Mission and History
Board of Directors
More About Mona Lisa Yuchengco
Mona Lisa Yuchengco, Chair
Is the founder and chair of Philippine International Aid (PIA). She was also the founder and former publisher of Filipinas Magazine, the only nationally circulated, glossy magazine for Filipinos in North America from 1992 until she sold it in 2005. Currently, she is the founder and publisher of PositivelyFilipino.com, an online magazine on the Filipino diaspora. She is also a founding member of New California Media, a federation of ethnic print and electronic media and has served on the boards of several non-profits including a two-year stint as a Kiriyama Distinguished Fellow at the University of San Francisco where she developed and administered media fellowship programs for young Filipino journalists. She has written, directed and produced two documentaries.
She was born in Manila, Philippines and moved to San Francisco in 1982 with her two sons. She graduated from Assumption College with degrees in Liberal Arts and Education, a Masters in Business Administration from Ateneo University, and continued studies in Creative Writing and Publishing at University of California, Berkeley and Stanford University respectively.
"I started Philippine International Aid (PIA) because I wanted to help the Motherland get back on its feet after the People Power Revolution in 1986. Just like the thousands of people who took to the streets to stop army tanks, I wanted to contribute my efforts in changing our destiny. I discovered that the Filipino children were the most susceptible victims in this fight for democracy. Without the help of the right people, the children’s future is destroyed, and so with our own future. They needed to be protected and empowered through education so they can also be proud citizens of the country."
"It is important to share with others whatever blessings we are fortunate to have. This is an example that I have set for my family. We need to care about the well-being of others to ensure a brighter future for our own children and grandchildren."
More About Carlos Y. Abaya
Carlos Y. Abaya,
Is a Senior Program Manager in Partner Relations Marketing at CSAA Insurance Group, a AAA insurer. He has been part of its Marketing and Promotions team since 2003. He was Associate Publisher at Filipinas Magazine from 1999-2001. He earned a Marketing degree at the University of San Francisco in 1996. He was born in Metro Manila, and eventually moved to the Bay Area as a young child.
More About Paul R. Briones
Paul R. Briones, Treasurer
Is the Auditor at the Tax Collectors Office for the City and County of San Francisco. He is also a licensed general building contractor.
More About Teddy Diaz De Rivera
Teddy Diaz De Rivera,
Is the Executive Vice President of the Internet Services Group for Wells Fargo. In his role, Teddy is responsible for managing overall strategy and execution of key initiatives for the online banking and investment platforms. Prior to his current position, Teddy was head of Online Customer Service for wellsfargo.com and chief technology officer of HR Systems & Service Delivery. Before joining Wells Fargo, Teddy was Deputy Manager, Planning and Analysis for Barclays Bank of California and Assistant Manager, Foreign Department for Citicorp in the Philippines. Teddy received his MBA in Finance from the University of Florida in 1984 and BSBA from the University of the Philippines where he graduated cum laude in 1980.
More About Shirley B. Dimapilis
Shirley B. Dimapilis,
Is a retired Educator of the San Francisco Unified School District. She is a member of the OFEE, which gives scholarships to the Filipino Students of the Bay Area. She is also an advisor and founding member of the Philippine Association of University Women. She is an officer of the San Francisco Fil-Am Lions, which developed the supplies and equipment of the Eye Clinic at the Medical Center of La Salle University in Cavite, Philippines.
More About Dr. Edmundo B. Duldulao
Dr. Edmundo B. Duldulao,
Is a practicing physician with the Kaiser Medical offices in Pleasanton, California. His specialty is Internal Medicine. He completed his residency in Family Practice at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. Edmund loves playing golf, basketball, cooking, tinkering with cars, photography, scuba diving, and playing the guitar. He is an active member/ instrumentalist of the highly-regarded Simbang Gabi choir at St. Joan of Arc Parish in San Ramon, California. He also serves as a board member of the University of the Philippines Upsilon Sigma Phi Norcal Alumni Association. His father hails from Ilocos, while his mom comes from Pangasinan.
More About JD Estella
Is a Senior Campaign Manager for the Corporate Communications team at Cadence Design Systems, Inc. He is responsible for digital marketing campaigns and communications activities for the fast-growing IP group. His other responsibilities include managing trade shows, events and the IP website. His semiconductor experience comes from more than 10 years of product marketing at leading companies, such as, Cirrus Logic and Chips and Technologies.
"My dream has always been to somehow help educate unfortunate children in the Philippines to become God-fearing, law-abiding, and moral citizens. PIA provided me a chance to fulfill my wishes.”
JD was born in Manila and spent his elementary and high school years at the Ateneo de Manila. He continued his college studies in the US and graduated from the University of San Francisco with a degree in Computer Science.
More About James T. Lim
James T. Lim, Executive Director
A seasoned hotel operator of over 20 years, James Lim is currently the General Manager of the 4-star, 4-diamond luxury Omni Hotel in San Francisco. The hotel is ranked #2 out of 233 hotels in San Francisco on Tripadvisor. Most recently, James was the Area Managing Director for Commune Hotels + Resorts. Commune is an international hotel management company with a leading portfolio of transformative, boldly innovative boutique hotel and resort brands. The world’s largest lifestyle hotel company—including what’s in the pipeline, it operates more than 50 boutique hotels with a total of 7,000 rooms. James is primarily responsible for the oversight of some of the Joie de Vivre hotels, facilitating the collaborative team effort between operations, sales, marketing, and revenue management for its hotels and restaurants. James has over twenty year track record in the hotel and restaurant industry, serving as hotel executive/general manager for luxury and full-service properties around the Bay Area such as the Palace Hotel, Sheraton Four Points, Maxwell Hotel, Galleria Park and Hotel Rex in San Francisco, along with Hotel Durant in Berkeley.
James was the Chairperson of the Berkeley Convention & Visitors Bureau and was a board director of the Hospitality program of City College of San Francisco, CAL State East Bay and Golden Gate University. James currently serves as a board of director of the San Francisco Hotel Council and the San Francisco Unified School District’s Academy of Hospitality and Tourism. He is also a current member of the marketing committee of both the San Francisco Hotel Council and Union Square Business Improvement District and was recently appointed as the co-chair of the 2014 San Francisco Hotel Hero Awards.
James Lim studied at Golden Gate University where he received a degree in Hotel, Restaurant and Tourism Management. He also attended courses at Cornell University for a certificate in Finance and worked on his MBA in Marketing at Golden Gate University. James is also an adjunct professor at the Cal State East Bay, teaching IT and hotel & restaurant management classes.
James’ personal mission in life is to thank God for every day and seize each moment to leave positive imprints on others, particularly for our youth. This is really why he joined Philippine International Aid—he is passionate about inspiring his own kids to make a difference in someone’s life, especially assisting those children that need our help the most, whether they are back in the Philippines or here in our very own community.
More About Lyra Rufino-Maceda
Is the President of Line Edit Designs which fabricates custom-designed artisanal jewelry and leather accessories. She has a JD from Boalt Hall, UC-Berkeley; an MALD from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy; an MA in Liberal Studies from Georgetown University, an AB in Interdisciplinary Studies from Ateneo de Manila, and is a Graduate Jeweler (Revere Academy of Jewelry Arts) and a Master in Leatherwork (Amblard Leather Atelier). She has taught students from elementary to graduate levels on subjects ranging from art, history, political science, and legal writing. She has served as a Regent of Georgetown University (2008-2014) and on the board of the International Diplomacy Council (2003-2005).
"The opportunity to share the joy of learning and its transformative power through PIA's mission and work is something I could not pass up. It deeply resonates with my passion for lifelong learning."
More About Regina Manzana-Sawhney
Is a proud working mother of two girls, co-founder of FGN and social good advocate. She joined Google in 2002 after 4 years working in marketing and public relations for Novtek, a small company focused on testing Flash Memory. She's managed some of Google's largest AdWords advertisers, relocated to India for almost two years to develop the team responsible for customer experience and later moved to Checkout to build complementary support and compliance. She focused on client experience measurement and internal systems with DoubleClick. Currently she’s in her dream role defining the company's learning management system landscape, developing talent management solutions and driving organizational improvement efforts in Corporate Engineering.
"It's important to me that for my girls to have a strong connection to their roots and recognize that the best way to give is to give back. I believe critical thinking, authenticity, community driven values and access to engaging learning opportunities will help more Filipinos realize their true potential and unique competitive advantage."
More About Ben R. Olivas
Ben R. Olivas,
Ben is a partner with DLA Piper LLP’s international tax practice in Silicon Valley since 2008. He works with US companies expanding outside the US, as well as foreign companies which seek increase their operation as in the US. In this capacity, Ben focuses on International tax structuring and planning, cross-border mergers & acquisitions (including post-acquisitions integration), transfer pricing planning and compliance, and tax controversy assistance. Prior to joining DLA Piper, Ben worked at PriceWaterhouseCoopers LLP in Silicon Valley from 1993 to 2008, including as a partner with the the international tax group from 2001 to 2008.
Ben has a Masters in Taxation (LLM) and a Masters in Corporate Law (LLM) both from New York University. He also has a Bachelor in Laws (LLB) and a Bachelor in Science (BS) in Legal Management from the Ateneo de Manila University in the Philippines.
He has been a director in PIA since 2010. Serving on the PIA board is part of Ben’s way of giving back to the Philippines and trying to make a difference in the lives of others in the Philippines.
More About Elaine R. Serina
Elaine R. Serina, Ph.D.
is a principal and co-founder of Talas Engineering, Inc., a nationwide leader in providing engineering consulting services in Accident Reconstruction, Biomechanics, Design Analysis, and Material Science. Talas clients include Fortune 100 companies and top law firms. With publications in highly-regarded scientific journals, she has served on scientific research grant review panels for the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH).
Elaine is founder and past-president of Pinay Aspirations in 2006, a nonprofit organization created to promote the aspirations of Filipino youth in education, the community, personal growth and career development.
She is also a co-founder of the first Filipino American graduate student organization in the U.S.
Elaine was born and has lived in the U.S., except for three years in the Philippines. Her parents are from Bicol and Cagayan de Oro. She earned Ph.D., M.S., and B.S. degrees in Mechanical Engineering from University of California Berkeley.
"Doing philanthropic work to support Filipinos keeps me connected to my roots. Working with PIA gives me the opportunity to have an impact on those who need help the most: the children."
More About France M. Viana
France M. Viana,
Is a strategic marketing consultant for top brands and Fortune 100 companies with expertise in brand management, advertising, and nonprofit marketing. She has led marketing campaigns for top brand names like Visa, Wells Fargo, Charles Schwab and AAA, and in Asia, for the Asian Development Bank and the Philippine Department of Tourism. A dedicated nonprofit contributor, she headed the marketing department of the San Francisco World affairs Council, and co-founded World Ecologists, which grew to be one of the largest Asian grassroots urban reforestation organizations. She is a painter and photographer, a bird lover and claims to be able to bake Thirty Minute Brownies in twenty minutes.
"PIA is such an efficient way to give back to the Philippines, a little contribution goes such a long way to change a life of a child. I went to Manila and the provinces and tried to set up scholarships in person and it was extremely costly and very difficult; PIA has a good delivery system and I'm sure my money gets to the children with the least overhead of any other Fil-Am charity."
More About Chonette Zagala
Is a Sales Manager of Specialty Sales - Consolidation & Tours for Delta Air Lines/Air France/KLM/Alitalia based in Los Angeles, California. She is responsible for managing business relationships with Ethnic, Missionary and Student accounts to encourage market share and revenue growth for Delta Air Lines and its partners to Worldwide destinations. Currently, her portfolio of accounts produces over $300 million in revenue. In addition to her professional achievements, Chonette is active in her community. She supports associations and volunteers time to other non-profit organizations’ fundraising efforts. In 2007, she was presented a National & Community Service Award by Northwest Airlines. Chonette holds a Bachelor of Arts in Business and majored in Marketing.
"I encourage everyone to sponsor a child especially people my age. In this generation, we have all the opportunities to get a great education. We have all the resources in front of us. Knowing that kids in other countries don't have same opportunities, that makes me sad."
Alexa has been sponsoring a child since she was 11 - "I didn’t realize that for 40 cents a day, I could fund a kid’s education for an entire year. I saved my allowance, Christmas and birthday gifts so I could donate to PIA. I started getting letters from Nica mae Mayor of Zapote, Las Pinas. After reading her heartfelt thank you letters and updates on her progress in school, I realized how much a small donation could go a long way. I didn’t know at 11 years old, I could make a difference in someone’s life."
Ashley has been sponsoring a child since she was 8 - "Sponsoring a child is important to me because I am giving someone the opportunity to learn and to have a better future. Sponsoring a child makes me feel good because I know that I'm making a difference in someone's life. Thank you!"