FYLPRO Elections 2023

Christal Simanski, 2017
Campaign Statement:

As Vice President of FYLPRO, I would strategically be beneficial to the organization, as I will be based in Manila, Philippines later in 2019. This will allow me to meet with partners, maintain and cultivate new relations, and help oversee our immersion program on the ground. Additionally given my community work in D.C., I already have strong networks with the Philippine Embassy that can be utilized to help sustain and grow the program. I have a successful track record in managing Filipino-American organizations. As the president of the Filipino Young Professionals of Washington, D.C. from 2017 to 2018, I elevated the organization’s presence to a national level, gained recognition in the Philippines, managed a following 2000 members, and helped the organization become a 501(c)3, and found donors to fund our annual conference. Lastly, I truly believe in FYLPRO’s mission and organization goals. Through this organization and the immersion program I have been able re-affirm my desire to help and elevate Filipino-Americans in the United States and in the Philippines. This program has done so many things for me. Most recently through my FYLPRO connections I was the only young Filipino-American professional to attend the Balangiga bells ceremony in Manila last December 2018. It would truly be an honor to serve FYLPRO and the community. Thank you for your support.

Joshua Ang Price, 2018
Campaign Statement:

I would be humbled and honored to serve as FYLPRO’s next Vice President. My vision is for FYLPRO to be internationally-recognized as the definitive program for emerging young Filipino-American leaders. As the owner of my own company, I have a flexible schedule and can readily commit to FYLPRO for the two years required for this position as well as travel to connect with FYLPRO alumni, fundraise, and engage with the Philippine Embassy in DC and regional Philippine Consulates. As a communications professional, I will ensure FYLPRO engages our audiences, stakeholders, and sponsors on a regular basis. I also plan to create more alumni interaction and collaboration between batches as well as more continuing engagement and programming opportunities for FYLPRO alumni, including planning the 2019 FYLPRO Summit and creating partnerships with Ivy League Universities such as the Harvard Kennedy School, Cornell, etc. for FYLPRO alumni to have exclusive access to their leadership certification programs.

Major Char McGinnis, 2018
Campaign Statement:

U.S. Air Force Major Charlynne McGinnis has extensive experience with logistics coordination, especially in regards to international travel. Her military background will bring structure and an eagle eye for detail to the position of Secretary, and her high standards of reporting will also be a huge asset to organizing and cataloging FYLPRO's records.

Melissa Palma, 2018
Campaign Statement:

After returning from the 2018 FYLPRO immersion trip, I am forever grateful to this organization and its partners for deepening my understanding of our shared Filipino heritage. Over the course of my medical career, I have been honored to serve as a delegate and committee member on the governing boards of multiple state medical societies of the American Medical Association. Through my work with the Massachusetts Medical Society and Illinois State Medical Society, I have learned a great deal about organizational leadership, health policy, and community building I was especially heartened by the enthusiasm and expertise from diverse fields represented by the FYLPRO organization. As a physician, we enter a profession rooted in service to benefit society. As a FYLPRO delegate running for the position of treasurer, I consider it our personal and professional duty to advocate for our communities at home and in diaspora. Working as treasurer and engaging alumni in the Chicago area and beyond, I hope to advocate the Filipino community through a position on FYLPRO Board of Directors.

Elections Timeline:

  • Nov. 1: Election Announcements
  • Nov. 13 3pm HST, 9pm EST: Elections Info Session
  • Nov. 30: Deadline to become active members 
  • Dec. 1-15: Campaign period
  • Dec. 1-9: Candidate filing period
  • Dec. 7 - Candidates Town Hall 
  • Dec 16 - 17: Election Dates: Ballots may be cast beginning Dec. 16 at 8 a.m. EST, and shall close on Dec. 17 at 11:59 p.m. EST. via electionrunner.com


  • Dec 18 Appeals and Unofficial Results (internal)
  • Dec 20 Official Announcement


Why run for office?

"Serving on the FYLPRO board connected me with an incredible community of passionate, talented leaders that have uplifted on my own journey as an emerging leader. I’ve been positively pushed out of my comfort zone into new opportunities where I’ve developed new skills, created new connections, and made a lasting impact on my communities." - Sabrina Sayoc, FYLPRO Treasurer
"My experience serving on the board has been a challenging yet rewarding experience. It allowed me to take initiative by pushing myself to learn more than I have, and seen different approaches for building community." - Chachie Abara, FYLPRO Secretary


"Serving on a national board representing so many diverse industries has facilitated countless leadership development lessons and opportunities to stretch myself outside of my comfort zone, even far beyond the responsibilities of my day job. I am grateful to FYLPRO for enabling this continued momentum for lifelong personal growth." - Mark Calaguas, FYLPRO Executive Vice President

Elections Committee
Kit Z. Furukawa
Leezel Tanglao
JP Ferrer

Email elections@fylpro.org


WATCH the Candidates Town Hall held on December 7, 2023:




2-year term, expires Dec 2025. Will serve as President 2026-2027


Genevieve Jopanda

San Francisco, CA


I am thrilled to run to serve as FYLPRO's next President-Elect. In the short year I have been on the FYLPRO board I have garnered new partnerships and sponsorships that enhanced the 2023 Immersion trip experience. I also chaired the 2024-2026 strategic plan working group spending the past 6 months designing the framework towards FYLPRO's financial and programmatic sustainability and scalability and presented it to the Philippine Embassy and representatives from all the Consuls General to the U.S.

  • Some of my leadership highlights:
    25 years advocating for WWII Veterans benefits, raising money for the Congressional Filipino WWII Gold Medals, and in my role as staff jockey, I organized the support towards the chaptering of CA Assembly Bill 199 into law which implements the contributions of Filipino WWII Veterans in U.S. history curriculum.
  • 20 years leading cross functional teams through workforce transitions, change management, and culture change.
  • 15 years serving on non-profit boards raising $9 million in capital towards purchase and reconstruction of permanent home for SF based organization, increasing member-based organization membership by 200% through strategic partnerships with like minded professional networks and organizations on mutually beneficial programming and events, and designing a volunteer platform for recruitment, training, and assignment of 400+ volunteer ecosystem with 75% volunteerism return rate.
  • 15 years of allyship with the San Francisco Consul General and Philippine Embassy to the U.S. as producer of the largest Filipino Festival in the U.S. and the Filipino Heritage Nights for the Giants, Warriors, A’s and other local Bay Area sports teams as well philanthropic work building libraries, computer labs, and provided feeding programs and hygiene supplies to 13k students in rural Philippines supporting, amplifying, and advocating the goals and objectives of the Embassy and Consuls General of the Philippines.
  • 10+ years of mentorship designing a CA Assembly internship program that mentored over 1k students and currently serving as a mentor for U.S. Asia Institute and FilExcellence.

To further FYLPRO’s mission to progress bi-lateral relations, I assisted with the coordination and promotion of U.S. Ambassador and Asian Development Bank Executive Director Chantale Wong’s U.S. roadshow and in April brought a 30-person delegation to the Washington, D.C. Philippine Economic Briefing fostering joint ventures between U.S. and foreign based companies towards infrastructure and modernization projects in the Philippines.

I look forward to your support in expanding my current FYLPRO board responsibilities to serve on the Executive Committee as the next President-Elect. Many thanks in advance.



2 year term, expires 2025 (8 slots available)

Lourdes Moldre

San Francisco, CA

I have over 20 years of healthcare leadership experience including operations, strategy, and business development in complex medical systems. Most recently, I was recognized as one of 2022 honoree for 40 under 40 by San Francisco Business Times, given to young leaders across the region. I also received the Healthcare Hero Award in 2021, given by the California State Senator Richard Pan, for my ongoing work with focused Covid-19 education within the Filipinx community. I am an adaptive visionary leader and can effectively and timely execute based on operational needs.

I value mentoring and succession planning to shape the future of the organization. Additionally, I am an outside-the-box and innovative leader who engages in literature for evidence-based practices along with accessing relevant subject matter experts. Furthermore, I am a connector who has a vast network outside of healthcare applicable to running an organization. Lastly, I am also the President-Elect for Philippine Nurses Association of Northern California, and my presidency starts in mid-year of 2024. I am extremely excited to be part of the Executive Board as I know that my leadership skills and resources will benefit FYLPRO as an organization.


Joshua Ang Price

Little Rock, Arkansas

Joshua Ang Price (Batch 7, 2018) currently serves as the Deputy Director of Arkansas United, an immigrant rights advocacy group. Josh served with the federal government for nearly ten years, including senior leadership positions with the Delta Regional Authority (DRA) under a presidential appointee of Barack Obama and the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). Joshua is also the founding president of the AAPI Democratic Caucus of Arkansas and was recently elected as Secretary of the Democratic Party of Arkansas, the first AAPI to hold a leadership position with a state political party in Arkansas.

Josh is a former two-term Election Commissioner and former candidate for Arkansas Secretary of State, earning 42% of the statewide primary vote. For his work in protecting voting rights, Josh won a 2021 TOFA and was inducted into the Knights of Rizal, the official Order of Chivalry of the Republic of the Philippines in 2022.

When Josh served as 2020 president of FYLPRO, the organization pivoted and raised tens of thousands of dollars to purchase and distribute personal protective equipment (PPE), food, and toiletries to underserved Filipino communities in the Philippines and the U.S. during the height of the COVID pandemic.

Personal Statement: I believe Filipino culture is the most beautiful culture on earth. I want to serve on the board to support the new FYLPRO leadership, help the organization continue to grow, and empower our Fil-Am and Filipino communities to reach their fullest potential.

Yana Gilbuena-Babu

Oakland, California


Yana Gilbuena, a Philippine-born, critically-acclaimed, ancestrally-taught chef, started SALO Series as a way to educate folks about the history, culture and rich heritage embedded in Filipino cuisine. Their work centers on the decolonization/re-indigenization through food. Their pop-up, the Salo Series, seeks to celebrate the beautiful pre-colonial tradition of eating with one's hands, called Kamayan, and disrupt the western constructs of dining. Their pioneering odyssey of bringing Filipino cuisine and Kamayan to all 50 states in 50 weeks back in 2014, influenced the trajectory of the popularity and awareness of the Filipino Food Movement and inspired them to take this concept globally by extending their tour to Canada, Mexico, Colombia, Australia, New Zealand, Europe and their home country, the Philippines.They founded LAMON: a Filipino Food and Wine Festival, as a FYLPRO Legacy project, upcoming in 2024.

campaign statement: Fostering and nurturing connections and collaborations between existing Filipinx-American organizations.

Why: I want to use my voice and platform in order to create impactful and sustainable change within the Filipinx-American Diasporic community on a national level.

My work as a social practitioner within the culinary arts has helped me build a community and following around food as a vehicle for decolonization and re-indigenization.

My goal is to provide a voice for underrepresented and marginalized groups to diversify and expand our understanding and network of Filipinx-Americans and their experience. The more diverse we are as a board team the better the decision makings would be. I propose adopting a mycelium modality mindset, were we create a network of interconnectedness with organizations with the same goal and mission. Collaborating with other Filipinx-American organizations to create more initiatives and events to further our reach and impact.


Christine Melendres


Christine Melendres would be an amazing addition to the FYLPRO Board of Directors. As a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, she brings the fresh perspective and intergenerationally inclusive approach to navigating and informing the diaspora on sensitive information that impacts our community.

Additionally, with over 10 years of professional experience in addressing cultural sensitivities, she has the interpersonal communications expertise that will elevate the board dynamic towards accomplishing FYLPRO's goals and objectives.

Her various affiliations throughout the past 2 decades via her professional networks such as Filipino Service Providers Network, AAPI Women Lead, and Asian American Psychological Association will enhance FYLPRO's visibility in industries where FYLPRO has opportunities to partner, build resources, and recruit potential immersion program candidates.

Christine is a great candidate that will compliment the already skilled board and help bring new resources and perspectives towards FYLPRO's mission and vision.

Christine R. Melendres, LCSW


JR Calanoc

San Francisco, California


Serving the Filipino American community has always been a passion and mission in life. FYLPRO has allowed an avenue to better empower each other. I hope to continue to be a part of that process.


From Genevive Jopanda:

JR Calanoc exemplifies the mission of FYLPRO. As an early alumni (Batch 3) and former President, he will bring institutional knowledge along with garnering new resources and relationships to the organization. He has also been a part of the growth evolution of FYLPRO as an immersion alumni and loyal and consistent partner to FYLPRO's programs since FYLPRO's inception.

As the founder of DYNAMICO, he has been supporting businesses to accelerate their growth. His entrepreneurial spirit is welcomed to FYLPRO's board to help drive innovation and creativity in FYLPRO's programs, activities, and alumni legacy projects.

Additionally, JR has a long history of strong relationships with the Consuls General and Embassy through his commitment to the community and his philanthropic spirit. He will be an amazing anchor for FYLPRO and its board in maintaining and sustaining key relationships with our already existing partners and develop new connections towards advancing FYLPRO's mission.


Christian Osmeña

Phoenix, AZ


As an alumnus of Batch 10, I am excited for new opportunities to serve FYLPRO. As a director, I would work to apply my skills to advance the organization and achieve the goals of the 2024-26 strategic plan.

I hope that my background in higher education would facilitate progress toward the plan’s goals for programs and activities, particularly Goal 6, which seeks a partnership with a Philippines-based university. I am a vice president at Arizona State University, leading strategy and planning to expand our impact, not only in Arizona but globally. I am also a professor of practice at ASU.

I bring experience with board governance, an important component of our commitment to building capacity and infrastructure. I am a trustee of California College of ASU, a nonprofit institution. I am also a member of the Arizona First Things First State Board and the City of Phoenix Audit Committee. I previously served on the board of the University of California College of the Law, San Francisco.

Finally, I am enthusiastic about applying my experience with FYLPRO and other leadership programs to continue to develop our offerings, which are the heart of the organization. This year, I was a member of the FYLPRO mentorship committee. I am a Millennium Fellow at the Atlantic Council and a past participant in the Flinn-Brown Fellowship, the Pahara Fellowship, and the California Education Policy Fellowship. I am a term member of the Council on Foreign Relations and a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network.


Paolo Roca

Norwalk, California


I am eager to contribute to this board and actively support the growth and empowerment of the Filipino American community, extending my impact from Southern California to the entire USA. With a robust background in nursing, education, and cultural leadership, complemented by valuable research experience, I offer a unique perspective that resonates with FYLPRO's mission of leadership development and community engagement. As the former President of the Filipino Cultural School Board and a participant in the FYLPRO immersion program, I understand the crucial importance of bridging cultural divides, fostering holistic wellness, and creating collaborative opportunities.

My research experience further enriches my ability to address community needs and advocate for sustainable practices. I am deeply committed to enhancing relationships between the Filipino American community and the Philippines, aligning seamlessly with FYLPRO's overarching goals. With a comprehensive understanding of the challenges faced by Filipino Americans, I pledge to champion evidence-based approaches for the overall well-being of our community.

I bring to the board a proven track record of successful leadership, cultural insight, and a passion for community upliftment. Your vote for me signifies an endorsement of a vision that aligns with FYLPRO's commitment to leadership, cultural enrichment, and transformative impact within the Filipino American community.



  • Dec. 1-15: Campaign period

The campaign period is governed by the following guidelines:

    • Voters will only have TWO official venues to learn about the candidates - through the official page at fylpro.org/elections, and at the Town Hall meeting. A recording of the Town Hall will also be available on the webpage for those who couldn’t make it.
    • Official FYLPRO social media accounts, including the affiliated Groups on Facebook shall not be used as a campaign venue, therefore campaigning is not allowed from the candidates. Only official elections announcements shall be posted during the period.
    • Candidates are allowed to utilize their own resources, such as personal social media accounts and websites to get creative for their campaign.
    • Candidates must exercise responsible campaign methods, acquire contacts via ethical means, avoid “spam-like” multiple messaging or posting, and must avoid using FYLPRO resources for election purposes.
    • Posting on FYLPRO Alumni FB Group is allowed, but note that the group is limited to alumni only.
    • Candidates may invite voters to ask them questions directly.
    • Candidates who currently own a fylpro.org email address must refrain from using their official email for campaign purposes.
    • No monetary compensation or transactions must occur among the candidates and voters. 
    • All reports on violations shall be reviewed by the Elections Committee. The Committee shall determine the appropriate sanction for any violation or alternative action.


Best practice recommendations:

    • This webpage can include campaign links from the candidates. Take advantage of this to possibly link to a Google slide or online-based presentation that you can update.
    • The Elections Committee allows for “updates” on candidates’ online profile at fylpro.org/elections until December 15. Just email elections@fylpro.org (or Kit directly) for your revisions and we will strive to be timely in updating the page.
    • The Elections Committee shall be referencing fylpro.org/elections in reminder membership emails leading to the Town Hall and dates of elections. 
  • Election days: Dec Sat 16 - Sunday 17

Election Runner codes shall be emailed to voters on Dec. 15 as a final reminder. Ballots may be cast beginning Dec. 16 at 8 a.m. EST, and shall close on Dec. 17 at 11:59 p.m. EST. via electionrunner.com

Candidates receiving a majority of the votes shall be declared the winner.



In the event of a tie, the Elections Committee shall convene the involved candidates to discuss and agree on a tie-breaker procedure.

The three options are:

          1. Conduct special elections: This will be similar to a “recount” and the parties will rely on the voters changing their vote for a different outcome.
          2. Board Decision: The current sitting board will have a special meeting closed to the public (executive session) to decide on the result. If a candidate is a member of the board, they will be excused. 
          3. Coin Toss or Draw sticks: If the candidates agree to making a quick and hard decision, the Elections Committee will leave it to fate to decide with a coin toss or draw sticks, or similar.


  • Dec 18 Appeals and Announcement

The Elections Committee shall publish the results of the elections on Election Runner momentarily after the closing to inform the voters of the results. There shall be two days dedicated to appeals or questions from any candidate before an official announcement is sent out via email to the membership, and posted on official social media pages on Dec. 20.

The Elections Committee submits a report to the Board and adjourns.


  • Dec 20 Official Announcement



Expectations serving on the FYLPRO Board?
As a member of the Board of Directors, you will work with the FYLPRO Executive Committee led by the President in deciding and executing on the overall strategic direction, fiscal health (including Give-Get responsibilities) and future projects of the organization.

Purpose: The Board of Directors provides strategic leadership, governance, establishes policy, oversees the operations and financial performance of FYLPRO's and assesses the Board’s own effectiveness. Our Board Members will serve on several committees, including:

  • Executive
  • Finance & Audit
  • Marketing & Communications
  • Fundraising & Development
  • Governance and Legal (ByLaws and Elections)
  • Program & Events
  • Technology

Expectations when attending a meeting:

  • Be well informed on issues and agenda items in advance of meetings
  • Contribute skills, knowledge and experience when appropriate
  • Listen respectfully to other points of view
  • Participate in organizational decision-making
  • Financially support the organization
  • Assume leadership roles in all board activities, including fundraising
  • Represent the organization to the public and private industry
  • Educate yourself about the needs of the people served (general membership)
  • Remain informed about the organization
  • Know the organization’s history, mission and goals

Requirements and Qualifications:

  • A minimum of 10 hours a month
  • Board member individual Give-Get minimum: $1000 (50% in-kind is OK)
  • Personal commitment to devote the time necessary to perform the responsibilities of a Board member
  • Strong communication and collaborative skills
  • Previous non-profit board experience is an asset

Compensation: Board Members work voluntarily without any compensation.

The organization’s guiding principles include:

  • Integrity – Accountability, Preservation of History, Leadership, Pride in Being Filipino
  • Innovation – Data-driven, Creativity
  • Inclusivity – Compassion, Collaboration, Kapwa, Bayanihan

Our core purpose - reasons why we do what we do:

  • Bridge connection between Filipinos and Fil-Am issues
  • Representation in numbers and credibility
  • To discover, design and define the Filipino brand

We aim to:

  • Capture and magnify the voice of the Filipino youth community in the US (ages 40 & under)
  • Preserve the Filipino culture, customs, and values
  • Build empathy towards Filipino community both in the Philippines and the US
  • Maintain grassroots and non-partisan approach of working locally in the fields of: arts/culture, business, design, education, engineering, finance, government, medicine, policy, and technology that will have an impact nationally and globally
  • Continue and strengthen the dialogue with the highest officials and policymakers in the Philippines and US, leaders of industry, media, artists and cultural experts, and entrepreneurs.


Interested to know what candidates submitted in last year's elections? Visit last year's page.