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Dear friends,

Can you believe that we're only hours away from 2019?! As you celebrate this holiday season with your beloved friends and family, I wanted to take this opportunity to reflect on another successful year for the National Federation of Filipino American Associations (NaFFAA), and thank you for all that you have done to make it happen. We continued to make huge strides to empower the over four million Filipinos and Filipino Americans in the United States for years to come. While there is still much work to be done, let us celebrate the accomplishments that made 2018 a monumental year for NaFFAA.
 

Beginning in January at our Leadership Summit in San Francisco, we started the year by reflecting on 2017 and continuing to develop our cohesion through team-building. Led by Executive Director Jason Tengco and Chief Strategic Officer Chris Rivera, we developed a dynamic blueprint focused on leadership development, civic engagement, and advocacy. 

In April, we organized our first-ever Northern California Civic Leadership Forum at the Philippine Consulate in San Francisco. Sponsored by Civic Leadership USA, AARP, and the Reginald F. Lewis Foundation, the forum featured prominent Filipino American speakers who discussed topics ranging from personal and professional development, to civic engagement and local advocacy.
 
In June, we hosted our first-ever Empowering Pilipino Youth through Collaboration (EPYC) Advisory Council Summit in Las Vegas, bringing together representatives from ten national and regional student networks and organizations. We also launched the second cohort of our EPYC Ambassadors Program with 19 college students and young professionals.
 
October was a very busy month during Filipino American History Month. On October 1, we hosted our 2nd annual Federation Forum in Washington, D.C., bringing together 15 national and regional Filipino American organizations from throughout the country to strengthen collaboration and share best practices.
 
On October 2, we partnered with the White House Office of Public Liaison and the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders to host the 4th annual Filipino American History Month Celebration at the White House.
 
We hosted a successful Filipino American History Month Reception in Washington, D.C., at Kaliwa, where we exceeded our own expectations by filling the room with 150 attendees, which included NaFFAA members, community leaders, and corporate partners. We were pleased to be joined by Filipino American elected officials from throughout the country, including Rep. Bobby Scott from Virginia, as well as a few candidates for Congress, such as Gina Ortiz Jones, Cristina Osmena, and Jennifer Zimmerman.
 
For the 2018 midterm elections in November, we ramped up efforts to get Filipino Americans civically engaged, including through our FilAm Vote Public Service Announcement. Through partnerships with AARP, APIAVote, the New Virginia Majority, and the Asian Community Development Council (ACDC), we registered voters and helped increase turnout throughout the country, including in places like Northern Virginia, Denver, and Las Vegas.
 
In December, we ended the year with our Board of Governors Summit in Carson, CA. In partnership with Civic Leadership USA, we also hosted our Southern California Civic Leadership Forum, which featured eight elected officials who helped encourage Filipino Americans to run for office and for the community to be represented in the highest levels of government. We announced that the Carson Community Center will also be the venue of our 2019 National Empowerment Conference from August 15-18, 2019!
 
Over the course of the year, we continued to strengthen relationships with some of our corporate and philanthropic partners, some of whom convened in Washington, D.C. for a meeting of our Executive Advisory Council. We also fostered our relationships with other Asian American communities through our membership in the National Council of Asian Pacific Americans (NCAPA), and our renewed involvement with the Asian Pacific American Media Coalition (APAMC).
 
This year also took me across this beautiful nation as I engaged with Filipino Americans from coast to coast. Some other highlights included:
  • Appearing on Comcast Newsmakers during Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month
  • Joining the Filipino community in Charleston, SC for Filipino Youth Heart Night
  • Attending our EPYC Advisory Council Summit in my hometown of Las Vegas
  • Celebrating Philippine Independence Day in D.C. and throughout the country
  • Supporting the Filipino American Student Association (FASA) at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro with their annual event
  • Showing our commitment to young Filipino Americans, including supporting conferences led by Filipino Young Professionals (FYP) of D.C., the Southern California Pilipino American Student Alliance (SCPASA), the Filipino Intercollegiate Networking Dialogue (FIND), and other student and youth networks
  • Attending The Outstanding Filipinos in America (TOFA) Awards held at Carnegie Hall in New York City
 
Our work wouldn’t be possible if it weren’t for our tremendous NaFFAA leadership team: our staff, Board of Governors, Region Chairs, Board of Advisors, National Chairman’s Councils, EPYC Ambassadors, as well as our regional, state, and local leaders and members from throughout the country. We are also extremely grateful for our corporate and philanthropic partnerships, especially with AARP, AT&T, Civic Leadership USA, The Coca-Cola Company, Comcast NBCUniversal, the Reginald F. Lewis Foundation, Verizon, and others.
 
On a final note, let us celebrate the lives of those who left before us, including Ely Natividad and Merit Salud. Both leaders left an indelible mark on NaFFAA and the community at large for their leadership, passion, and unwavering commitment to empowerment. They will be dearly missed.
 
As we turn the page to 2019, I hope you come along with us on our journey and become a member by clicking here. All donations will support national and regional efforts around leadership development, civic engagement, and advocacy. We cannot claim success without the efforts of all of you! 2019 promises to be one of tremendous progress, and each and every one of you will play a significant role.
 
I wish you all the best in the coming new year. Together, let’s make history and continue to write our story!


Brendan Flores
President and National Chairman
National Federation of Filipino American Associations (NaFFAA)
 

Since 1997, the National Federation of Filipino American Associations (NaFFAA) has been the standard bearer for promoting the welfare and well-being of the four million Filipinos and Filipino Americans throughout the United States. As a non-partisan and non-profit organization, NaFFAA is the largest national affiliation of Filipino American institutions, umbrella organizations, and individuals. Its member regions cover the continental United States, Alaska, Hawaii, and the Pacific Islands.
Copyright © 2018 National Federation of Filipino American Associations (NaFFAA), All rights reserved.