Ruben Salazar - Chairman of the Board
Ruben Salazar is a first-generation Filipino American, born in the Philippines and is now a dual citizen of the Philippines and the U.S. In the US, he worked full-time in various Information Technology positions and part-time as an adjunct professor in Math and Computer Science at Marygrove University in Detroit and DeVry University in Chicago. He recently retired as a database consultant from PepsiCo.
He is known as Tito Ruben in the community. He is very active in organizing, coordinating and volunteering in many community events and activities to promote and appreciate Filipino culture and heritage including language, music, dance, arts, history, food, sports, religious and humanitarian causes.
JP Ferrer - President
Jan Paul Ferrer has been in the financial services industry since 1999. He is Vice President at Morgan Stanley. He is a Senior Portfolio Manager. He earned the highly regarded CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ (CFP®) and Chartered Retirement Planning CounselorSM designations. He manages over $130 million in client assets as of December 2019.
He is the current President of the International Society of Filipinos in Finance and Accounting, ISFFA - Chicago Chapter. They recently launched the first ever Chicago Filipino Restaurant Week. He is also the President of Midwest Pilipino American Coalition established in 2019 to promote collaboration amongst Filipino American community organizations. He is also a Filipino Youth Leadership Program Awardee, Batch FYLPRO 2014. He was chosen by the former Philippine Ambassador to the United States, Honorable Jose Cuisia. He founded a social entrepreneur business, Ambension Silk Enterprise, in collaboration with Chicagoland Gawad Kalinga supporters to help build the eri silk industry in the Philippines and provide livelihood work for weavers and farmers. It is incubated at Gawad Kalinga Enchanted Farm at Angat ,Bulacan.
Paula Arnedo - Vice President
Paula Arnedo is the VP of MPAC. She is also the current VP for Advertising of International Society of Filipinos in Finance and Accounting (ISFFA) – Chicago. Her recent involvement to the Chicago Filipino community was spearheading the first ever Filipino Restaurant Week in Chicago. She is currently an Associate in the Public Finance – Investment Banking group at Raymond James & Associates since August 2017. Prior to that, she was a property tax consultant at Ryan LLC. She also had a brief stint as an Analyst at Amalgamated Investment Bancorporation in the Philippines right after she received her Bachelors of Science degree in Applied Economics and Finance from De La Salle University (Manila) in 2012. She hails from Cavite and Pampanga, but has been calling Chicago her new home since she moved here in 2013.
Jean Gavina - Secretary
Jean Gavina has worked in the healthcare industry for over 15 years. She is a Clinical Account Consultant currently at Health Care Service Corporation (HCSC). Within her time at HCSC, she contributes her expertise in Care Management Strategies along with developing and implementing technology platforms and tools to support Clinical Operations. She began her clinical career working as a Registered Nurse in the Critical Care Unit and served as Charge Nurse and Manager for Nurse Assessment Coordinators.
In addition to her clinical experience, Jean has an academic background that includes a Bachelor’s of Science in Community Health with a concentration in Health Administration from Northern Illinois University as well as a Master of Science in Nursing from DePaul University.
Outside of work, she enjoys traveling and spending time with friends and family along with giving back to the Community. She currently serves on the Executive Board of HCSC’s Asian American Business Resource Group (AABRG) as the Membership Director along with being the past Community Chair Lead for the BRG. She is also an advocate for Gawad Kalinga, USA, whose mission is to end poverty in the Philippines.
Pia Natividad - Treasurer
PepsiCo, Inc. Chicago - Finance, Control & Reporting Analyst ; PepsiCo Asian Network, Chicago - Treasurer, Business Development, Community & Cultural Lead ; Passport to the Philippines/Piyesta Pinoy – Finance/Raffle Committee ; Holy Trinity Church - Simbang Gabi Coordinator and Parish Volunteer; Publisher and Contributor of Northern Journal, a newspaper widely circulated in Pangasinan, and throughout Luzon, Philippines. A lifelong community and church volunteer who also support agencies and causes that advocates people with disabilities and finding cures for diseases. Proud Dagupeno! Proud Pinoy!
Vox Populi, Vox Dei
Everett Icao - Auditor
Everett Icao is a graduate of Loyola University Chicago. Graduating in 2016 with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and International Studies with a minor in Psychology. An active volunteer in the Filipino-American community, Everett strongly believes and advocates for change in issues of social and economic injustice, community collaboration, and youth leadership engagement. He has served in several leadership capacities through organizations such as The Philippine-American Cultural Foundation, Filipino-American National Historical Society Chicago and Knights of Rizal just to name a few.
In his professional life, he is employed at Cooney & Conway, a plaintiff’s personal injury firm based in Chicago that proudly serves clients who seek assistance when finding themselves at the most vulnerable time of their lives. He continues to grow by aspiring to complete his legal education and one day represent those who need an advocate. Everett continually strives to build strong and positive relationships through his work in his professional and community organizing by involving people from different groups, ages, and backgrounds by emphasizing the importance of educating, engaging, and empowering so change can be met with action. In his free time, Everett enjoys spending his time outdoors and participating in various physically healthy activities.
Louella Rose Cabalona - PR/Social Media
Senior Project Manager of Walgreen Company. Founder/writer/singer/creative director of Samasama project, Filipino Folk Fusion Band and Performing Arts Group. Producer/actress of Center for Immigrant Resources and Community Arts-Pintig Cultural Group. Vice President for External Affairs and member of One Association of the midwest. Graduated from De La Salle University in Manila.