My friend, Paulo Cabezas, owner (together with manager, Cara Lewis) of Cara and Cabezas Contemporary, an art gallery in the heart of downtown Kansas City, Missouri, had mentioned the name of Filipino American artist, Juniper Tangpuz, a year ago. Today, I am making the time to feature this talented professional to the Filipino communities worldwide. When you look at Juniper’s curated videos, you’ll understand what I’m talking about… Juniper, when you want to find out more about your roots, please holler! We’d love to show you around the new cultural landscape in America that your Filipino heritage influenced.
Please note that the photos in this posting are taken from my archives when I was a volunteer, employee, and consultant at the FilAmSODC, Inc. at JTS Northside Community Center (the venue of the May 24, 2011 event) from 2002 to 2006. There is no relationship whatsoever between 4C.org and my photos. I’m being sentimental because Northside was very much a part of my growth as a Filipino community advocate.
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New FPACC Chapter Chamber Conducts Major Summit as “Not Business As Usual”
Las Vegas, NV, May 12, 2011 — The Federation of Philippine American Chambers of Commerce (FPACC) held its Business Summit last May 6-8, 2011 at the spacious residence of Mita del Fierro, a prominent Kangen Water distributor and trainer, at D’Aria Development by Plasim Luxury Homes, Las Vegas, Nevada.
The semi-annual summit, themed as “Building Synergistic Bridges Toward Prosperity,” also marked the May 6, 2011 inauguration of the Filipino American Chamber of Commerce of Greater Nevada’s (FACCGN) officers and board of directors, headed by Jocelyn Duldulao, an owner of multiple businesses in Las Vegas, Sacramento, and Hawaii. FACCGN’s Vice President for External Affairs, Mita del Fierro, greeted the Summit’s guests to her home while NaFFAA Nevada’s State Chair, Amie Belmonte, gave the invocation. Commissioner Rozita Lee, a community advocate and NaFFAA’s Vice Chair Emerita, installed the officers. Special commendations from US Senator Harry Reid were also given to the newly-organized group. FACCGN board members, Ron Cabildo and Chris Gayoso, provided the “Best of Las Vegas” entertainment that night.
Key community advocates and business leaders graced the event. Seen among the guests were Bernie Benito, Leo Belmonte, Vic Esquivel, Nadia Arroyo, and Myrna Alforque.
In The Beginning
The FACCGN was born from key business leaders’ desires to have an organization that would service not only existing businesses but help future entrepreneurs establish their businesses.
The new officers felt that existing local agencies and programs did not provide enough cultural competence and intrinsic activities that would enhance their businesses and manifest their intentions in expanding their ventures here and abroad.
Jocelyn Duldulao, FACCGN’s president, provided provocative insights during her May 6 inaugural address. She asked the audience: (1) Do you believe that this is the right time to connect the dots between communities, not only here in the US, but throughout the world?; (2) Do you believe that this is the right time to find our true identity in our community and throughout the world?; and (3) Do you believe that this is the right time to find our identity as true Filipinos?
“I do have a great responsibility. When I say ‘Responsibility,’ I mean ‘the ability to respond,’ the ability to respond when called to great duty,” Jocelyn pointed out.
Aside from enumerating the intangible qualities of effective leadership such as having a great heart and a caring attitude, Jocelyn emphasized the importance of supporting for the future and the children who would inherit their legacy. She stressed the need to set differences aside and to work hard.
Jocelyn gave the guests a glimpse of FACCGN’s future. She stated that “Membership grew within a week from six members to over 26 members. We will identify the mastermind alliance that this chamber can put together.”
FACCGN’s mission statement was also shared with the audience. “The Filipino American Chamber of Commerce of Greater Nevada believes in the synergistic community of businesses committed to creating and providing viable economic opportunities which shall benefit all members of society.”
Jocelyn defined “synergy” as “our synchronized energies for the betterment of our future, synchronized energies that will drive this chamber to become the bridge to our Motherland.”
FACCGN is planning its community outreach about its much-anticipated Training Institute that will help small businesses thrive in the marketplace. The group is also excited that it can become a central resource for information and education about grants or preparing businesses to become seasoned limited liability corporations eligible for other business programs and resources.
Chamber Deals with Tougher Economic Times Ahead
FPACC, together with its host, FACCGN, attacked head-on the issue of recession and its effects in the community. A diverse speaker line-up on May 7, 2011 focused on knowledge, tools, and techniques in dealing with a “Recession Environment” which included Noel Casimiro, Director and Past President of the Filipino American Professionals Association, who spoke about “Effective Communication: A Successful Business Begins with a Strong Customer Relationship Plan,” Lorna Dietz, GMA Pinoy TV’s Public Relations Consultant, who tackled “Building Community through Media & Social Media,” and Commissioner Rozita Lee who educated the delegates and guests about the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders.
Workshops included: (1) “Building An Entrepreneurial Community To Cope With A Recession Environment” with financial adviser Ranier Galgana; (2) “Business Plans that Serve Business Organizations,” moderated by Robert Henry, FACCGN’s Executive Vice President, with panelists Ron Cabildo, Chris Gayoso, Maria Henry, and Christie Garcia; and (3) “A Women’s Forum on Business,” moderated by Cynthia Deriquito, participated by panelists Josie Golla, Dina Collins, Emma Williams, Mita del Fierro, Maria Henry, Jocelyn Duldulao, and Commissioner Rozita Lee.
A welcome treat for the summit’s Saturday event was the appearance of Vanessa Bayot, the 17-year old Las Vegas singer who wowed the delegates with her pop and Filipino songs. Vanessa had auditioned a couple of years ago for American Idol but couldn’t qualify because of the then-age requirement. Prior to Vanessa singing before the delegates, she had performed for Manny Pacquiao.
The Evening Gala on May 7, 2011 opened with awards for the Business Summit’s volunteers. The guests enjoyed the Pacquiao vs. Mosely boxing match on a 118-inch screen and properly celebrated boxer Manny Pacquiao’s victory with dancing, karaoke, kulintang performances, and the “Pangalay” dance (or Fingernail Dance, a courtship dance from the Tausug area featuring the Janggay long nails worn by the women) which included audience participation.
Sunday morning was devoted to “Leadership Training Bootcamp” to properly set up the organization: effective communications during meetings, leadership development, community development, master planning the future development of FACCGN, and action plans. The week after the event was also devoted to a series of daily bootcamps for board members and members.
The FPACC Business Summit was moderated by FPACC’s Strategic Planner and Facilitator, Ben Menor.
FPACC: Bridging the River of Change
FPACC’s treasurer, Cindy Flores, provided the summit’s participants with an overview of what a typical chamber of commerce’s experience is like, especially for the chapters that are members of the Federation. Bert Golla, FPACC’s VP of Finance, talked about the FPACC Foundation which was formed to effectively serve the Filipino communities in the US and the Philippines.
The FPACC Business Summit’s sponsors were also acknowledged. Among them were GMA Pinoy TV and GMA Life TV, media sponsor; FreshPrintz Las Vegas; Red Rocks Tents; Joyâ€™s Restaurant; Jollibee; Red Ribbon Bakeshop; Seafood City Supermarket; Chowking; TSS Grill; Manila Sunshine; Tonie Sison; Bernie Benito; Cynthia Deriquito; Sammy Farah; Nadia C. Jurani, Esq., LLC; and AutoXtreme, LLC.
Announcements about the upcoming FPACC Bi-National Convention on August 18-20, 2011 in Portland, Oregon were also disseminated. For more information about the convention, visit
http://bit.ly/f6xZ44. For more information about FPACC, please email [email protected] or visit http://FPACC.com.
In the photos:
Mita Del Fierro VP External Affairs, Maria Henry Member, Robert Henry Exec VP, Jocelyn Duldulao President, Christie Garcia Treasurer, Ron Cabildo VP Internal Affairs, Chris Gayoso Secretary, Commissioner Rozita Lee Member, Ben Menor Member
(Today, the original “Thriller” has 47,620,291 hits on YouTube.)