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Fil-Am achievers speaker series begins

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Fil-Am achievers speaker series begins

/ 06:09 PM September 19, 2014
Cora Tellez, Sterling HSA

Cora Tellez, Sterling HSA

SAN FRANCISCO – Filipino-American achievers and role models will begin a speaker series aimed at inspiring the Filipino community to work for better representation in US society.

Global Filipino Network, in partnership with WestBay Pilipino Multi-Service Center and Ding Ding TV, will hold the “Power ng Pinoy Inspiring Achievers Speaker Series” from 5:30 to 8:00 p.m. on Wednesday, September 24 at Ding Ding TV Station, 3350 Scott Boulevard, Building 54 in Santa Clara, California.

This event, presented exclusively by AARP, consists of business networking and a panel discussion on the theme “Breaking Through the Glass Ceiling.”


The professional development speaker series will feature Filipino-Americans who have successfully navigated their way up mainstream America. They will share insights and career advice, including overcoming cultural barriers to excel in the workplace and achieving both professional as well as personal goals.

5.Eric Refuerzo, Cisco Systems

5. Eric Refuerzo, Cisco Systems

The panel of speakers include Cora Tellez, founder and CEO of Sterling HSA; Jose “Joe” Esteves, Mayor of Milpitas; Eric Refuerzo, Director of Finance Group at Cisco Systems; Immanuel Masinsin, Vice-President of Enterprise Social Media at Wells Fargo; Earl Valencia, President & Founder of IdeaSpace Foundation; and Retired US Army Major General Antonio Taguba, who will also be delivering the keynote address. A representative from the San Francisco Philippine consulate is also expected at the event.

“Our goal with ‘Breaking Through the Glass Ceiling’ is to address many of the questions related to identifying and breaking the cultural barriers and provide relevant information on climbing leadership ladders,” says Arnold Pedrigal, founder of Global Filipino Network and Executive Producer of the “Power ng Pinoy” TV Series.

Filipino-Americans are sometimes referred to as “the invisible minority.” Despite being the second largest Asian American ethnicity, they seem to receive little recognition in American culture and society.

While more and more Filipino-Americans have entered the workforce with outstanding credentials and achievements, the number of Filipino-Americans in senior leadership positions has remained low. Hence, the term “glass ceiling” or “bamboo ceiling.”

Mayor Joe Esteves

Mayor Joe Esteves

As keynote speaker, Gen. Taguba will be speaking about his journey, passion as well as the obstacles he experienced while pursuing a career in the US military service until retirement a few years ago.

Taguba has reimagined his life with new pursuits and volunteer works. When his elderly parents became ill, he and his siblings were ill prepared to care for them. Faced with tough decisions about declining health and dwindling finances, the siblings managed to care for them the best they could. To help others, Gen. Taguba became an AARP Community Ambassador to advocate for caregivers and their families.

“If I did my due diligence before this happened, perhaps my family would have been better served by the information AARP had. We could have planned something better,” he said in retrospect.


Taguba also leads the “Filipino American World War II Soldiers Recognition Project,” which seeks a Congressional Gold Medal for Filipino American veterans.

2.Gen. Antonio Taguba (Ret.)

Gen. Antonio Taguba (Ret.)

The moderators for “Breaking Through the Glass Ceiling” are Anthony Rivero, host of “Power ng Pinoy TV Show,” and Vivian Zalvidea Araullo, executive director at the San Francisco nonprofit West bay Pilipino Multi-Service Center, a multi-awarded, Emmy award-winning broadcast journalist and a correspondent for

Admission to this event is free, but donations are accepted as well. Presented by AARP, the event will be videotaped at the facilities of Ding Ding TV, which will be shown online and aired in Crossings TV (Comcast 238) in the San Francisco Bay Area. Manila Mail newspaper is the event’s print media partner.



Crossings TV now airing “Power ng Pinoy”

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TAGS: AARP, Arnold Pedrigal, bamboo ceiling, Cisco Systems, Comcast, Cora Tellez, Crossings TV, Ding Ding TV, Earl Valencia, Enterprise Social Media Wells Fargo, Eric Refuerzo, Filipino American achievers speaker series, glass ceiling, IdeaSpace Foundation, Immanuel Masinsin, Milpitas Mayor Jose “Joe” Esteves, Power ng Pinoy Inspiring Achievers Speaker Series, Power ng Pinoy TV show, Retired US Army Major General Antonio Taguba, Sterling HAS
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