Filipino Young Leaders Program Announces 2022 Immersion Cohort

For Immediate Release

Media Contact:

Leezel Tanglao

October 17, 2022

Filipino Young Leaders Program Announces 2022 Immersion Cohort

Washington D.C. – The Filipino Young Leaders Program (FYLPRO), a joint initiative of the Philippine Embassy, Consulates General in the United States, and the Ayala Foundation, Inc. (AFI), is pleased to announce the 2022 FYLPRO Delegates. 

This year’s class marks the first in person immersion program in more than two years due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The 2022 FYLPRO Delegates (in alphabetic order) are:

  1. Michelle Amor – New York, New York
  2. Grace Arupo Rodriguez – Roseville, California
  3. Joshua De Leon – Long Beach, California
  4. Daniel Galeon – Montvale, New Jersey
  5. Genevieve Jopanda – San Francisco, California
  6. Michele Josue – Glendale, California
  7. Agnes Lopez – Jacksonville, Florida
  8. Angelo Mathay – Raleigh, North Carolina
  9. Jamille Nagtalon-Ramos – Sicklerville, New Jersey
  10. Constancio Paranal III – Honolulu, Hawaii
  11. Melissa (Michi) Trota – Chicago, Illinois
  12. Danicole Ramos – Waialua, Hawaii
  13. Angelico Razon – Pasadena, California
  14. John Victoria – Arlington, Virginia
  15. Neil Wingkun – Houston, Texas

In the 2022 application cycle, several changes were made that yielded an even more competitive application pool including raising the age limit from 40 to 45 and implementing an application administration fee. The immersion program selection committee also instituted a rigorous first blind cut round and a final virtual interview process where applications went through a series of several reviewers over the course of a multiple week process. 

The increased age limit also gave an opportunity to those who would have aged out during the pandemic.

“After a two year hiatus due to the global pandemic, I’m pleased to welcome the next cohort of young leaders to experience the life-changing, transformative experience my 2019 cohort went through,” said 2022 FYLPRO President Leezel Tanglao. “This year’s cohort raises the bar across underrepresented industries and locations. I’m excited for them to join the FYLPRO family and network.”

The 2022 cohort includes a five-time Hugo Award winner, an administrative judge, emergency room physician and Emmy award winning documentary filmmaker among this year’s delegates. This year’s cohort includes new regions represented with delegates from Raleigh, North Carolina and Jacksonville, Florida.

The delegates will be traveling in a week-long immersion trip to Manila, Philippines in November. 

“We welcome the resumption of FYLPRO’s in-person and immersive leadership development experience for the newly expanded delegation of 15 Filipino-American young professionals. There is no better way to cap off the 10th year anniversary than to showcase the growth of FYLPRO to the Filipino-American community,  and to major Philippine partners in the government, non-government, and private sector.” said Ambassador Jose Manuel Romualdez. “I look forward to personally meeting and hosting them in Manila, and learning about their vision and aspirations as Filipino-American leaders.”

The delegates will get the opportunity to interact with Philippine Government officials and leaders in the fields of business, arts and culture, and civil society.

“We are honored to provide a platform for our Fil-Am leaders to engage in meaningful dialogue with movers and shakers both in the Philippines and the United States. We look forward to collaborating with our delegates in creating an impact in the lives of Filipinos all over the world,” said Ayala Foundation Ruel T. Maranan.

FYLPRO was established in 2012 by Former Ambassador of the Republic of the Philippines to the United States of America, Jose L. Cuisia, Jr. and Mrs. Victoria J. Cuisia in cooperation with the Ayala Foundation Inc. (AFI) to annually identify outstanding young professionals in the Filipino communities across the United States and provide the delegates with invaluable community, business, and government insights and access to distinguished network captains of industry and government.

About Filipino Young Leaders Program (FYLPRO)

FILIPINO YOUNG LEADERS PROGRAM (FYLPRO) is a network of high performing, next-generation leaders who advance the Philippines and the Filipino people through their advocacy and expertise in various industries. 

We continually expand the pipeline of Filipino young leaders in the diaspora.  By connecting them to the motherland, we foster collaborative multinational  relationships that create innovations and support the socio-economic progress of the global Filipino community.

For more information, visit

About the Ayala Foundation, Inc.

As the social development arm of the Ayala group of companies, Ayala Foundation envisions communities where people are creative, productive, self-reliant, and proud to be Filipino. Ayala Foundation is committed to community development, working closely with communities in identifying compelling developmental needs and providing suitable solutions with measurable outcomes. It implements programs under the following themes: Education, Sustainable Livelihood, and Love of Country.  

About the Philippine Embassy in the United States

The Philippine Embassy’s mission is to promote and protect Philippine interests in the global community. Republic Act No. 7157, otherwise known as “Philippine Foreign Service Act of 1991”, gives mandate to the Department of Foreign Affairs to implement the three (3) pillars of the Philippine Foreign Policy, as follows:

  • Preservation and enhancement of national security
  • Promotion and attainment of economic security
  • Protection of the rights and promotion of the welfare and interest of Filipinos overseas.


See below for delegate’s short bios

Folder for headshots:

2022 Immersion Delegates

Michelle Amor joined Lev, a digital commercial real estate fintech startup, in 2021 to help launch the firm’s new direct-lending business. Now, she is a Manager within Lev’s strategy and innovation team, Lev Labs. Prior to Lev, Michelle worked as a Fixed Income Credit Trader at Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation, and has held previous roles at firms including J.P. Morgan, Wells Fargo, and Balyasny Asset Management. Michelle has been on the board of the Filipino American National Historical Society’s Metropolitan New York Chapter for four years, She currently serves as Treasurer and was previously the Chair of Communications. She also currently serves as Treasurer of the National Federation of Filipino American Association’s New York State Chapter. In addition, she works for Steven Raga’s campaign for New York State Assembly, District 30. Michelle received her BA in Financial Economics at Columbia University in 2019. At Columbia, Michelle served as the President of Liga Filipina (2018) and the Social-Cultural Chair (2017). Prior to college, Michelle danced with American Repertory Ballet, Arch Contemporary Ballet, and the Nutmeg Conservatory for the Arts.

Grace Arupo Rodriguez lives in Roseville, CA with her supportive husband and witty 7-year-old son. She serves as the Assistant Deputy Director of Legal Affairs at the California Department of Consumer Affairs, which is the umbrella entity that administers more than 3.4 million California licenses in more than 280 license types from accountants, architects, boxers, engineers, dentists, doctors, nurses, pharmacists to veterinarians.  Grace served as the first Deputy Director of Legal Affairs in the then-newly created Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development from 2013 to 2017 and was instrumental in re-structuring various tax credit incentives for California, including the Film Tax Credit and the California Competes Tax Credit. She also assisted with the implementation of the Office of Travel and Tourism’s expanded tourism assessment fee.  Grace previously served as the Senior Deputy Counsel in the Sacramento City Attorney’s Office from 2012 to 2013, working on bond financing of public works projects. Grace was the first Corporate Counsel for the California Independent System Operator (California ISO) from 2007 to 2012 (the California ISO manages the flow of electricity across 80 percent of California’s grid and a small part of Nevada). Grace began her professional career as a transactional attorney at Downey Brand LLP. Grace has been active with the Pilipino National Day Association (PNDA)’s Filipino Fork events since its inauguration in 2017, held various board positions, including President of the Asian Bar Association of Sacramento and served as a Board Member from the Alumni Association of the University of California, Davis (King Hall Law School) for two-terms. Grace earned a Juris Doctor degree from University of California, Davis School of Law and obtained a Bachelor of Arts in Business Economics, with a minor in Accounting from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) graduating from the UCLA’s prestigious College Honors program, cum laude.  

Josh De Leon is an organizational changemaker, local political leader, and community organizer, currently based in Southern California. As a senior consultant for a diversity, equity, and inclusion firm, he collaborates with major companies to assess and transform their culture and processes. He was elected as an assembly district delegate representing his hometown to the statewide party; becoming one of the first Filipinos in the district to ever hold that role, and has deep ties to grassroots activism in the area. He serves on the board of FilExcellence, with a mission to support, empower, and elevate the Filipino/a/xs globally, as well as the nonprofit Rising Organizers. Josh previously has worked in or alongside NGOs, government agencies, private companies, and education programs, and will bring that interdisciplinary and multisectoral background to FYLPRO. He holds a master’s degree from Stanford University.

Daniel Galeon IV currently resides in New Jersey with his wife Christine and their 3 children – Daniel Antonio, David Ricardo and Gabriella Rose. He is a Product Risk Strategist at Stripe, a developer-oriented commerce company, where he leads risk governance for the financial services business vertical. Previously, he was a Vice President at Goldman Sachs in both their Asset Management and Global Markets businesses, where he designed and led programs for operations, electronic trading, and prime services. He also held analytical and product roles at First Quadrant LP, Blackrock and Fisher Investments. Daniel is an active member of the Filipino-American community. He currently serves on the National Executive Board for the International Society of Filipinos in Finance & Accounting and was previously the President for the New York Chapter. He also serves as the President of the Filipino-American Chamber of Commerce of New York. Daniel is a firm believer in higher education and is actively involved in outreach and admissions for Yale University, UC Berkeley, and The Riordan Programs at UCLA Anderson School of Management. Daniel obtained a B.A. with Honors from the University of California, Berkeley and an MBA from the Yale School of Management. He also studied at the Asian Institute of Management in Makati, Philippines.

Genevieve Villafranca Jopanda is the first American born of Ilonggo and Karay-a parents. She is a leadership executive with over 20 years of business operations experience across non-profit, corporate, and political and government environments. Genevieve has the most recent immediate impact at the California State Treasury where she served as Chief of Staff/ Chief Deputy Treasurer and top advisor to the elected State Treasurer. There she was responsible for the day-to-day operations of numerous state programs and divisions including upwards of 450 geographically dispersed staff across the state overseeing more than $2 trillion in transactions and an investment portfolio of over $100 billion within a typical year.

Michele Josue is an Emmy award-winning Filipino filmmaker. Her debut MATT SHEPARD IS A FRIEND OF MINE is the winner of 10 Best Documentary and Audience Awards from festivals worldwide and the 2016 Daytime Emmy Award for “Outstanding Special Class Special.” Michele is the Creator and Director of HAPPY JAIL, the Netflix Original documentary series about the world-famous Filipino “Dancing Inmates” that won the 2021 Silver Telly Award for Series Documentary for Television. Michele was selected as a 2021 Film Independent Fast Track Fellow with NURSE UNSEEN, her upcoming documentary about the unsung Filipino-American nurses risking their lives on the frontlines of the pandemic while facing a resurgence of anti-Asian hate in the streets.

Agnes Lopez is a Filipino-American editorial and commercial photographer whose work has been featured in The New York Times, Harvard Business Review, Wall Street Journal, MIT Technology Review, The Local Palate, on the Food Network, in cookbooks, and advertising campaigns for national brands.  For the past five years, Lopez has been hard at work directing her first documentary, JAX Filipino Chefs, following the journey of a group of Filipino-American chefs as they set out to change the culinary scene of her hometown of Jacksonville, Florida with their food. Her portraits of Filipino World War II veterans and Holocaust survivors, The Faces to Remember Project, is a traveling exhibit that has been featured at galleries and museums across Florida. Lopez recently launched a new talent agency, Pose Well Models, that focuses on providing a diverse and inclusive roster of models for today’s brands and ad campaigns.

Angelo Mathay is an Administrative Judge at the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission based in Raleigh, North Carolina, where he adjudicates employment discrimination claims filed by federal employees in three southeastern states. He completed a detail as a Trial Attorney with the Immigration and Employee Rights Section of the U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division, providing the office assistance with investigations related to citizenship status discrimination in hiring, firing, or recruitment or referral for a fee, national origin discrimination, unfair documentary practices during the employment eligibility verification, Form I-9 and E-Verify, and retaliation or intimidation. Previously, he worked at various immigration law and policy-related organizations in Washington, D.C., such as the National Immigration Law Center, Migration Policy Institute, and The Pew Charitable Trusts. Before coming to North Carolina, he was a Program Officer with the Robin Hood Foundation in New York City, where he managed part of the immigration legal services and the food security portfolios.

Jamille Nagtalon-Ramos, EdD, MSN, WHNP, is an assistant professor and an Engaged Civic Learning Faculty Fellow at Rutgers University in Camden, NJ. She practices as a board-certified women’s health nurse practitioner in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Penn Medicine in Philadelphia, PA. She is an award-winning author and educator, and a Fellow of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners (FAANP). Dr. Nagtalon-Ramos currently serves as the treasurer of FAANP’s Executive Committee, a member of the Editorial Board of the Women’s Healthcare Journal, and was recently elected as a Board member of the Filipinx/a/o Community Health Association (Fil-CHA). She is an active member of the Philippine Nurses Association of America and the Philippine Community of Southern New Jersey.

Constancio Paranal III is a lawyer specializing in the field of cybersecurity law. While in law school, he served in various government institutions including the Office of the General Counsel of the University of Hawai’i, the Office of the Lieutenant Governor of Hawai’i, and the Office of the Attorney General of Guam. In private practice, he worked in the field of Family law and Criminal Defense. Outside of legal practice, he is a faculty fellow at the Pacific Asian Center for Entrepreneurship at the University of Hawai’i at Manoa. In addition, he helps the City and County of Honolulu at the Office of Economic Revitalization, with the goal of promoting innovation and technology to support the city’s future economic growth post pandemic by creating “good jobs.” Constancio was born and raised in the Philippines. He is an alumnus of De La Salle University – Manila and was recently admitted to the Asian Institute of Management. Outside of work and school, Constancio and his spouse run their own non-profit organization, the Finley Fort Foundation, in memory of their beloved frenchie, Finley. During their spare time, they love to check new restaurants in town with their new baby frenchie, Franklin. 

Danicole Ramos is from Waialua, Hawai‘i on the North Shore of O‘ahu. He is in his final year of law school at the University of Hawai‘i William S. Richardson School of Law. He also serves as Military Equal Opportunity Officer in the Hawai‘i Air National Guard, working to promote an environment free from personal, social or institutional barriers that could prevent Air Force members from rising to their highest potential.

Angelico “Iko” Razon (he/him) is an internist, pediatrician, and public health professional. His father is from Pampanga, and his mother is from Cebu. He completed his bachelor’s degree at Harvard College, medical degree through UCLA’s PRIME-LA Program, master of public health at Harvard, and master of science in health policy research at the University of Pennsylvania. After combined residency in Internal Medicine and Pediatrics at the University of Michigan and the National Clinician Scholars Program at Penn, Iko served as an Attending Physician with the Adult Care & Transition Team at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and a Medical Specialist at the Philadelphia Department of Public Health in the Division of COVID Containment. Iko is now an Assistant Professor at the Kaiser Permanente School of Medicine in the Department of Health Systems Science. He also serves as the Operations Chair of the Council of Young Filipinx Americans in Medicine (CYFAM), a FYLPRO Legacy Project. Iko loves painting, dinosaurs, cooking, dancing, and storytelling. 

Michi Trota (she/her/hers) is a writer, editor, and fire performer who is a five-time Hugo Award winner, British Fantasy Award winner, and Ignyte Award finalist. She is the Features Editor of Prism, a former Editor-in-Chief of Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers Association (SFWA), and the first Filipina Hugo Award winner. Michi has been a guest on NPR programs and a speaker at multiple venues including the Chicago Humanities Festival. Her publications include the WisCon Chronicles Vol. 12 co-edited with Isabel Schechter (Aqueduct Press) and the Wing Luke Museum 2018-19 exhibit Worlds Beyond Here: Expanding the Universe of APA Science Fiction. Michi performs with the Raks Geek/Raks Inferno Fire+Bellydance troupe and lives with her spouse and two cats in Chicago.

John Victoria has always believed in the importance of service, accountability, and a commitment to excellence, from his childhood to his training as a U.S. Naval Officer. With these core values, John founded Polianna, a digital marketing agency focusing exclusively on helping home service contractors profitably grow their businesses online with a specialty in local SEO and website development. He’s helped home service companies cross 8-figures in revenue, add hundreds of additional inbound calls every month, and build truly consistent lead flow in their business by implementing effective internet marketing strategies. John is also the host of the HVAC Financial Freedom podcast and the bestselling author of The HVAC Marketing Machine. 

Neil Wingkun works as an emergency physician in Houston, Texas, at Houston Methodist Hospital and MD Anderson Cancer Center.   During COVID, Neil served on the American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) public health committee, helping to improve public health awareness with discharge planning in the emergency department.  Outside of his clinical duties, he serves as the Chief Mentorship Chair for Council for Filipinos Americans in Medicine (CYFAM).