Millennials Take Over Leadership of NaFFAA Capital Region
April 18, 2017
Reston, Va. “We won’t just pass the baton to you, but we will hold the baton together as we continue to lead the Capital Region,” said outgoing Regional Chair Marites “Bing” Branigin to the newly-elected officers of NaFFAA Region 2. “I’m so proud of our young leaders who are stepping forward. But we will be here to support and guide you.”
On that note, incoming Regional Chair Eric Macalma thanked “our Titas and Titos who came before us. Despite very little resources, they have given so much in building our community. But with all the resources we now have, notably in technology, we will work together with our more seasoned leaders to face the challenges before of us."
Macalma highlighted FilAM Vote and the Filipino World War II Veterans Recognition and Education Project as the Capital Region’s priorities in the coming period. “With the coming state elections in Virginia, we want to make sure our community’s civic engagement is front and center, registering more voters and getting them out to vote,” Macalma said. “We will also put a great deal of attention to raising funds for the Filipino Veterans Congressional Gold Medal, to ensure that our veterans are properly honored with a bronze replica of the award.” NaFFAA Region 2 has so far raised the most funds for FilVetREP since the national fundraising campaign was launched more than a year ago.
The newly-elected officers of the Capital Region are: Eric Macalma, Chairman; John Victoria, Deputy Chair; Jun Sandoval, lst Vice Chair; JC Videna, 2nd Vice Chair and Secretary; Paulene Madrigal, Asst. Secretary; Kathleen Cabrera, Treasurer; Andrew Esmele, Maryland State Chair; Stephanie Mina, Northern Virginia State Chair; Paulene Madrigal, Southern Virginia State Chair; Walbert Castillo, DC State Chair.
Serving as directors are Bing Branigin, APIA Vote; JC Videna, Filipino Veterans; Angela Devanadera, FilAm Vote; Jojo Orencia, Asst. FilAm Vote; Regine Victoria, Membership.
Eric Macalma of Richmond, Va., has served as Regional Vice Chair. In the last four years, he participated actively in APIA Vote and represented the region in NaFFAA national’s FilAM Vote, assisting in helping create the campaign’s website. As a member of the FilVetREP Executive Committee, Macalma provides technical assistance in building FilVetREP’s website and social media. A professional in the field of innovation and technology, he is currently the CEO of Firestarter Group (FSG) an international branding firm.
John Victoria lives in Alexandria, VA., and is the owner of Polianna, a boutique digital marketing agency specializing in search engine optimization (SEO). He's been active in District VI of Filipino Intercollegiate Networking Dialogue (FIND), Inc., and currently serves as the Vice President of Marketing and Outreach for the Filipino Young Professionals of Washington D.C.
Jun Sandoval of Virginia Beach, Va., served proudly in the U.S. Navy and, after his retirement, continues to serve the Hampton Roads community. He is an active member of Filipino American Civic Action Group (FilAmCAG), a long-time civil rights organization in the Southern Virginia region.
JC Videna is a graduate student at George Mason Univeristy (GMU) pursing a Master’s in Strategic Communication with research interests in Political Communication. He also works full-time at Knucklepuck, a digital marketing agency located in Arlington, VA.. During his time at GMU, he served as President of Filipino Cultural Association.
Kathleen Cabrera is pursuing a degree in Economics relative to Non-profit Management at George Mason University. Growing up in Virginia Beach, she participated in the School of Creative and Performing Arts and the Philippine Cultural Center’s other community outreach events. She has served as first Ms. Asia at GMU, and recently as a National Director of FIND Inc.’s District VI.
Angelalucy C. Devanadera is currently a junior at The Catholic University of America pursuing a Bachelor's Degree in Social Work. She is heavily involved with the Filipino Organization of Catholic University Students (FOCUS) as a FIND District VI Representative; Co-Cultural Chair of FIND District VI Executive Board; and AmeriCorps Member for Jumpstart at Barbara Chambers in Colombia Heights, D.C. Her most recent accomplishment is becoming a state finalist in the 2018 Miss Maryland USA competition.
Andrew Esmele is currently pursuing a public relations degree at George Mason University. From overseeing the planning of numerous National Conferences for FIND, Inc. to coordinating the 5th Annual "Merienda with the Philippine Embassy" in 2016, Esmele has been a jack of all trades, master of some. He hopes to further unify the organizations within Region II and get more of the youth involved within our community.
A Bachelor's Degree in Global Affairs with a concentration in Media, Culture, and Communications is Stephanie Mina’s goal at George Mason University. She has served as Historian with the Filipino Cultural Association and was one of two recipients for a scholarship from the Pangasinan Association of Virginia based on her outstanding academic accomplishments .
A sophomore at George Mason University studying Global Community Health and Nutrition, Paulene Madrigal now serves as the GMU Filipino Cultural Association District VI Representative and FIND, Inc., District VI Treasurer. Culture preservation and civic engagement are her biggest concerns within her local community as well the global community.
Walbert Castillo works at USA TODAY as an Associate Producer where he leads, directs and produces content-creative based projects. Aside from USA TODAY, Castillo serves as the Vice President of Communications for the Filipino Young Professionals of Washington D.C. and is involved with the Asian American Journalists Association (AAJA). He has also worked at The White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders as a communications intern, worked at CNN as a digital politics reporter/producer, and served as the president of the Society of Professional Journalists.