NaFFAA to host 13th National Empowerment Conference in Los Angeles


WASHINGTON, DC — From August 15-17, the National Federation of Filipino American Associations (NaFFAA) will convene its thirteenth National Empowerment Conference (NEC) in Carson, California.

The theme of this year’s NEC is “Make It Count: Transforming Mindsets for 2020 and Beyond,” which reflects NaFFAA’s commitment to raising awareness around key issues affecting the community, laying out a clear plan of action around the 2020 Census and Presidential election, and building a unified vision of Filipino American empowerment.

The three-day national convention will bring together a diverse array of Filipino and Filipino American leaders from across the public, private, and non-profit sector for panels, workshops and receptions promoting community engagement, knowledge-sharing, and bayanihan—or unity and cooperation.

Speakers and presenters will include Hon. Adelio Angelito Cruz, Philippine consul general for Los Angeles; Mayor Albert Robles, Carson; Commissioner Jessica Caloza, Los Angeles Board of Public Works; and Anna Marie Cruz, Business Development Office for CDC Small Business Finance.

“NaFFAA is driven by the tireless energy and boundless efforts of our network of community advocates and leaders,” says Brendan Flores, NaFFAA’s National Chairman. “By holding our NEC in Los Angeles, we have a unique opportunity to leverage the knowledge and power of community leaders, thinkers, and decision makers in a region where a large number of Filipinos and Filipino Americans reside, impacting different industries and all sectors of society.”

The 2019 NEC comes just as NaFFAA announces the appointment of Carissa Villacorta as its new executive director, concluding an extensive search that yielded a diverse field of candidates from coast to coast. Villacorta is an author, community builder and Public Relations professional who has created positive change through active listening and authentic story-telling for her clients in philanthropy, entrepreneurship, advocacy and technology. Villacorta began her immigrant’s journey at the Philippine Consulate General of New York, where she helped organize diplomatic receptions, community gatherings and other projects that promoted the talent of the Filipino. She will succeed Jason Tengco, who stepped down in April after two years leading NaFFAA.

“I’m elated that NaFFAA’s Board of Governors has invited me to join them in their tireless work  advocating for their rights, progress and well-being of four million Filipinos in America. I’ve admired NaFFAA’s leadership over the years and am grateful to have been invited to continue serving the Filipino American community in this role.”