In a fitting end to its Leadership Management Seminar (LMS) program for mainstream Filipino American community leaders, the Philippine Consulate General in New York held its fourth LMS, dubbed “Empowerment for the Future“, at the Harvard Student Organization Center in Cambridge, Massachusetts on March 22.
Seventy-six participants joined the LMS where at least 25 organizations from the states of Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maine, Rhode Island and Connecticut were represented.
The three previous LMS were held in New York (23 February 2013), Philadelphia (9 March 2013) and New Haven, Connecticut (5 October 2013).
Consul General Mario De Leon, Jr. said in his opening remarks that “through this LMS, we hope to arm our community leaders with important tools that will help them better manage and lead their organizations.” “It is one way of empowering the community,” he added.
Speaking at the LMS were the following resource persons:
Deputy Consul General Zaldy Patron gave an Overview of the Philippine Conditions and discussed the economic resurgence of the Philippines, the growth industries in the country, and PH-US trade and investment relations. He said that among the challenges facing the country were attaining inclusive growth, sustaining good governance measures, and improving its disaster preparedness and mitigation capability.
Ms. Jocelyn Santiago, Accounting Manager at Comcast Corporation, gave a lecture on Managing Financial Responsibilities in an Organization. She explained the important aspects of financial management in an organization, such as bookkeeping, accounting and financial reporting. She also talked about the requirements of the Internal Revenue Services (IRS) for a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization and the rules for fundraising expenses deductibility.
Atty. Diana Española, Legal Adviser at Morse, Barnes-Brown & Pendleton, P.C., spoke on the topic Managing Legal Matters in an Organization, focusing on the benefits of being a 501(c)(3) organization, the basic legal and compliance requirements that it has to meet, and the duties and responsibilities of its officers and directors.
Ms. Myra O. Liwanag, Director for Regional and Multicultural Programs at Brown University Alumni Relations Office, took on the topic Events Planning and Management and shared her own experiences in successfully organizing different types of events. She cautioned the participants to be aware of the possible cultural stumbling blocks in organizing events and gave them pointers how to do better planning and execution of events.
Mr. Joselito Mecua, Protocol Officer at the Philippine Consulate General, discussed Protocol and explained the concept and relevance behind it as well as its application in various settings. He made the participants aware of the rules on precedence, the use of the flag and anthem, and the proper way of addressing government officials. He emphasized the importance of adjusting to the cultural practices of some countries.
Dr. Ramon Henson, a professor at Rutgers University and an organization and management consultant, talked about Effective Leadership and Change and enlightened the participants with his discussion on how to become a good and effective leader, and on how to manage the process of change in an organization.
Following these presentations, five participants joined a panel discussion on “Engaging the Second Generation Filipino-Americans”. The panelists included Michelle Denise Ferreol (Co-President, Harvard Philippine Forum), Matthew Alonsozana (Student Assembly President, Boston College), Atty. Jennifer Coliflores (Staff Attorney, Public Defender Division of the Committee for Public Counsel Services) and Dr. Richard Chu (Associate Professor, University of Massachusetts) while Mr. Dennis Santiago served as the moderator.
They shared their observations on the characteristics of the 2nd Gen and the challenges of getting them more involved in the community and more interested about the Philippines. Highlighted during the discussion were: a) the importance of inculcating pride among the younger generation about their Filipino identity; b) the need to have more dialogue between the first and younger generations; c) the use of social media to reach out to the younger generation; d) encouraging more US faculty and students to visit the Philippines to raise their awareness about the country; e) the possibility of forming a “coalition” among Filipino American organizations with the New England States so they can foster greater cooperation, coordinate their activities and achieve synergy.
Consul General De Leon also shared his view that existing associations should consider re-purposing their vision-mission statement to include the integration and re-connection of the 2nd and younger generations to the Philippines. He noted the fact that many of the older associations that are now 30-40 years old were primarily social clubs and were organized to promote fellowship among the new migrants during their time.
Ms. Lidy Chan shared her experience in attending the LMS. “I have attended a professional leadership management seminar before, but this one was truly geared towards non-profit organization. I found the seminar very informative, and the topics selected were ideal for our audience. The speakers were excellent, and very interactive. The panelists were impressive and phenomenal! It is my hope to continue to lead the organization with a refreshed outlook, some new ideas, and a strengthened network of members and other leaders of organization,” she said.
Consul General De Leon thanked the community leaders in the five states who worked together to gather as many participants to the seminar as possible.
Press release and photos courtesy of the Department of Foreign Affairs, 01 April 2014.