Board of Directors
Marily Mondejar is a senior business leader with wide-ranging global experience as an entrepreneur, strategist and advisor to Fortune 500 organizations. She advises executives on leadership and career derailment issues, and consults on corporate image strategies, merger implications, scenario planning, and how to maximize performance, through work with executive teams, alliance-building, and inter-cultural communications. Select clients included Cemex, Siebel (Oracle), and Webex (Cisco).
Marily, the Founder & CEO of the Filipina Women’s Network (FWN), has dedicated the last decade to transforming how global Filipina women view themselves and how others perceive them—the transformed image is of women initiating influential activities. Her initiatives to bring about this transformation have included producing alternative and more positive search results on the Internet for the term “Filipina,” embracing Eve Ensler’s The Vagina Monologues and campaign to end violence against women, and facilitating the creation of a pipeline of Filipina women leaders with the skills to compete at all levels in all economic sectors. As the sixth of 13 children, Marily learned early how to get her voice heard by her family and carried this over throughout her career in roles as a senior business leader, as a board member for organizations working on the status of women, and as commissioner on various commissions and task forces appointed by San Francisco Mayors Gavin Newsom and Edwin Lee.
Marily also draws from her experience as a survivor of an abusive relationship, a single mother, and a U.S. immigrant who started from scratch to promote networks for advancing the status of Filipina women globally. Marily has helped shift the language of mentorship to “femtorship,” and the mindset of Filipina women from being a silent force in society to a catalyst in changing the face of power in America and worldwide. Her impact can be measured by the countless number of women she has brought along with her and those who will in turn bring along with them to positions of leadership and influence.
Marily is the founder of the Filipina Women’s Network, the nonprofit association for women of Philippine ancestry based in the U.S., an organization she grew from 50 members in 2002 to over 10,200 list members today. The Filipina Women's Network receivedthe Organization of the Year award during International Women's Day 2010.
Marily serves (and has served) on nonprofit boards and commissions including Kearny Street Housing Corporation / I-Hotel Citizens Advisory Committee, Leadership California, the Friends of the Commission on the Status of Women, the Sweatfree Procurement Advisory Group, the Justice and Courage Oversight Panel, Image Industry Council International, the American Society for Training and Development, to name a few.
In 2017, Marily was elected Chair of the Commission on Community Investment and Infrastructure (CCII). Appointed by San Francisco Mayor Edwin Lee in 2012, CCII is the successor agency for the San Francisco Redevelopment Commission, which exercises land use, development and design approval authority for development projects in Mission Bay, Hunters Point Shipyard/Candlestick Point and Transbay Terminal including managing the real estate assets in Yerba Buena Center and the Fillmore Center. These projects represent $20 billion in assets and create jobs, affordable housing, commercial space, parks, art installations and open space areas.
In 2011, she served on the San Francisco Redistricting Task Force convened every 10 years after the Census results, that redrew the boundaries of San Francisco's 11 districts, laying the groundwork for the city's political future for the next decade.
Marily has received many awards in recognition of her work: the Award for Excellence in Civil Rights by the State of California Asian Pacific Islander Joint Legislative Caucus (2010); Local (S)Hero Award by KQED to celebrate Women's History Month (2012); the California Woman of the Year Award (2013); the Kapit-Bisig Women's Human Rights Award by Westbay (2013); Community Service Award by Asian Pacific Labor Alliance (APALA) (2013); the Circle for Courage Award (2014) presented by the Women's Intercultural Network (WIN) to an individual who have demonstrated extraordinary courage in their life and work, willing to go where no one else goes physically, emotionally, professionally, and spiritually.
Elena Buensalido Mangahas prides herself of being from Stockton, California, the future site of the only Filipino Museum in America for which she dedicates historic preservation work through the Little Manila Foundation and the Filipino American National Historical Society. Elena’s job in workforce development program in her local area ties-in with her numerous involvements in issues of cultural identity, wellness and quality of life as well as advancement of social justice.
Elena was involved in radical theatre work while at the University of the Philippines that set he passion for transformative art forms.
For the last ten years she has been part of FWN’s touring team for the staging of "The Vagina Monologues" (in English and Tagalog) licensed through the global V-Day movement against violence on women and girls.
As Chairperson for the Filipina Women’s Network, Elena connects with traditional allies in women’s work, made even more urgent with the call for joint efforts to combat the insidious crime of human trafficking that has victimized Filipinas. For this she gets the 3 o’clock call to help counsel. With FWN at the forefront she urges that Filipinas participate in the global action called One Billion Rising in 2014.
On a more personal note, Elena and husband Fred have two daughters/Filipinas who are both educators in their chosen field.
Susie Quesada is President of Ramar Foods International, the leading manufacturer of premium Filipino Frozen Foods in the US including such brands as Magnolia, Orientex and Kusina.
Growing up in the family business, she started working in the business at the age of 8 and continues the legacy that her grandmother and father started by making sure that only the best quality ingredients serve the US, Canada and the troops all over the world.
Susie's passions include family, education, wellness, soccer, eating and making sure Filipinas all over the world get the support they need to rise to the top of their industry.
Susie attended the University of California at Berkeley and St. Mary’s College in Moraga.
As a member of the Filipina Women’s Network since 2007 and board member since 2012 she is ecstatic to serve FWN as President.
She lives in Contra Costa County with her husband, Dr Chris Woolf who practices NUCCA Chiropractic and their two cats. You can find them riding bikes, cooking or watching Cal football on their spare time. Go Bears!
Sonia T. Delen is a Senior Vice President – Transaction Manager (and the highest ranked Filipina) at Banc of America Leasing, where she was a recipient of a Spirit of Excellence Award. In 2015, Governor Jerry Brown appointed Sonia to the Board of Trustees of the California Health Professions Education Foundation. She is a member of the Class of 2011 Leadership California, a women’s leadership organization dedicated to advancing the leadership role of women in business, social issues and public policy. In 2010, Philippine President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo recognized Sonia with a Presidential Citation for decades of community service in the San Francisco Bay Area and for her fundraising efforts benefitting the victims of two typhoons that devastated the Philippines in 2009. In 2007, Sonia was honored by Filipina Women’s Network as one of the Top 100 Most Influential Filipina Women in the United States.
Sonia is chair of the Campaign For Filipino Children (www.forfilipinochildren.com), an initiative of the Apl.de. ap Foundation International to combat retinopathy of prematurity, a cause of blindness in premature babies.
She serves on the boards of the Filipina Women’s Network, Philippine International Aid the University of the Philippines Alumni Association of San Francisco, and the Filipino Food Movement.
She is a founding member of the Kulinarya Showdown, a Filipino culinary amateur and professional chefs competition. Sonia was an Executive Producer of the critically-acclaimed full feature documentary film, HARANA. Sonia is a contributing author in DISRUPT. Filipina Women: Proud. Loud. Leading Without A Doubt and appeared as a featured guest on The Filipino Channel, Adobo Nation’s “Big Time Ka Na.”
Sonia graduated from the University of the Philippines with a B. S. degree in Foreign Service. She enjoys playing golf, traveling, classical music and the opera. She lives in San Francisco with her spouse, Christopher Fitzsimmons, and their three sons: David, Justin, and Matthew.
Alicia Fortaleza is the president of the Philippine Nurses Association of Northern California, Inc., an organization dedicated to serving the professional needs of all Filipino nurses in Northern California.
She is a single mom who raised three children and worked full time in nursing administration for the two hospitals of the San Francisco City & County's Department of Public Health.
She was the first Filipino RN who became a nursing supervisor, and later an associate administrator, at Laguna Honda Hospital.
Her passion is to be able to give back to the community by involvement in projects that assist in health education and services.
Edcelyn Pujol, CFP® is an investment advisor with Frontier Wealth Strategies and provides comprehensive financial planning and investment advice. She possess in depth knowledge of industry products, services and best practices.
She is adept at evaluating data and delivering sound advice based on risk tolerance, financial goals and individual circumstances. Edcelyn builds and maintain strong client relationships.
She has met the rigorous experience and ethical requirements of the CFP Board, has successfully completed financial planning coursework and has passed the CFP® Certification Examination covering the following areas: the financial planning process, risk management, investments, tax planning and management, retirement and employee benefits, and estate planning.
CFP® professionals also agree to meet ongoing continuing education requirements and to uphold CFP Board’s Code of Ethics and Professional Responsibility, Rules of Conduct and Financial Planning Practice Standards.
Prior to her transition to the Financial Industry, Edcelyn, a Project Management Professional (PMP), has worked as a consultant for companies such as AT&T, DHL, Providian and several startups managing software development/implementation.
Involvement in the community is important to Edcelyn. For over five years, she has been a committee member of the Run for Education, the primary fund raiser for the San Ramon Valley Education Foundation. Last year, more than 9,000 registered runners came to share their enthusiasm and support for the Alamo, Danville and San Ramon schools.
For the past two years, Edcelyn has worked with the San Francisco District Attorney’s office on an Anti-Bullying campaign to increase public awareness about bullying amongst students, encourage youth to discuss bullying more openly and develop effective responses to bullying.
Gizelle Covarrubias Robinson is an IT Managing Director at Charles Schwab and is responsible for Cost Basis and Portfolio Performance Platform applications. Gizelle joined Schwab in February 1998, and in her tenure has led teams here and in India responsible for production support, maintenance and development of new functionality to service clients and the business.
She has 28 year's of experience in the Technology field in financial, retail, health and insurance industries. She began her career in the Philippines where she worked from one of the top banks in the Philippines and from there moved to New Zealand where she worked for IBM. She was then offered a job in the U.S. where she worked for a retail software company.
Gizelle is a strong advocate for the women of Schwab. She believes the best way to achieve gender equality is to start with girls while they are still young. She is a board member of GirlVentures, dedicated to empowering adolescent girls.
Gizelle supports several other non-profit organizations focusing on development for young women. She was recently named as one of the 10 2013 Professional Business Women of California Industry Leader Awards. Her educational background includes a Bachelor's degree in Industrial Management Engineering with a minor in Chemical Engineering from De La Salle University in the Philippines.
Maria Beebe, Ph.D., has a Master of Arts in Anthropology and Ph.D. in Education from Stanford University. Her research interests include critical discourse analysis, women’s leadership and information and communication technologies (ICT) for development.
Maria has over twenty-five years experience in higher education and sustainable development. She recently returned from Afghanistan as a Sr ICT Advisor in Education.
She served as Washington State University Chief of Party for a USAID-funded $12 million Afghan eQuality Alliances that forged partnerships with U.S. universities and established computer centers at Afghan universities.
Among her accomplishments: Recommendations on the use of ICTs to expand the global outreach at Portland State University; Development of an e-learning management system, curriculum on ICT policy and regulation in Africa and a Masters in public policy and administration in Afghanistan, policy paper on E-education in Basic and Further Education in South Africa and a concept paper on ICTs for education in Ethiopia. Maria co-edited a book entitled AfricaDotEdu.
Maria shares lessons learned through reflection on action and papers at international conferences. She participated in the Afghanistan Country Workshop and presented a paper on MOOCs and m-learning at the World Summit on Information Society 2013. She launched Global Networks to provide professional development services for global engagement.
Bambi Lorica, M.D., FAAP, is a holistic pediatrician, community advocate and lyric soprano. Subspecializing in energy medicine, she is currently a fellow in Anti-aging, Regenerative and Functional Medicine and is a member of the International Society for the Study of Subtle Energies and Energy Medicine. As a physician entrepreneur she has internationalized the standards of a medical company providing emergency medical and transport services in the Philippines.
Bambi co-produced the critically and internationally acclaimed film ”Busong”, which was chosen in more than 35 Film Festivals, and won awards in Asia, Europe and North America, including the most prestigious award given by National Geographic for indigenous films.
Recognized for medical diplomacy, she is an active advocate both in the US and in the Philippines for numerous causes and supports humanitarian and artistic endeavors.
A mother of four, Bambi's passion includes singing, ballroom dancing, gourmet cooking and painting. Her other interests include organic farming, sustainability and renewable energy development.
A member of FWN since 2007, she is committed to uplifting the Filipina image globally and helping end domestic violence everywhere.
Thelma Boac was born in the province of Bohol, Philippines and came to America at the age of ten. She became an English, Spanish, and Music teacher and taught for many years before becoming an administrator and high school principal, the only Filipina principal in twenty years in the East Side Union High School District in San Jose, CA.
Thelma retired after 37 years in education but continues to work as adjunct professor for San Jose State University and National Hispanic University, training and supervising graduate students entering the teaching profession.
She is also a professional leadership coach for new principals and administrators in the Santa Clara County school system working with the Office of Education.
She has a Masters Degree in Education and Supervision and attended San Francisco State University, San Jose State University, and University of Granada, Spain.
Thelma currently serves as a member of the Board of Trustees for the Berryessa Union School District in San Jose, CA. As a board member, she has committed herself to improving performance at all levels and to making sure that all students have equal access to excellent education, especially those students that are most at risk.
Thelma continues to encourage, inspire and empower youth to reach their highest potential and help make our world a better place in which to live.
Amar Bornkamp is a Senior Team Manager in Operations Control at Charles Schwab. Amar has been with Schwab for a total of 21 ½ years, and in her tenure has led teams in Corporate Actions, Cash Control, and Access & Entitlements. She currently manages a team in Orlando, Phoenix, and India, that manages oversight and controls over firm applications/systems in order to prevent employee fraud and protect clients and firm assets. She attended San Francisco State University and has over 30 years of experience in the financial industry.
Amar is passionate about developing others to their full potential and helping them advance in their careers. As the co-chairperson of the Asian Pacific Islander Network at Schwab (APINS), she coordinates and puts together career development events that focus on how to overcome issues and challenges Asian-Americans and Pacific Islanders face in the work force. In putting together these events she’s worked with other companies and Asian non-profit organizations like Ascend and FWN.
She also serves on the School Board of St. Bede Catholic School in Hayward and is the chairperson of their Enrollment Committee. As a member of the St. Bede parish she has been teaching catechism for almost 15 years. She teaches 3rd and 4th grade parishioners who are preparing to do their First Reconciliation and receive their First Communion. As a catechist, she’s not only giving back to the church and community, but also living out her childhood dream of being a teacher.
Amar has two sons, and when she’s not spending time with her husband and two boys, she enjoys spending time with her extended family, reading, watching movies, and planning events and parties. She’s also a big sports fan and a big fan of the SF Giants, SF 49ers, and Golden State Warriors.
Maria Roseni "Nini" M. Alvero is the current Commercial Counselor of the Philippine Embassy’s Commercial Section (Philippine Trade and Investment Center). She has more than thirty years of government service experience, serving in various capacities at the Department of Trade and Industry in the fields of economic research; industry and trade policy; export marketing and investment promotion; and the bilateral and multilateral government-to-government relations.
She is a seasoned diplomat with former foreign stints in France, Canada, China and the US (Los Angeles, San Francisco, and the current 2nd term in Washington, DC).
As a Foreign Trade and Investment Officer, she has established a track record in establishing fruitful connections among business individuals and companies between her foreign post of assignment and the home country.
She is recognized for her ability at fully developing the potentials of Philippine export products in a given country market, through the conceptualization, planning, organizing and successful implementation of participation in numerous trade promotion activities; as well as bringing in foreign direct investors from her host country by actively engaging in a focused investment program.
She is also known to demonstrate excellent diplomatic skills as top negotiator resulting in the smooth resolution of bilateral and multilateral trade issues affecting the market access of Philippine products into her country of assignment.
Colonel Shirley S. Raguindin serves as Chief of Diversity for the National Guard Bureau (NGB) and Chief Diversity Office for the Air National Guard (ANG). In her dual role, she's principal advisor to NGB Chief, General Frank J. Grass and ANG Director, Lt. General Stanley E. Clarke III. In this capacity she is responsible for the strategic direction, implementation and alignment of ANG’s integrated global diversity and inclusion initiatives to achieve the highest state of military readiness to over 458,000 Solders, Airmen and civilians. She also interacts with several DoD and federal agencies on behalf of the Director, Air National Guard.
Col. Raguindin was commissioned in 1986 as a distinguished graduate of the Air Force ROTC program at the University of Hawaii.
Prior to her current assignment, she served as Senior Military Liaison, DoD Transformation Agency Enterprise Planning and Investment, Office of the Secretary of Defense, and developed division level strategic plans.
Throughout her career, she served in a myriad of readiness programs, leading change through policy, strategic planning and quality of life issues that impact mission readiness.
Under her leadership, NGB was recognized nationally as one of Top 25 Diversity Council Honors Award in 2012, Top 12 milBook Innovation Awards in DoD; and selected as one of 20 nationwide by the American Psychological Association (APA) to redefine leadership competencies at the 2013 Diversity Leadership Summit.
She advised as an international expert to Chapter 11, Diversity Ideologies in Organizations and is the recipient of many honors including the International Women’s Outstanding Leadership Award (2013) and Diversity Officer Leadership Award presented by Diversity Best Practices Inc., Corporate America’s preeminent organization of global diversity leaders and practitioners (2007).