Fiesta In America grateful to the community for its loyalty

Fiesta In America CEO Nanding Mendez (4th from left) and VP for Community Outreach Prof. Laura Garcia (to his left) with Empowerment Awards honorees.

Fiesta In America presented Empowerment Awards to FilAm achievers, including a bank president and an advocate for autism education during its People’s Ball on August 9.

This year’s honorees are Mary Grace Asufrin for Nursing Leadership, Roger Santos for Philanthropy, Alvin and Prima Hower for International Community Service, Dr. Lirio Covey for Autism Advocacy, Eric Bustamante for Banking Management, Roumel Reyes for Achievement in International Chess, and a posthumous award to Dr. Fely Quines, a former Fiesta Hermana Mayor.

Billed as the biggest expo and cultural show on the East Coast, this year’s Fiesta faced a competing event held on the same weekend and with almost the same name.

“Despite a competing free-admission event held only a few miles from our venue on the same day as Fiesta In America, avid and new followers of our event still came in droves,” said Nanding Mendez, the event’s President and CEO.

Despite a competing event, avid and new followers ‘came in droves,’ says Mendez.

“It only signifies the loyalty of the FilAm community whose goodwill was nurtured for more than two decades by Fiesta In America, and the potent recall of the event’s brand,” said Prof. Laura Garcia, vice president for Community Outreach.

The August 10 and 11 events at the Meadowlands Expo Center in Secaucus, New Jersey was highlighted by concert performances from American disco icons to Philippine teleserye superstars, a trade pavilion featuring export-grade products from Central Mindanao, and free workshops on franchising and financial management.  

This year  is Fiesta’s 21st anniversary.

The People’s Ball, held at the Meadowlands Hilton in East Rutherford, is a companion event usually celebrated on the eve of the weekend expo.  

“It is Fiesta’s way of honoring the leaders of the community for their achievements in various fields of endeavor and expertise,” said Mendez.

Providing the musical numbers were 9-year-old singing prodigy Denise Kara, The Voice 2018 sensation Radha, TV soap superstars JC De Vera and Yam Concepcion, as well as Janice Marie Johnson, lead singer of Grammy-winner A Taste Of Honey.

Filipino companies pitched the value of investing in Philippine real estate. Ateneo Graduate School of Business Professor Jonathan Petalver conducted  workshops on the rapidly growing franchising industry, and Atty. Carol Tanjutco of Eagle Strategies, LLC spoke on the challenges of estate planning and discussed concerns about wealth management in middle age.

This year’s Santacruzan Hermano and Hermana Mayor are Dr. Francisco Reyes and wife Cora Reyes.

Non-stop dancing at the Hollywood-themed People’s Ball.
Among the exhibitors at the trade fair is Caryna LLC boutique.
Santacruzan Hermano and Hermana Mayor Dr. Francisco Reyes and wife Cora Reyes.

(C) The FilAm 2019

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