Volunteer Team

 

 

Technical Team

BRG Volunteer Team

Malu Araque
Programs and Operations Manager, US-Philippines Society

Malu Araque Head Shot

Cynthia “Thia” Barrameda
Sales & Marketing/Real Estate, dBar Kapit Bisig

Cynthia (Thia) Barrameda Headshot

Bing Branigin
Community Organizer, National Federation of Filipino American Associations (NaFFAA)

Bing Branigin Head Shot

Christina Bui
Student, American University

Christina Bui Head Shot

Sylvia Cabus
Technical Advisor on Women and Agriculture, United States Agency for International Development (USAID)

Sylvia Cabus

Bianca Castro
Student, Georgetown University

Bianca CastroBianca Castro is a recent graduate of Georgetown University, with a B.S. in Business Operations and Information Management. Prior to her post in Brand Marketing and Management at the International Finance Corporation (IFC), Bianca worked with the US Department of Energy, CSC, Partnership International and a handful of startups in DC and Shanghai. Throughout her tenure, Bianca has developed a fascination with international marketing research and strategic branding.

Raised in Fairfax Station, VA, Bianca has traveled throughout the United States and to 24 countries abroad (she hopes to travel to several more!). She maintains strong ties to her roots in the Philippines and visits Manila whenever she gets the chance. She enjoys traveling and food tripping and takes pleasure in entrepreneurship and studying new languages.

Lettie De Guzman
CEO and Co-founder, De Guzman Ramos Group, Inc.

Lettie de GuzmanLettie is the CEO and co-founder of the De Guzman Ramos Group, Inc in Atlanta, Georgia, a philanthropic organization dedicated to rebuilding communities around the world.  She is a contract part time translator for Filipino, Spanish and German language. Lettie is instrumental in the repair of two elementary schools in Capiz Philippines and the shipments of medicine, medical supplies and instruments to Tacloban, Leyte and Bohol. She was the business administrator of Dunwoody women’s specialist from 1986-2005, a system programmer for the United Merchant Manufacturing Company from 1972-1975. She was the technical assistant of the Commissioner of the Philippine Atomic Energy Commission from 1958 to 1965.

She lived in Vienna, Austria from 1965 to 1971 with her husband Dr. Norberto G. De Guzman. Lettie is active in fundraising for different organizations in Atlanta, she is the annual chairperson of the “september affaire” of the Yonkofa project a non-profit organization that brings sustainable medical care to the remote areas in Ghana, Africa since 2012 to present. She chaired the Filipino American community of Georgia December 2013 to raised funds to benefit the victims of the typhoon Yolanda/Haiyan in the Philippines.  Lettie is a founding member of Punla Inc., USA and the CEO and co-founder of the De Guzman Ramos group, Inc. She served the fil-am greater Atlanta as the 1993 president, 2009-2013 parliamentarian of the Philippine Chamber of Commerce of Georgia and the 2014 vice president.

She studied data processing and programming at the UCLA extension, Los Angeles, California. She has a bachelor degree in chemical engineering from the University of the Philippines, attended seminar on irradiation of fruits at the international atomic energy agency Vienna, Austria, published distillations of soy beans to produce soy sauce and irradiation of mangoes by cobalt 60.

Yna Divinagracia
Student, American University

Yna Divinagracia

Rhea Dones
Business Development Associate, Leuterio Thomas, LLC

Rhea Dones

Margaret S. Lacson-Ecarma
Principal and Executive Director, MRC3 Media, LLC

Margaret Lacson-Ecarma HeadshotMargaret is a communications executive and CEO of MRC3 Media, LLC. She has over twenty-five years of strategic and capacity building management experience dealing with local, national and international governments and organizations in media relations and training, crisis and relief preparedness, military operations, health education, and socio-economic and environmental programs. She was a former political appointee in the Clinton administration, executive producer and owner of the 6pm newscast Filipino-American Report aired with San Francisco PBS affiliate, and reported for the Voice of America.

Her twenty-year tenure as a print and broadcast journalist mainly focused on bilateral relations post-Marcos administration between the United States and the Philippines covering economic and political issues, and military and veteran affairs. She also worked for Navy medicine during Operations Iraqi Freedom and Operations Enduring Freedom as well as served as speechwriter for the Naval Sea Systems Command. She earned her Master of Arts degree in Journalism and Public Affairs from American University and Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Fordham University.

Patrick Ferraren
Certified Public Accountant

Patrick Ferraren HeadshotPatrick brings a wealth of accounting and financial experience to BRG. In the Philippines, he began his career as an auditor at SyCip, Gorres, Velayo (SGV) & Co., became a management trainee at Nestle Philippines, Inc., then obtained his MBA from the Asian Institute of Management.

In the USA, Patrick held positions as budget director at Middle East Broadcasting Networks (a US-funded TV network); accounting director at Global Professional Solutions (a federal defense contractor) and director of finance & administration at Yoga Alliance (a trade association). He currently runs his own CPA practice in Virginia, servicing health professionals, small businesses (partnerships & corporations), and nonprofit organizations, including foundations with international business relations, particularly in Asia.

He has spoke at various seminars on nonprofit issues & updates; financial reporting; and tax pertinent to NASBA-approved continuing professional education for accountants. He continues to advise several nonprofit organizations in the DC area, helping them incorporate, obtain IRS approval, prepare 990 tax returns, and deal with local and international tax issues. Patrick was a speaker at conventions held by the National Council of Philippine American Canadian Accountants (NCPACA). He is past president of the Filipino American Institute of Accountants (FAIA).

An ex-seminarian in his youth, Patrick believes in the BRG mission. He also has the knack of writing poetry when inspired or induced.

Luis Florendo
Board Member, Katipunan, Filipino-American Association of Maryland

Luis Florendo HeadshotLuis, a graduate of the Cornell School of Hotel Administration and the University of Baltimore’s MBA program, is a passionate advocate of Philippine culture and educating the community about who the Filipino is, and elevating the status of the Filipino in mainstream culture. For close to 20 years, he ran and managed the family food businesses that specialized in bringing Philippine cuisine to the American public in their waterfront festival marketplace concepts in Baltimore’s Inner Harbor that served millions of international travelers to Baltimore’s crown jewel. They also operated a white tablecloth fine dining Philippine Restaurant and full service events catering facility, as well as other retail concepts throughout the greater Baltimore area. These have led to another career in consulting in restaurant and management projects both in the US and the Philippines.

Currently, he is an interior design consultant who brings together a Philippine-Asian esthetic to residential interiors across the U.S. He is active in key leadership positions in the Filipino community where he brings innovative programming, events management, and opportunities to integrate the Filipino-American and mainstream communities in projects that increase community involvement and awareness for the Philippines.

Jocelyn Flores
Student, Georgetown University

Jocelyn Flores is currently a second year student at Georgetown University majoring in Government and minoring in Jewish Civilization.

In the past she has interned for Representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL23) in both her legislative office in Washington, DC and her district office in Pembroke Pines, Florida. Currently, Jocelyn serves on the executive board of Georgetown’s Club Filipino and helps organize events such as Bayanihan, the annual Filipino dance showcase.

Jocelyn is also an active member in Georgetown’s Asian American Student Association (AASA) and the Program for Jewish Civilization (PJC), a program dedicated to studying the ethical aspects of Jewish civilization and its interrelationship with other peoples and polities.

Hank Hendrickson
Executive Director, US-Philippines Society

HEDRICKSON Hank

Joyce Javillonar
Program Manager, US-Philippines Society

Joyce Javillonar Head Shot

Aylene Mafnas
Realtor, Keller Williams

Aylene Mafnas Head Shot

Linnea Magsuci
Student, George Washington University

Linnea Magsuci HeadshotLinnea Magsuci is currently a second year student at the George Washington University majoring in International Affairs at the Elliott School of International Affairs (ESIA).

Her past employment history has primarily consisted of working as a program assistant for the GW Summer and Conference Housing and interning with the United Nations (UN) in New York, NY. She formerly served as Vice Chair for her residential dormitory, Hensley Hall through the Residence Hall Association (RHA).

Linnea is also an active member for two student-led organizations on campus, the Philippine Cultural Society (PCS) and Sigma Iota Rho (ΣΙΡ), a collegiate honors society for international studies. Originally from Brooklyn, NY, she also maintains strong ties to her parents’ hometown of Iloilo in the Western Visayas region of the Philippines.

Thomas E. “Tom” Mason
Project Manager, Vox Optima LLC

BRG Mason Headshot

Thompson “Tom” Mayes
Deputy General Counsel, National Trust for Historic Preservation

Jon Melegrito
Community Advocate, National Federation of Filipino American Associations (NaFFAA)

Jon imagesJon Melegrito served for four years as Exec. Director of the National Federation of Filipino American Associations, 10 years as a writer for an international labor union (AFSCME), and 27 years as a library manager at George Washington University. A graduate of American University with an MA in Journalism and Public Affairs, Melegrito is a columnist and writer for various publications.

 

 

Osamu Osawa
Technical Designer, Gensler

Mitzi Pickard
President, Philippine Arts, Letters & Media (PALM) Council

Mitzi Pickard Head Shot

Andrew S. Potts
Partner, Nixon Peabody, LLP

Andrew Potts Head ShotAndrew Potts’s practice centers on the use of federal and state historic tax credits (HTCs) and new markets tax credits (NMTCs) as means for financing community revitalization projects.Some of the most complex work he does involves combining HTCs and NMTCs with low-income housing tax credits (LIHTCs) and tax-exempt bond financing, as well as with other federal funding sources, such as HUD programs, FHA mortgage insurance and the National Park Service’s Save America’s Treasures program.

 

He has built his career playing an energetic role in public policy issues relating to historic preservation and affordable housing. He served as pro bono counsel to the National Trust for Historic Preservation and in that capacity was active in advising on the HTC aspects of the landmark 2008 housing bill enacted by Congress, for which he was awarded the National Trust’s John H. Chafee Trustees Award for Outstanding Achievement in Public Policy. He also was among those who worked with HUD to secure a new policy facilitating the use of FHA mortgage insurance on syndicated HTC projects, and served as Vice President of the Historic Tax Credit Coalition.

Education and training are other aspects of his practice. He has served as the co-chair of the National Conference of State Historic Preservation Officers’ National Historic Tax Credit Conference. He has also lectured on HTCs and NMTCs for the NCSHA, the League of Historic American Theaters, NH&RA, the National Trust, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, the Preservation360 Conference, the National Community Reinvestment Coalition, the National Main Street Center and others.

He currently serves on the Board of Directors and Executive Committee of Preservation Action, the Board of Directors of the Indiana State Society of Washington, D.C., and as a member of the Board of Historic Landmarks Foundation of Indiana.”

Andrew also serves on Board of Directors of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization’s (UNESCO) International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS) based in Geneva, Switzerland.

Patrick Realiza
Social Media Specialist, DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities (DCCAH)

Patrick Realiza is currently the social media specialist for the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities (DCCAH), an agency under the Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development (DMPED) within the Government of the District of Columbia. In this role, he actively manages, updates and monitors the DCCAH’s official website and social media platforms. Furthermore, he develops, implements and supports internal and external communications strategies on behalf of the agency.

Prior to this post, Patrick was formerly with the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), where he conducted in-depth analysis of strategic communications in the areas of compliance and information management.

Patrick’s past employment history has primarily consisted of work in the fields of communications, public relations, and media affairs. Patrick graduated from The George Washington University in 2011 with a B.A. in political science, where he recently served as marketing chair for the university’s Asian Alumni Association (GWAAA) from 2014 to 2015. Throughout his tenure, Patrick developed and promoted all strategic communications and public relations goals and objectives on behalf of the organization.

Born in the Philippines and raised in California, Patrick has traveled throughout the United States and abroad. His foreign language skills include Tagalog, Cebuano, Spanish, Italian, and French. He enjoys traveling, cooking, and running in his spare time. In addition, Patrick takes pleasure in keeping up with politics and current events, international affairs, and studying new languages.

Angelina “Lina” Santiago
Accounts Payable Specialist, dBar Kapit Bisig

Angelina Santiago Headshot

Roger Santos
Executive Director, ANCOP Foundation (USA) Inc.

Roger Santos Head Shot

Veronique Vicera
Associate, PINNACLE Registry, Science, Education & Quality, American College of Cardiology (ACC)

Veronique Vicera

Sandra “Dang” Marquez Yusah
Artist, dBar Kapit Bisig

Sandra (Dang) Marquez Yusah Headshot