up and to always reach out to bring women together. Given that Marily is so very busy, I’m not sure how she finds time to support women personally and professionally to achieve whatever their goals are. She stands behind and with you to encourage others always.  Proudest professional achievement: To contribute to Recology becoming a zero waste company. Together with support from San Francisco residents and businesses the goal was achieved and exceeded to 78% by 2010. The paradigm of Recology has shifted in that we are no longer a garbage company, but we are a resource recovery company committed to highest and best use of all natural resources. Biggest workplace challenge as a Fil-Am woman: Being a woman is the biggest challenge I face. It shouldn’t be an anomaly in 2012 woman’s representation as a voice from the boardroom, to the office and in executive management remains a challenge. I’m often surprised by the breadth of the Filipino community to those who many wouldn’t even consider have Filipino descent. Rarely does anyone see me as I’m anything other than African American. Five-year goal: To find time to go back to school to achieve another degree. I’ve been a single parent for a long time so after achieving my B.A. degree, I’ve worked to support the family. I really want to go back to learn as much as I can. The one thing that nobody would guess about me: I have excellent memory. Filipino custom or tradition I would like to pass on to others: Teaching others how to cook and enjoy the food traditions. I LOVE to cook and entertain yet I don’t have anyone to pass this skill along to.

of Arts, Communication Arts Community Involvement: Secretary of the Board of Trustees for the U.S. Pinoys for Good Governance. In this capacity, I support the organization’s advocacies to promote upright ethics in public service. I am also actively involved in community programs in Los Angeles for the advancement of Filipino culture and the Filipino American community as a whole. First job in the US: Office Manager FilAm s/hero in America: Loida Nicolas Lewis embodies the spirit of Godliness in advocating her favorite causes. In a speech before the Global Summit of Filipinos she said, “Whether we sit in an executive office as a CEO or a baby sitter in a private home, our being Filipinos enable us to anticipate how the other person is feeling and we respond positively or react humanely”. On many occasions I have partnered with her in advancing many worthwhile programs or projects that have significant impact or influence on the global community, and doing so has made me a firsthand witness to her understated elegance in leadership. Proudest professional achievement: As an immigrant and naturalized citizen, I started from the ranks. Through hard work and dignified performance, I rose to the highest position in corporate America, second to the owners of the companies that I worked for. Without any intent to be braggadocios, I have many proud moments. But, the one that I am proudest about is leaving a trail and reputation of successful leadership in mentoring budding managers who reported to me. These managers continue to be trailblazers in the credit card industry; and they are quick to acknowledge that it was through my mentorship that they learned the ropes. Biggest workplace challenge as a Fil-Am woman: Throughout the course of my career in America, I was pitted against Ivy league educated men who held equal rank executive positions as me. These men’s first impression of a minority, petite woman who spoke with an accent, was less positive than the norm. At the onset I had to prove myself. When they soon found out that I could hold my own, I could not be intimidated, and what I had to say had substance they treated me with reverence not only as a peer but as a woman of equal competence. Five-year goal: To build a foundation for the children’s choir of my parish school and leave a legacy of quality musical and professional education. I hope that through a foundation many generations of young musical talents 20

Francisco, California Education: Doctoral-level First job in the US: Fitness Trainer at a gym Fil-Am s/hero in America: Ever since I was a little girl, I have admired all of Lea Salonga’s accomplishments in the U.S. and globally. For me, she made the whole world listen to her voice and she opened doors for so many Filipinas that came after her. What I admire most about her is how she embodies the Filipina identity in her demeanor and integrity and the way she exemplifies Filipino values such as her great work ethic and her excellent quality craft. Proudest professional achievement: Completing my Bahala Na research, wherein I discovered its positive effects on Filipino attitude and receiving recognition for it in both the clinical psychology and sport psychology field. My research showed that the bahala na attitude is an improvisatory skill that is both facilitative and adaptive in stressful situations. The awards I received in recognition of my research is a testament that experts in my field who are mostly non-Filipinos are interested to learn about bahala na and apply it when they are faced in similar situations. Biggest workplace challenge as a Fil-Am woman: Working in the male-dominated fitness industry as a fitness leader, wherein I received a lot of resistance was the biggest workplace challenge I faced. It’s hard for women to rise above in the fitness field because there are those that do not take women seriously and respectfully. I had to earn the respect of my colleagues and bravely assert my legal right. At age 23 I sued for sexual harassment when I was harassed by a male superior. Five-year goal: Revolutionize sport psychology and promote the sport psychology of the Filipino people globally. I also plan to publish my book on the positive use of bahala na as an improvisatory skill, based on my research. I am hoping that it will be embraced by both Filipinos and non-Filipinos just as many Westerners practice Zen. Additionally, I want to help Filipino athletes succeed in sports and hopefully help our county earn its first gold medal in the next Olympics by helping the athletes mentally prepare. |

McDonald’s Crew Member Fil-Am s/hero in America: The every-day hero that you can see almost anywhere you are in the U.S. He/ she is the Immigrant – the biggest give-away being the parol in the window during Christmas. I believe that it takes bravery to move to a foreign country and absolute tenacity to find a way to thrive. When the Immigrant first moves to the U.S., she doesn’t speak the language fluently, she doesn’t know how to navigate U.S. culture, nor navigate the companies where she must seek employment. While trying to blend in, she must also keep her sense of self and her cultural values that define who she is. Proudest professional achievement: Starting my consulting company from scratch. When I decided to launch my company, I did not have a client in the pipeline, just unwavering faith (backed up by almost two decades of experience) that I could make it work. Eight years later and thriving, I am not only venturing into new disciplines and change initiatives, but I am learning new things every day. The greatest gifts from this achievement are the ability to share my learnings with those who are looking to change their path, and through my company, provide this change opportunity to others. Biggest workplace challenge as a FilAm woman: Not knowing how to compete. Competitiveness and sports were typically reserved for the boys. As a leader, I needed to take on that competitive mind-set to push me to be my very best. Through this competitive lens, I could see how I needed to make sure my point-of-view is heard, how to seek feedback to spark innovation, how to take charge of my career path and design projects that showcased my very best, and how to not just settle for what was comfortable. Five-year goal: Create a platform that provides working women with family-friendly work options. I know of too many women who agonize over black and white options - stay at home full time to personally raise their young children, or work full time to ensure that the family’s expenses can be met. There is an unlock out there - options of grey - which just requires some focus to bring it to the surface. I would like to help find that unlock. The one thing that nobody would guess about me: I have a son that is a competitive junior tennis player. Filipino custom or tradition I would like to pass on to others: Respect for elders. Living in a culture that typically diminishes senior citizens, I feel it is critical to make a profound effort to keep this tradition alive. Our elders are fountains of wisdom that for the most part, remain untapped. Our elders are society’s best mentors and deserve our respect and gratitude. “Mano po!”

Theresa Chua Principal, Consultthread Residence: San Carlos, California Education: Bachelor of Science First job in the US:


A. Fajilan Associate Professor, California State University, East Bay Residence: Hayward, California Education: Masters

of Fine Arts First job in the US: Telemarketer

University of the Philippines First job in the US: Chef Garde Manager Fil-Am s/hero in America: Ramona Diaz- a prolific filmmaker, documentaries. She is a great story teller, telling as it is. Her candid take on life and everything about it evokes an honesty and sincerity, so as to generate conversations. You have to see some of these films to understand that a documentarist’ objective is not to direct for a plot to happen but to film things happening and then present them in the most honest, endearing, emotion grabbing way. Proudest professional achievement: Being a part of the Let’s Move Campaign in which the WH Chefs have adopted a school and help educate students, teachers, leaderships and parents to a healthier lifestyle. Biggest workplace challenge as a Fil-Am woman: Challenges always equal opportunities. As a Filipina-American Woman, I welcome these. These opportunities will make you stronger. Five-year goal: To be able to have more time giving back to the community be it here or abroad. The one thing that nobody would guess about me: I can carve a mean Ice sculpture! Filipino custom or tradition I would like to pass on to others: “Mano” - Such an endearing respect for the elders. My daughter would always do this as a sign of respect for her Lola. Janet Nepales Journalist, Manila Bulletin Residence: Los Angeles, California Education: Bachelor of Arts in Journalism, cum laude, University

Cris Comerford Executive Chef, The White House Residence: Columbia, Maryland Education: Undergrad Food Technology

House for several presidents. I have interviewed her before and I was impressed not only by her achievements but also by her humility and her pride to be a Filipina-American. Proudest professional achievement: I have broken barriers by being the first and only Filipina journalist-member of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association in its 60-plus year history, which has been chosen as “Philanthropist of the Year” twice. As an active member, I was able to propose for the HFPA to donate $25,000 to the Typhoon Sendong victims through UNICEF Philippines. We hand delivered the check to UNICEF Philippines in March 2012. Biggest workplace challenge as a Fil-Am woman: My biggest workplace challenge is to be able to break the image that FilAm women are docile and submissive and not aggressive, action-driven, dynamic thinkers, as well as persuasive and influential women. Five-year goal: To be able to inspire and help more aspiring young FilAm women to become journalists who are dedicated to the truth The one thing that nobody would guess about me: I acted in two movies – one made in the Philippines and the other one made in the U.S. Filipino custom or tradition I would like to pass on to others: With all the rudeness going on in our present world, the Filipino custom of being polite and showing respect to one’s elders is one Filipino custom that I would like to pass on to others. Maricel Quiroz President, Keyrose Corporation Residence: Chicago, Illinois Education: Bachelor of Science Community Involvement: Athletes Against Drugs First job in the US: Receptionist FilAm s/hero in America: Diane Monique Lhuillier inspires me to reach beyond my territory by sustaining success in a difficult industry. As an A-list fashion designer, it’s not just about getting into Hollywood, it’s also about longevity, which Monique Lhuillier has attained and is something that I myself aspire to do in my life. She has now established her name amongst the fashion icons such of the world such as Vera Wang and Versace. Proudest professional achievement: When I won the Brains award (Businesses Recognizing Achievements and Initiatives) for having reached a high level of success worthy of emulation; my notable contributions and involvement in community outreach, and the prominence and great impact of my professional and business activities to the community. I was recognized with Loida Lewis in addition to the other awardees in attendance, such as Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley. Biggest workplace challenge as a FilAm woman: Because I am a Filipina woman in a high position it is sometimes difficult to run a company and maintain a professional image among my staff. I have to maintain a professional image as well as being a friendly boss. I have every day challenges with my employees because of the stringent labor laws in California as well as constantly motivating my staff, supervising them, and making sure they do what they’re supposed to do.

Five-year goal:Create a crossroad between all countries and the Philippines. I have seen an influx of Balikbayan’s and fortune 500 companies going to the Philippines. I plan on participating in this economic growth by opening a back office for my own company because I see the many business advantages in the Philippines like the increase in housing, retail and restaurant shops and investment products in hopes to make all nationalities realize that the Philippines is the new Silicon Valley of Asia. The one thing that nobody would guess about me: I am friendly. Filipino custom or tradition I would like to pass on to others: I teach my children to “mano.” I believe the Philippines is the only country in Asia that holds this specific tradition. This is very meaningful to me because with the upcoming generation of children growing up I see there is less and less respect for the elders in the society we live in. Penélope V. Flores Professor Emeritus, San Francisco State University Residence: San Francisco, California Education: Ph.D. Community Involvement: Board member, past president, Philippine American Writers and Artist, Inc.; Board member, California Council for the Humanities; Board member, Illinois Humanities Council First job in the US: Substitute Teacher, Philadelphia Public School System Fil-Am s/hero in America: Dr. Estela C. Matriano for her leadership qualities in the field of International and Multicultural Education. She is currently the Executive Director of the World Council for Curriculum and Instruction, and she has given me the opportunity to edit the WCCI Newsletter for many years. Proudest professional achievement: Having founded and became co-editor of the Journal of Interdisciplinary Education, the WCCI North American Chapter publication (Biennial) from Vol. 1 to Vol. 7. Biggest workplace challenge as a Fil-Am woman: I was hired as a probationary Associate Professor at San Francisco State University in 1990 to publish scholarly articles, teach, conduct research and provide university community service as well as be a leader to my local community where I earned excellent evaluation in all five criteria within four years and my academic tenure, and was promoted to full professorship in just four years. Five-year goal: Within five years, I hope to publish two books. The first is on retracing the footsteps of Dr. José Rizal in Europe. The second is a historical novel based on Magellan’s “discovery” of the Philippines and the contribution of his interpreter slave Enrique who many historians believe was a Filipino. The one thing that nobody would guess about me: That I can set up a shop and charge friends for a Tarot Card reading. Filipino custom or tradition I would like to pass on to others: I would like to pass on the Filipino tradition of charitable giving during Christmas.

Channel Residence: South San Francisco, California Education: Bachelor’s Degree First job in the US: Associate Editor, Filipinas Magazine Fil-Am s/hero in the US: Natalie Coughlin. This Filipino American Olympic gold medalist proudly acknowledges her Filipino heritage. She is a strong, determined Filipino American woman who is proud of her roots. Proudest professional achievement: I created a series of public service fairs that brought together service providers who donated their time and talent to give Filipino Americans free service and advice immigration, health, debt, and foreclosure. The events helped thousands by raising funds to help less fortunate Filipinos in the Philippines. We were able to create a circle of giving and helping that crossed the Pacific and created a global Filipino community that exemplified the value of “bayanihan.” Biggest workplace challenge as a Fil-Am woman: As a female leader and a single mother in the corporate structure, I sometimes feel I have to work harder to achieve respect and credibility within my organization. This also affects my work-life balance, as I try and raise a child, enjoy outside interests even as I seek more successes in the workplace Five-year goal: To create a truly powerful global community of overseas Filipinos who can affect changes in policy in the Philippines. I plan to achieve this by initiating a portal for information and news sharing among overseas Filipino communities across the world, now estimated at about 11 million strong. The one thing that nobody would guess about me: I am a yoga instructor whose dream is to open a studio that could be a safe, quiet place to help people achieve wellness through yoga and meditation. Filipino custom or tradition I would like to pass on to others: Bayanihan, which I would define as harnessing the community spirit to help others. In my opinion, Filipinos are generally hospitable, friendly and really want to help others. Bayanihan would go a long way in today’s world.

Vivian Zalvidea Araullo Head of News Production and Executive Director, ABS-CBN International – The Filipino

Betty O. Buccat Administrative Law Judge, CA State Department of Social Services Residence: Oakland, California

of Santo Tomas First job in the US: Editorial Assistant, Sunset Magazine FilAm shero / hero in America: White House Executive Chef Cristeta Pasia Comerford for breaking barriers for being the first FilAm to work in the White



Education: Doctorate of Jurisprudence Community Involvement: Board Member, Autism Hearts Foundation; Founder, Filipino Bar Association of Northern California; Founding Member, US Pinoys for Good Governance; President, Inspire Hope Institute, Inc.; Member, Filipina Women’s Network First job in the US: Staff Counsel I, CA State Agricultural Labor Relations Board Fil-Am s/hero in America: I admire Erlinda Borromeo who is the President and founder of Autism Hearts Foundation. She established this organization because her grandson was born autistic, and has dedicated herself in helping autistic children all around the world especially in the Philippines. She has made me aware of the need to get involved in her organization and has taught me the value of caring and contributing personal time and energy to disabled children who cannot help themselves without our individual efforts. Proudest professional achievement: Being the first Filipino to be hired as an attorney with the Agricultural Labor Relations Board in 1976. I was helping Filipino farm laborers/Manongs to have the right to vote for union representation. I was able to prosecute growers and farmers all over California for unfair labor practices such as using short handle hoes which would make the laborers stoop low and injure their backs. I was able to prevent violence and injury in the fields and the Manongs were so grateful that without my consent or knowledge, they filled my car truck with the best cantaloupe and honey dew melons grown in the fields. Biggest workplace challenge as a Fil-Am woman: The difficulty of being accepted as an equal by other attorneys and co-workers. As an undergraduate, I studied longer hours to excel in all of my endeavors because I was a woman and a Filipino. I was able to succeed because I never could accept defeat. This has always been my code of conduct and I have always done my very best in any position I held and now I have received the respect and admiration of all those I have worked with through the years. Five-year goal: Help Filipinos with their immigration and legal concerns. I strongly believe that family is important and many Filipinos have traveled to the United States to seek employment in order to help their family members who were left behind. I would also like to teach and advise Filipinos of their rights and responsibilities as citizens or residents of the United States. This would provide them the necessary knowledge to obtain all the benefits and programs available to them. The one thing that nobody would guess about me: I am able to dance the hula. Filipino custom or tradition I would like to pass on to others: The Filipino strong belief in family and education. My father was a strong believer of family and education. My parents instilled in us the need to always support and take care of your sisters and to be educated in order to obtain a better life in the U.S. Conchita Bathan CEO, Core Tech International Corporation Residence: Upper Tumon, Guam Education: Bachelor’s

Community Involvement: Treasurer, Core Tech Foundation; Member, Guam Self Help Housing Corporation; Member, Victims Advocate Reaching Out; Member, Guam Land Use Commission; Member, Guam Seashore Protection Commission; 2010 Chairwoman, Guam Contractors’ Association First job in the US: Credit and Collection Manager, Pepsi Cola Bottling Company Proudest professional achievement: Being elected as 2010 chairwoman of the Guam Contractors’ Association (GCA). This organization has 500 contractor members and associates. In more than 50 years of GCA’s history, there were only 2 women, including myself who were elected on that position. Biggest workplace challenge as a Fil-Am woman: Discrimination of gender and educational background is very common in a male dominated industry. As a woman with a finance background, my colleagues in the past discounted my ideas because I did not have a formal education in engineering. To overcome this, I have to study project plans and specifications and work twice as hard to learn the technical aspect of the business and prove that I can handle better than they can. Five year goal: To complete current projects successfully, get signature projects that would enhance the past performance of the company, travel to places I have never been, maintain a healthy lifestyle, and prepare for my retirement. The one thing that nobody would guess about me: My age. Filipino custom or tradition I would like to pass on to others: Bayanihan. Constance Valencia Santos Trustee, Filipino American Council of Chicago Residence: Chicago, Illinois

The one thing that nobody would guess about me: I’ve always been an avid reader and will stay up all night to finish a book. Filipino custom or tradition I would like to pass on to others: The “bagumbayan” spirit. So much can be accomplished if people pull together in a community. I’ve never minded volunteering when there was a common goal to work towards. Elaine Serina Principal, Talas Engineering, Inc. Residence: Belmont, California Education: Ph.D Josie Jones CEO / President, Admiral Home Health, Inc., Admiral Hospice Care, Inc., Alpha Hospice Care Residence: Ranchos

Palos Verdes, California Education: Master of Science in Healthcare Administration Community Involvement: Board of Director, Filipino American Service Group, Inc.; Board of Director, Philippine Cultural Center of America, Inc. First job in the US: Staff Nurse Proudest professional achievement: Leader - founding and pioneering 3 successful healthcare companies as Chief Executive Officer/ President Five-year goal: Establishment of a home, a congregate living health facility for terminally ill patients The one thing that nobody would guess about me: Visionary Kristine Custodio President, San Diego Paralegal Association Residence: San Diego, California Education: B.A. in

educating the future workforce and it has been an honor. Biggest workplace challenge as a Fil-Am woman: Recruiting diverse members for my team. The legal field, in general, tends not to be very diverse. I am also a paralegal educator. I believe students need to be exposed to diversity in the classroom. I work hard to promote the field in my many speaking engagements across San Diego county be it for the public law library, a paralegal school or to the U.S. Navy. Diversity is key to success of any organization, particularly with the globalization of business. Exploring opportunities and programs to develop and encourage diversity in educational institutions and in the workforce is critical. Five-year goal: My goal in the next five years is to become a director for a paralegal program in order to shape the curriculum and education for the future professionals in the paralegal field. The one thing that nobody would guess about me: I love pugs! Filipino custom or tradition I would like to pass on to others: Loyalty to family. Both sets of my grandparents encouraged strong family ties. Loyalty to family with unending love and support has been my grandfather’s legacy and I hope to pass this on to my own children one day. Victoria Santos Retired Cultural Diversity Trainer and Consultant, Santos Associates Residence: Fremont, California Education: Masters in Social Work Community Involvement: Board Chair, Filipino American National Historical Society East Bay Fil-Am s/hero in the US: Evangeline Canonizado Buell. Her tireless dedication, energy, and leadership have sustained and furthered the goals of the Filipino American National Historical Society (FANHS). Working with her inspired me to take a leadership role in FANHS East Bay. I’m blessed to have worked with her these past few years and be included in her circle of friends. Proudest professional achievement: I totally envisioned, designed and created a cultural diversity training and consulting business in the late 1980s. I was the sole owner and principal of this business, Santos Associates, working with colleagues as sub-contractors, until my retirement. I built the business from the ground up and my work resulted in my being asked to be a regular contributor to the San Francisco Chronicle’s Career Section called “Workers’ Dozen” in the Nineties, a column addressing professional and work-related issues. Biggest workplace challenge as a Fil-Am woman: Succeeding in the workplace as a FilipinaAmerican is about talent, image, and visibility. One needs the requisite education, training, and skills for the job. My work required me to interface with human resource directors and upper level management. As a Filipina-American, I had to project professionalism and a successful demeanor, and learned to speak their language. Lastly, being visible through networking was important. I attended countless meetings of American Society of Training and Development (ASTD) to meet human resource directors who would be likely to buy my services.

Degree 22

Education: High School First job in the US: Assembler, Ecko Products Fil-Am s/hero in America: It’s impossible for me to say without citing my mother who was incredibly driven and strong. Although she was a teacher by profession, she became a business woman when she opened a family grocery store to make the money for our passage by ship to the U.S. She was my role model and taught me entrepreneurial skills. Proudest professional achievement: Raised close to $1 million dollars to help pay for the mortgage of the building housing the Jose Rizal Center in Chicago by running weekly bingo games at the center for over 23 years. Biggest workplace challenge as a Fil-Am woman: When I started working at the Chicago Main Post Office in the mid-Sixties, I faced racial discrimination from co-workers who made negative remarks about me and made fun of me behind my back. Eventually, this situation improved over time as they got to know me. I worked there for over 35 years. Five-year goal: Continue to maintain my independence as long as I can. I still live alone in my own home with the help of part-time homemaking services, drive my own car, and remain active at several community centers that serve Filipinos. |

Human Development Community Involvement: President, San Diego Paralegal Association; Vice President of Policy, California Alliance of Paralegal Associations First job in the US: Administrative Assistant Fil-Am s/hero in America: Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye because she persevered in pursuing her goals in becoming the highest legal jurist in California’s jurisprudence system. She came from humble beginnings as the daughter of farm workers and became a practicing lawyer. Chief Justice Cantil-Sakauye’s career path along with her passion, dedication, and hard work are exemplary to all legal professionals. Proudest professional achievement: Becoming a paralegal educator. My mother was a teacher and I have always attempted to emulate her work ethic, strength, and intelligence in all that I do. Most of the women in my family are teachers or have ties to education. I never knew the rewards would be as great as they have been in


Five-year goal: To complete, publish, and promote the memoir about my mother that I am writing. I encouraged my mother to write about her life after my father died in 1986. She wrote a few pages a week for over a year and sent them to me in California from Chicago. I edited and typed them into a rough manuscript. This work covers her first 7 years in the Philippines, her arrival in the U.S. in 1929, and her life since then. It mirrors the growth of the Filipino community in Chicago and her role in providing leadership and direction. The one thing that nobody would guess about me: I’m an avid bridge player and like to play tournaments with my husband as my partner. We have played several together, including in Portugal and Mallorca. Filipino custom or tradition I would like to pass on to others: I believe the bayanihan spirit of community and togetherness is very unique to us. The synergy that comes from working in the bayanihan spirit on a common goal can result in major social changes in a community.

Alicia Fortaleza As Needed Nursing Supervisor, Laguna Honda Hospital Residence: Burlingame, California Education: Master of Science in Health Care Management Community Involvement: President Elect, Philippine Nurses Association of Northern CA First job in the US: Registered Nurse Proudest professional achievement: I was selected to be one of the 25 RNs who reviewed the CABRN exam to find out if it has an adverse impact on foreign nurse graduates in California. Biggest workplace challenge as a Fil-Am woman: I was an Associate Administrator and was in charge of operations for a 1,200 bed capacity and had overall supervision of about 800 Nursing staff. I had to create ways on how we can save money and improve the quality of care of the residents in the hospital. Five-year goal: To create ways of how to improve the lives of the people around me. Filipino custom or tradition I would like to pass on to others: Respect for the elderly. Rosita Galang Professor Emeritus, University of San Francisco Residence: South San Francisco, California Education: Ph.D. in Linguistics First job in the US: Assistant Professor FilAm s/hero in America: Dr. Teresita V. Ramos – She is my mentor, colleague, friend, and inspiration.

I have always admired her vision and pioneering efforts in the teaching and development of Tagalog, the main basis of our national language, which is an important symbol of our ethnic heritage. She established the Filipino program single-handedly at the University of Hawaii, which is considered to be the most comprehensive and innovative Filipino program outside of the Philippines. Truly, Dr. Ramos is a model professional for all Filipina American women. Proudest professional achievement: Throughout my career in the United States, I have worked with students, teachers, administrators, and parents at different levels in order to make sure that the needs of these growing populations are addressed appropriately and adequately. I consider my advocacy, leadership, and work in the improvement of education for Filipino and other language minority children through teacher and parent education, curriculum development, and language assessment my proudest professional achievement in the U.S. Biggest workplace challenge as a Fil-Am woman: Having to demonstrate that education in the Philippines is as good as, if not better, than that in the U.S. When I applied for a tenure-track teaching position, I was compared with graduates from American universities. My graduate studies at the University of Hawaii and University of Michigan helped, but I felt I had to work twice as hard to prove my competence. I sensed this challenge even after my promotion to full professor in order to be accepted as a colleague and a leader by the faculty and administration Five-year goal: Continue advocating and creating as many opportunities for quality education for all students, especially Filipino students. These educational opportunities include the maintenance and use of Filipino, our heritage language, as an instructional medium and the inclusion of our cultural heritage in the curriculum. The one thing that nobody would guess about me: I was born to a very poor couple in Manila and was reared by my widowed mother since I was only two years old. My mother had to work double jobs throughout the week to be able to meet her children’s basic needs, especially educational needs. Filipino custom or tradition I would like to pass on to others: Valuing education. Learning from my personal experience, I believe education could pave the way for many Filipino students, especially the less fortunate ones, to experience educational and professional success, help their families, influence the lives of other Filipinos, and ultimately contribute to a better future for the nation. Zenda GarciaLat, M.D. National President, University of the Philippines Medical Alumni Society in America Residence: Saddle

First job in the US: House Physician, Internal medicine, Long Island Jewish Hillside Medical Center, South Shore Division, Far Rockaway, NY Proudest professional achievement: Oragnized and computerized the clinical laboratory at United Hospitals Medical Center in Newark, NJ in the early 80’s when I was Director of Clinical Pathology. Biggest workplace challenge as a Fil-Am woman: In my first job in the US, I took care of medical problems in the hospital when I was on night call. One particular night, the nurse called me to handle a problem with an elderly patient who took a quick look at me and could not believe this “little girl” was her doctor. It was uncommon when the patients couldn’t believe a tiny FilAm woman was their doctor. Five-year goal: To give back to my country, the Philippines, in more ways than one. As president of UPMASA, our main goal is helping UP-PGH in terms of scholarships, faculty grants and improving the physical plant and conditions in both UP College of Medicine and PGH. With the foundation I founded with my husband, the Handog Ngiti Gift of Smile Foundation, we are hoping to finally bring down the level of cleft deformities in the Philippines to that of the first world countries. The one thing that nobody would guess about me: I very much enjoy construction projects and in fact, was general contractor when we built our primary residence. Filipino custom or tradition I would like to pass on to others: Our “respect for elders” is one Filipino custom I would like to pass on to others.

me: I wish I could have been “Maria” in “West Side Story.” Filipino custom or tradition I would like to pass on to others: I would like to pass on the “Bayanihan” spirit of helping others. Paulita Lasola Malay Marriage & Family Therapist / Psychotherapist Residence: San Bruno, California Education: M.S. in


River, New Jersey Education: M.D. Community Involvement: National President, UPMASA; Co-Founder, “Handog Ngiti” Gift of Smile Foundation, providing free cleft surgery in the Philippines and multivitamins for prevention of clefts

Nilda Valmores Executive Director, My Sister’s House Residence: Sacramento, California Education: Master of Public Administration, Harvard Kennedy School of Government Community Involvement: Board Member, California Partnership to End Domestic Violence First job in the US: Playground Supervisor FilAm s/hero in America: Attorney Gloria M. Ochoa was the first Filipina Board of Supervisor in California and almost became the first Filipina Congresswoman. She was also the first Filipina president of the Board of Directors for My Sister’s House. Additionally, she’s a wonderful mother and grandmother, a great cook, and makes those around her feel special and wonderful. Proudest professional achievement: Serving as Executive Director of My Sister’s House Biggest workplace challenge as a Fil-Am woman: Balancing career, family extended family, health and our culture in a personal and professionally fulfilling way. Five-year goal: Ensuring my two children finish college. The one thing that nobody would guess about

Marriage & Family Counseling First job in the US: Executive Assistant, Asian Business League Proudest professional achievement: In 1998, when I first started my private practice as a psychotherapist all my clients were non-Filipinos. Within a couple of years, Filipinas who were born here in the United States came to consult with me for their own issues or to improve their relationship with their parents who were born in the Philippines. And gradually by word of mouth, my Filipino clientele increased. The fact that I have thus increased the number of Filipinos who come for psychotherapy in my private practice from zero to 40 to 50% of non-Filipinos clientele is what I consider my proudest professional achievement. Biggest workplace challenge as a Fil-Am woman: Being brown-skinned, short in stature, an elder woman with an accent, I was initially ignored by others in groups where I usually found myself the only Filipina, or the only Asian. The discrimination or prejudice was very subtle but it was there! There were many instances where, for example, a male Caucasian would be distributing handouts to a group of us and he would neglect to hand me one. Or the female Caucasian who I sat next to in a seminar would turn her back towards me the whole time. In response to such situations, I was merely quite assertive! The one thing that nobody would guess about me: My exact age! Filipino custom or tradition I would like to pass on to others: One Filipino custom or tradition which I would like to pass on to others is the “Mano po” gesture - that of taking the hand of an elder relative and touching it to one’s forehead. My father, Lt. Col. Nicolas Pinili Lasola was the eldest of eight siblings and my mother, Procesa Manlapaz Lasola was also the eldest of eight. So, I had at least 16 people that I “mano-poed”.  Having my grandchildren whether born in the Philippines or here in the United States greet me and my siblings or other elderly relative with the same gesture is just joyful!




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