Melissa PalmaRead More
Melissa Palma is an Iowa-raised daughter of Filipino immigrants. She graduated with degrees in biochemistry and medicine from the University of Iowa and began her career dedicated to the health of underserved populations. Her medical school capstone project for the Service and Global Health Distinction Tracks focused on health education programs for rural migrant farmworkers and a needs assessment of refugee social services in her hometown of Waterloo, Iowa.
Dr. Palma was family medicine resident at the Greater Lawrence Family Health Center in Lawrence, Massachusetts prior to training in preventive medicine at Cook County Health and Hospitals System in Chicago, IL. She is currently a Masters of Public Health candidate at Northwestern University and serves on the Resident and Fellow Governing Council for the Illinois State Medical Society. Her academic interests include immigrant and refugee health, health advocacy, and mentorship of underrepresented students in medicine.
Melissa also advocates for the Filipino community as an inaugural member of the Bicultural Iowa Writers’ Fellowship for emerging Iowan writers from immigrant backgrounds. Exploring themes of migration, belonging, and home in the Filipino diaspora, her writing has been featured in the Des Moines Art Festival, the Iowa City UNESCO City of Literature Book Festival, and the non-circulating Pilipinx American Library exhibit at the San Francisco Museum of Asian Art.
Joshua Ang PriceRead More
Joshua Ang Price
Joshua Ang Price is from Maumelle, Arkansas. His father is from the small town of Antoine, Arkansas and his mother is a registered nurse from Roxas City, Capiz, Philippines who was recruited to work in rural America.
Joshua is the owner and CEO of Hybrid Strategies, a public relations consulting firm specializing in economic development projects, tourism, nonprofit organizations, women and minority-owned small businesses, and government communications and policy. Joshua is also the Director of Marketing & Growth for LumoXchange, an international money transfer FinTech company.
Joshua is involved with civic, nonprofit, and philanthropic organizations focused on advancing minority small businesses, access to mental health care, historic preservation, and the arts. Joshua is the president and co-founder of the Asian American Pacific Islander Democratic Caucus of Arkansas. In 2018, he ran for State Representative — the first Filipino-American to run for that office in Arkansas’s history.
Joshua serves on the board of two organizations with missions in the Philippines – the Basilia Womens Foundation, which provides shelter to abused women and children; and the Meguko Foundation, which provides scholarships to underserved children.
Joshua attended the University of Central Arkansas, where he studied sociology, public administration, and community and city planning.
Tony DelaRosaRead More
Tony DelaRosa is San Diego by chance and Miami by choice. He's a Filipino/x-American Educator, Entrepreneur, Writer, Spoken Word Poet, Cultural Broker, and budding Sriracha Chef. He co-founded Indy Pulse, a school elective course and after school program which utilizes spoken word pedagogy and public speaking to empower youth voice throughout Indianapolis, which he later scaled to Greater Boston with Boston Pulse Poetry. He recently
graduated from the Harvard Graduate School of Education, where he co-directed the 16th Annual Alumni of Color Conference. His research focuses on transformative and restorative justice practices in schools, as well as Asian American radical imagination. His work has been featured in the CBS News, Boston's NPR, Harvard Ed. Magazine, Yale, The Hechinger Report at Columbia University’s Teachers College, Hyphen Magazine: Asian American Unabridged and elsewhere. This year he continues his passion for publishing as an Editor for Harvard Asian American Policy Review (29th Edition). He was recently selected to attend the 30 Under 30 Summit as a Forbes Fellow. Tony currently lives in Miami, FL and serves the community as a Manager of Teacher Leadership Development with Teach For America.
Catherine Sy LuibRead More
Catherine Sy Luib
Born and raised in Cebu City, Dr. Cat has a special place in her heart for the Philippines and Filipinos worldwide. As a dually licensed Chiropractor/Acupuncture Physician of Luib Health Center, Dr. Cat is here to holistically serve the Mental, Emotional, Physical health needs of the communities around her. She partners with Civic Leaders/Entrepreneurs who are having challenges with stress, sleep, weight, pain or performance. She even offers TeleMedicine and makes available Customized Medicinal Therapeutics/Protocols for patients unable to come into the office who reside either out of town, state, or country.
Dr. Cat is grateful for the epic career experience with the Celebrity Cruise Line and Royal Caribbean Cruise Line as their Onboard “Trail Blazer” Acupuncturist, managing the Acupuncture At Sea Program which enhanced her Business Leadership Aptitude. Afterward, she continued promoting the Holistic Health message with Radyo Filipino Amerika in her own live radio show “Ask The Doctor,” as a weekly columnist for The Filipino Press Newspaper, contributor of Affinite Magazine, Life By Design Magazine and Pinoy Sa America Magazine. Regularly featured in local newspapers, Dr. Cat also teaches that “Health Is An Inside Job” and encourages all to “Think Well, Eat Well and Move Well.” She cultivates Collaborative, Horizontal, Team Focused Leaderships and promotes the Organic Living Movement, Mindfulness, Detoxification and Heart Base Living: The Major Step to increasing Personal, Social & Global Coherence.
Recent 2018 Positions, Awards & Recognitions include: Serving as The Vice President of the Filipino American Chamber of Commerce of San Diego (FACCSD), Vice President of Programs of The Federation of Philippine American Chambers of Commerce (FPACC), Advisory Board Member of Operation Samahan Inc; Board Member of the Asian Culture Media Alliance (ACMA); Guest Speaker in several podcasts like “Phlavor Profile”, “Asian Women Of Power” and “The Tao Of Self Confidence”; featured on the front page of the San Diego Union Tribune Newspaper for “Successful San Diego Immigrants”; Speaker of “Pinay Talks” and Panel Speaker of “Next Generation Leaders” at the FWN’s 15th Leadership Summit in London, United Kingdom; Awarded “100 Most Influential Filipina Woman In The World” under the “Emerging Leader” category; Added into the FWN 100 Global Filipina Time Capsule; Featured on ABS-CBN TV News and Published Articles by Filipino Press Newspaper, Scripps Ranch Newspaper and Asian Journal Newspaper; Highlighted by Southern California University of Health Sciences as one of its “Successful SCUHS Alumni”; Selected as NaFFAA’s newest EPYC Coach; Awarded the “Woman Of Worth” Award by Maxx Promos; and Featured on an Upcoming Book Publication on “Global Filipinos.”
Brian TajoRead More
Son of Marjorie Cuachon and the late Daniel Tajo, Brian is a successful business professional having held prominent roles at various Fortune 500 organizations. He started his career at IBM where he spearheaded a new consulting practice to help clients implement Software-as-a-Service solutions. He received Johnson & Johnson’s CEO award for leading a multi-million dollar project where he helped to grow a global shared service operation from Paranque, Philippines. He was named IT Leader of the year at Salesforce and his work leading the Employee Success product team has garnered speaking invitations at multiple technology conferences as well as publications in industry white papers. As a member of JCI Philippines New York, he helped to organize community events such as Beauty with a Purpose, a campaign for high school females to pursuit careers in male-dominated industries, a musical show to raise funds for streets of dreams project in the Philippines, and East meets West, an annual week-long student exchange program where middle school students from Japan interact with Filipino American students during United Nations week. Brian received a Master of Business Administration from the University of California Berkeley and a Bachelor of Science in Business Information Technology from Virginia Tech.
Amanda BantugRead More
Amanda Bantug was born in Washington, D.C., but spent most of her life in the Philippines. She is an award-winning multimedia and graphic designer, with nearly a decade of experience in video production, animation, motion graphics, typography, print and layout design. Amanda is highly skilled in using a wide range of media to tell a compelling story; her multicultural background has given her unique insight and understanding of Filipinos’ experiences both in the Philippines and in the US. She is interested in the preservation of indigenous Filipino culture, and passionate about advocacy and mission-driven work in the community.
When she’s not working, Amanda volunteers in the Filipino-American community, and helps teach design thinking classes for children from first through fifth grade.
Lauren LaliconRead More
Lauren Lalicon is a first-generation Filipino American, born and raised in New Jersey. She currently serves as the policy director to First Lady Tammy Murphy of New Jersey. As policy director, Lauren helps to craft the First Lady’s policy agenda as it relates to maternal and infant health, energy and environment, and women and children.
Lauren earned a B.A. in international studies from The College of New Jersey, where she served as president of TCNJ Barkada. After college, she began working as the Director of Government Relations for the New Jersey State Chamber of Commerce. While at the Chamber, she co-found the Asian American Women’s Networking Group of Trenton to build a much-needed community within Trenton politics.
She continued her work in the Filipino American community through involvement with UniPro and MakilalaTV and has most recently co-founded Professional Filipino American Youth (PFAY), a New Jersey based networking group that seeks to nurture the careers of Fil-Am young professionals who go against the grain to become leaders in their industries. She currently serves as PFAY’s Executive Director.
Baron Lloyd CabalonaRead More
Baron Lloyd Cabalona
Baron Lloyd Cabalona is the Musical Director and Co-founder of the Chicago-based Filipino Folk Fusion band, SamaSama Project. A Nurse by profession, he Co-founded the League Of Volunteers for relief Expeditions (L.O.V.E), a medical mission group that consistently provides medical, surgical (minor) and dental assistance to patients that live in remote and underserved areas.
His passion for music is only equaled by his passion to bring medical care to poor communities and disaster stricken areas in his home country, the Philippines. Since 2013, he has been mobilizing a dedicated group of doctors, nurses, dentists and volunteers to conduct “Sagip Kalusugan” Programs in Mindoro Occidental, Bukidnon, Lipa City, Abra, Tacloban City, Verde Island, Helpingland in Tondo, Manila and other areas. Completing over 19 Medical and Dental missions, 6 feeding programs, and 2 infrastructure projects to this date.
Baron has partnered with Project pearls for 3 years and sparked new partnerships with University of Hawaii in bringing in Filipino-Americans to gain exposure and learn about the Philippines and its challenges. He is also traveling to many Blue Masonic lodges and spreading word of the medical missions, feeding programs, infrastructure projects to Fil-Am as well as Americans and many have voiced interest in participating. To the community that he serves, Baron is a leader and a mover in their collective cultural and philanthropic endeavors. Through his leadership, SamaSama Project whose objective of promoting Filipino Culture through music and the arts have proven themselves to be outstanding representatives of the community in established cultural events in Illinois and winning the “Battle of the bands 2017” held in Elgin, as well as internationally, such as the World Youth Day 2011 in Madrid, Spain. As part of SamaSama Project, he led charity events that gathered hundreds of volunteers to raise money for victims of natural calamities that hit the Philippines.
In the arts, he has utilized his creative talent in arranging musicals and shows that touch on our peoples’ struggles and successes with the hope of giving a voice to the community as Filipinos, and most importantly, as Americans. Moreover, Baron has and continue to contribute immensely in paving the way for Filipino Arts and Fil-American artists to be on the Cultural map of Illinois with performances invitations and shows throughout the year and annual ground breaking concerts that showcase Filipino music, dance and theater arts to a broader audience.
A jack of all trades, Baron is also a painter whose works are displayed in Oakton Community College, the Choir Director for Saint Joan Of Arc Filipino Choir, a music teacher, and a 2 time marathon runner, having 26 half marathon medals to his name and currently a new father to a 5 month old baby, Reign Malaya.
Charlynne “Char” McGinnisRead More
Charlynne “Char” McGinnis
Charlynne “Char” McGinnis is a Major in the United States Air Force serving as an intelligence officer at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawai’i. Born and raised in the Philippines and the US, she obtained her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from West Virginia University and her Master’s degree in Business Administration from American Military University. As Chief, Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (ISR) Operations, she is charge of tasking Department of Defense’s airborne platforms worth $3 billion which cover half of the world’s surface. In addition, she deployed twice for Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom. She also managed over 5,000 ISR missions directed by the President of the United States in support of military operations in Africa, Europe, the Middle East, and Indo-Asia-Pacific. However, she considers her time with Special Operations Command, Pacific as the most fulfilling when she served as Chief, Intelligence and Security Cooperation. In this capacity, she led the training program for her Filipino counterparts that would enable them to conduct ISR missions on their own to counter terrorism in Southern Philippines as well as conduct internal security. She lives in Aiea, HI with her husband Air Force Major Kenneth McGinnis and their daughter Mayumi.
Meriden VillanuevaRead More
Meriden Villanueva is an actress, writer, producer, and the Vice President of FilAm Creative, a community organization dedicated to the advancement and empowerment of Filipino Americans in media and entertainment. Born and raised in New Jersey, she moved to Los Angeles in 2013 to pursue her passion within the entertainment industry. She graduated from Seton Hall University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Broadcasting and Visual Media with a concentration of TV and Film Production. Her leadership within the Filipino American community began when she became the External Public Relations officer for the Filipino League at Seton Hall (FLASH) and joined the Filipino Intercollegiate Networking Dialogue, Inc. (FIND, Inc.) District 3 as an Executive Board member representing New York and New Jersey. She continued her involvement as the Director of Communications and Executive Board member for Pilipino American Unity for Progress (UniPro). She is a member of the Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA), National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences (NATAS), and National Communication Association’s Honor Society – Lambda Pi Eta (LPH), Omicron Theta Chapter. Her agent representations are So Cal Talent Agency and Prestigious Models. She booked principal and featured roles in commercials including Walmart and Nationwide Insurance. She currently works in various feature films and TV shows on CBS, NBC, FOX, ABC, Disney, Nickelodeon and Netflix.