First Vice President
Edward Malicdem is a Senior Vice President and Sales Manager- Wealth Management Advisor at the Pasadena, CA Merrill Lynch office. Along with his team, Ed works with a select group of families and businesses in developing wealth management strategies.
Ed understands that one of the biggest challenges for his clients lies in creating a dynamic and flexible wealth management plan, and he utilizes Merrill Lynch’s time tested tools to aid clients in the pursuit of these goals. He is committed to understanding the specific situations of his clients and systematically reviews their progress to recommend adjustments. Ed also focuses on tax minimization strategies as part of his retirement and estate planning process.
Additionally, Ed works closely with his clients’ other advisors including their attorneys, CPA’s, and key family members, allowing him to focus holistically on his clients’ total financial picture. Addressing estate planning issues is generational; therefore, Ed believes it is imperative to bring all key parties together to ensure proper estate succession.
Ed is a native of Southern California and graduated from La Salle High School in Pasadena. He earned dual degrees in Political Science and History at UC Berkeley, before studying law at Whittier College School of Law and ultimately transitioning into the area of financial services. Ed currently resides in Eagle Rock with his wife, Monique, and has two adult children, Maddy and Michael. Deeply committed to his local community, he serves as the President for the Board of Trustees at Search to Involve Pilipino Americans and is active in his local parish, St. Dominic’s. In his leisure time, Ed enjoys travel, attending theatre and sporting events.
*Neither Merrill Lynch nor its Financial Advisors provide tax, accounting or legal advice. Clients should review any planned financial transactions or arrangements that may have tax, accounting or legal implications with their personal professional advisors.
Brand Marketing Manager
Rachel Buenviaje is a Marketing Manager for Nike, Inc. She is also a member of Search to Involve Pilipino Americans, Filipino Women's Network, and Women in Sports & Events. Rachel is a graduate of University of California, Irvine. She was appointed commissioner on APIA Affairs for the state of California.
CPA / Partner
Meloni Hribal Tratner LLP
Rita Garcia Acuna is a partner and a certified public accountant with over 16 years of experience managing projects for clients in the manufacturing, entertainment, social media, wholesale, distribution industries. Her areas of expertise include financial statement audits and other attestation engagements, financial and internal control consulting, agreed-upon procedures, royalty audits, quality of earnings reports, tax planning and compliance for multi-state entities, representation in tax audits, including entities with multiple business segments for consolidation. Rita has a Master’s Degree in Business Administration and is a member of the AICPA and CalCPA. Prior to public accounting, she worked in business and systems implementation projects with Accenture Consulting.
Ritchie N. Arce is the current Chief Executive Officer of Greenwood Healthcare, Inc. dba TC Palliative and Hospice Care, which was acquired in 2017 and went through recertification and accredited by the Joint Commission in 2018. He has an extensive experience in the healthcare industry for 18 years, and obtained several certification including wound care with the National Wound Alliance in 2013. He has been a community liaison and patient advocate, provided training and education in the long term care, acute care, preventative medicine and end of life care.
In addition to his role as a Chief Executive Officer, Ritchie is an active community volunteer and is currently a member of the Board for Search to Involve Pilipino Americans, which is a non-profit organization, actively promoting the growth of Historic Filipinotown in Los Angeles, California. Ritchie is also a certified basketball coach for the Catholic Youth Organization and Los Angeles Recreational Parks. Helping the community in anyway, have been his passion and striving to make a difference with youth.
Moët Hennessy Key Account Manager
Born and raised in Fremont, California, Katrina Jo began modeling and dancing at the age of three. Over the course of the next fifteen years she trained in Ballet, Tap, Jazz, Pointe, Lyrical, Modern and Hip-Hop dance styles at a premier performing arts studio in Northern California. Her talent and abilities were quickly recognized, earning her national awards including “Ms. Teen Dance”, “Ms. Dance USA” in addition to several for her choreography.
In 2006, Katrina earned a spot with the San Diego Charger Girls where she performed for three seasons while serving as team captain and Pro Bowl nominee for two seasons. After relocating to Los Angeles in 2009, Katrina was selected as a member of the Los Angeles Clippers Spirit Dance Team where she would remain for four seasons - leading the team as one of their captains for two seasons. Simultaneously Katrina brought her skills to bear by choreographing for other southern California dance teams including the San Diego Charger Girls, Los Angeles Clippers Spirit, UCLA Dance Team, Golden Hawks, UC Riverside Dance Team, Los Gatos Dance Company, Dana Hills High School in addition to countless dance studios. Her prowess and public profile made her a desirable judge for dance competitions such as the Pro Cheer Competition, Jam Fest Japan and MOVE Productions.
Sports and competitive dance aside, Katrina’s dance background has also made her a sought after talent by many top performing artists and television studios. Having signed with Los Angeles based BLOC Dance Agency in 2004, she has been featured in a bevy of television shows, commercials and ad campaigns while also performing with the likes of Drake, Rihanna, GooGoo Dolls, Kaskade, T.I., Ludacris, Mariah Carey, Missy Elliot, The Pussycat Dolls and others. After increasing her public profile Katrina was able to successfully leverage her stunning African American and Filipino features for the face of the 2011 American Idol Campaign, ONZIE, FinishLine, Aldo, La Rue, NVR Strings, QVC, ArtistiCreation and various calendars throughout her Charger Girl career.
Outside of her extensive experience in the entertainment industry Katrina also wields a healthy entrepreneurial spirit. She is the owner of her own promotional model and dancer company called GlamGirlsLA and co-founder of Women of POW - a networking organization which links top women of the industry to come together and empower one another. She is the Key Account Manager for Hennessy VSOP Privilege in Los Angeles where she facilitates celebrity outreach and brand events and has also recently started her own Digital Marketing company. When she’s not helming these roles, Katrina Jo loves to give back to the community as she sits on the Board of SIPA (Search to Involve Pilipino Americans).
VP, Alternative Programming
Viacom Media Network
Candida Boyette-Clemons is a Filipino-American television executive with 20 years at Viacom Media Networks. Her career focus has been to promote diversity and inclusion within programming, amplifying people of color both in front of and behind the camera. Growing up bi-racial in the multi-cultural San Francisco Bay Area, she had goals of seeing representation on television that were more reflective of herself and her environment.
Candida’s career in television kicked off as a student at New York University’s Gallatin School of Individualized Study, when she interned at MTV’s House of Style, and was offered a Production Assistant position upon graduation. Candida continued to rise through the company as an Associate Producer then Segment Producer (VMA, TRL, Spring Break and summer specials, News & Docs series, Made.) She went on to produce a long-running entertainment news show for BET (The Black Carpet), spotlighting minorities in Hollywood, before taking a few months to start her own production company (“Eye on Black: A Salute to Black Directors” event, RocaWear 10th Anniversary documentary, BET Awards Digital Post Show.) She returned to MTV Networks as an Executive Producer and helped to relaunch original programs for MTV2 (Guy Code, Nick Cannon Presents: Wild ’N Out, Hip Hop Squares, Charlamagne & Friends, Off the Bat at the MLB FanCave, Joking Off). She is currently the Vice President of Alternative Programming for MTV and VH1, overseeing variety, comedy and game formats (Wild N Out -linear and digital, SafeWord, VH1 Live, Grown & Sexy, Hip Hop Squares, Martha & Snoop’s Potluck Party Challenge.)
Outside of the office, Candida spends time giving back to the community working with Colin Kaepernick’s Know Your Right’s Camp and volunteering at SIPA events (Search to Involve Pilipino Americans). She is an active member at the Producer’s Guild of America and the Television Academy. And her most rewarding role is being a mother to her 7-year old daughter and being present at all her school events and extracurricular activities.
Chef / Co-Founder
The Park's Finest
Johneric Concordia is the Chef and Co-Founder of The Park’s Finest, a Los Angeles-based restaurant in Echo Park, Historic Filipinotown. In his youth at 12 years of age, Johneric was a client of SIPA, participating in programs and projects designed to prevent at-risk behavior and substance abuse. He later returned in his teen years to work on staff as a Coordinator for SIPA’s Youth Programs. Returning again as a client in his twenties, Johneric availed of SIPA’s assistance through the Asian Pacific Islander Small Business program when opening up The Park’s Finest as a catering company with long-time friends. The continued growing support of community coupled with assistance from family allowed for the opening of The Park's Finest brick and mortar in 2012. A year later, the restaurant was featured on the “L.A. Eats” episode of The Food Network’s Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives. In 2017, Johneric hosted episodes of the Discovery Channel Asia’s “Prison Food,” a series that takes a chef into some of the world’s most notorious prisons to cook a meal behind bars, accompanied by volunteer kitchen staff who are inmates themselves.
DJ / Artist / Entrepreneur
DJ Icy Ice is an artist, entrepreneur who has amassed a resume that spans over two decades of performing on the world’s biggest stages & gracing the airwaves on several of LA’s Top Radio Stations. Icy Ice’s artistry has been showcased at the largest music festivals, hottest club venues, and celebrity private parties throughout the US, Australia, China, Canada, Dubai, Europe, Japan, Mexico, the Philippines, Sri Lanka and has been featured as a speaker recently at TEDx.
Icy Ice is an original member of the world renown DJ group, The World Famous Beat Junkies. He has also been the Exclusive DJ for celebrity events such as: Manny Pacquiao Fight Afterparties, Black Eyed Peas, Kanye West, the Grammy Awards, American Music Awards, the Emmys, the Sundance Film Festival, NBA All-Star Games, the Democratic National Convention After Party, the Magic Convention, SEMA, LA Fashion Week, X-Games, and numerous high profile events as well as corporate functions & private events. Icy Ice currently co-produces SNAPBACK events in North Hollywood, Long Beach, Orange County & Las Vegas snapbacklive.com to owning multiple retail shops and creating one of the 1st Online DJ Record Pools – ExclusiveGrooves.com, as well creating the 1st online DJ University where DJs can learn how to DJ online: TurntableU.com.
Icy Ice’s Radio Career spans over 15 years spinning for several of the top rated radio stations in Los Angeles such as: spinning weekends on Power 106, KKBT 92.3 The Beat (Morning Show DJ for The House Party as well as Mid-Days with Diana Steele, Big Lez & Lala), 93.5 KDAY (Morning Show DJ w/ YoYo), Divine Forces Radio w/ Fidel Rodriguez on 90.7 KPFK, and on Movin 93.9 FM (DJ for Rick Dees in the Morning) & was producing mixes on a nationally syndicated mixshow on Superadio.
Icy Ice accomplishments include a role in the movie “The Debut” & music director for the short film “Flip The Record”. Icy Ice was featured as a TV personality for the “StacksTV Show” w/ Toquon Tha MC on the MYX Cable TV Network (shown in over 15 million homes nationwide). Icy Ice helped expand the exposure of “Video Turntablism” through his weekly club performances and through a variety of high profile online platforms such as “BReal.TV (Cypress Hill’s online channel) & MYXTV”. Icy Ice co-produced 2 albums with “Soul Elevation” featuring Toquon Tha MC. Icy Ice has been the resident DJ for all of Guerilla Union’s “Rock The Bells” Hip Hop Music Festivals. Icy Ice produced events as “SPECTRUM” as well as “LEGEND Entertainment” and has owned 3 retail record store locations “STACKS – The Vinyl Authority” in Cerritos, Ontario & San Diego. He also toured as the DJ for legendary Hip Hop artist “KRS-One” & was resident DJ for home games for the “WNBA Los Angeles Sparks”.
A renowned turntablist, entrepreneur and elite party rocker, DJ Icy Ice continues to push the boundaries entertaining and motivating audiences worldwide through music.
Malaya Filipino American Dance Arts
Anna Lisa G. De Guzman is a Filipino-American artist, leader and cultural ambassador who is dedicated to honoring the Filipino culture through dance and music. She is the Co-founder and Executive Director of Malaya Filipino American Dance Arts, a Los Angeles based ensemble of dancers, musicians and performing artists that practice traditional Filipino arts with integrity and commitment to research. She has dedicated more than 30 years to this art form and continues to inspire her students through transformative experiences.
Anna Lisa serves her community as a Board Member for Search to Involve Pilipino Americans(SIPA) as well as volunteers her time on the Arts and Culture committee for the Hi-Coaltion.
She hopes to leave a memorable legacy for her two children whom she adores, Liana and Rhys.
10 Storyhouse, Inc.
Jessica del Mundo is a media and communications professional based in Los Angeles. Currently, executive director of 10storyhouse, a bi-coastal public relations agency specializing in communications, media relations, and content creation. Also serving as editorial director of Brave New Girl, a cause-related publishing brand launching in 2019, and elected executive secretary of the board of directors for Search to Involve Pilipino Americans (SIPA) in Historic Filipinotown.
Previously, SVP/PR executive director of media, in charge of consumer marketing campaigns at global agency GOLIN (Interpublic Group), leading award-winning public relations programs for major consumer brands for nearly a decade. Began PR career as broadcast media counsel and senior team leader at Casey Sayre & Williams, a top-ranked L.A. boutique agency, responsible for establishing and promoting The Grove brand for CARUSO, also representing business leaders, artists/entertainers, and arts/civic groups in PR projects and campaigns throughout Southern California. Formerly, a broadcast TV journalist/press corps member as news producer at FOX News, associate producer with Emmy award-winning investigative news unit Fox Undercover, and producer for network news magazine Fox Files.
Chief of Staff & Assistant Vice Chancellor Student Affairs at UC Irvine
Edgar Dormitorio was raised in the City of Carson and is proud of his second-generation Filipino American roots. Now residing in Orange County, California, he has spent his entire professional career in education and serves as the Chief of Staff & Assistant Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs at the University of California, Irvine. In his role, he works closely with campus leadership in managing one of the fastest growing and pre-eminent universities in the world. With a student population just over 37,000, the campus is held in high regard for its academic rigor, location, and affordability.
Edgar also currently serves on the El Sol Foundation and has served as a technical advisor for the North American Scholastic Esports Federation (NASEF).
Executive Director of Global Brand Marketing Paramount Home Entertainment
Laura has a BA in Psychology from UCLA and an MBA from the USC Marshall School of Business. Prior to business school Laura worked in a variety of roles supporting HIV and cancer research in diverse environments including non-profit research, event production and biotechnology. She is captain of the Paramount Triathlon team, and a 7-time participant in the Malibu Triathlon raising annual donations for cancer research at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles.
Regional Medical Director
Urgent Care at St. Joseph Heritage
Christian Lising, MD, MBA was born in the Philippines and raised in Southern California from the age of two. He attended UCLA graduating in 1991 with a BS in Biology. While at UCLA he was active in Samahang Pilipino and it was through this that he became acquainted with SIPA.
He attended UC Irvine School of Medicine and earned his medical degree in 1997. It was there where he met his wife whom he married a week after graduation. They have two teenage children and live in Orange County. After completing his Family Medicine residency in Northridge, Christian was hired as a primary care physician for the St. Jude Heritage Medical Group in 2000 in Yorba Linda. He later became to Physician Site Director for the Group’s Brea clinic in 2008. He then became the Group’s Associate Medical Director for Primary Care in 2016.
In 2018, he became the Regional Medical Director for Urgent Care and has clinical and operational oversight of 5 Urgent Cares for Providence (formerly Providence St. Joseph Health) in Orange County. He is active in the growth strategy for the organization expanding Urgent Care services in Anaheim Hills in 2020 and will open a new Urgent Care in Chino Hills at the end of 2021.
Christian earned his Master of Business Administration in 2020 from the University of Massachusetts Amherst.
Christian has been active in the Boy Scouts of America for over 13 years assuming almost every adult leadership role in Cub Scouts and Boys Scouts. He has helped over 20 young men attain the rank of Eagle Scout, including his son. He enjoys vacationing with his family, working out with his brother, and spending time with his very large Filipino family. His love for community service was greatly influenced by his mother and shaped by his work with the Filipino community through Samahang Pilipino. He is looking forward to using his 20 years of experience in medicine and physician leadership to help SIPA reach its goals.
Empowering my clients to reach their financial goals is my passion. In 2003, I began my career as a financial advisor and my focus is to help people become confident in their financial decisions. Our team strives to make sure our clients feel heard and understood, and we treat every person with respect as we learn about their unique story.
I create tailored solutions to help solve the needs of clients, specifically:
- Individual investors who are serious about developing a strategic retirement income distribution strategy and are preparing for retirement within the next five years.
- High net worth clients who are looking for tax sensitive solutions.
- Small business owners who want to maximize their investment opportunities through their company and provide excellent investment education for their employees.
Finding ways to volunteer and support my community is important to me. I served as an ambassador for the Placentia Chamber of Commerce, speaker for the Parent University for the PYLUSD, marketing chair for the OC Financial Society, member of the Financial Planning Association, Brea Chamber of Commerce and the Manufacturers Networking Group, and lector at St. Martin De Porres Catholic Church.
My senior branch office administrator, Ernestine Lespron, has been with Edward Jones since 2011 and is dedicated to providing you with the highest level of service possible. Her favorite pastimes include gardening, concerts and spending time with family.
My greatest joy is being a father. Madison is 14 years old and a freshman at Rosary Academy. She is kindhearted, has a passion for art and plays on the varsity golf team. In my free time, I enjoy trail running, traveling, participating in endurance races and golfing.
For over 17 years, I've delighted in helping others set goals and gain a sense of control over their future. I enjoy teaching others about ways to save and invest, and how thoughtful, proactive planning can change the trajectory of their family's legacy.
Non-Profit Fundraising Professional Founder, SoCal Filipinos
Jason Lustina was born in Los Angeles and raised in Carson, California. A graduate from the University of California, Irvine where he earned his degree in Environmental Analysis & Design with a minor in Epidemiology and Public Health. He has spent his professional career in fundraising/fund development for 20+ years. Jason has worked for the American Heart Association, City of Hope and the American Red Cross.
Jason is also the founder of the SoCal Filipinos Facebook group which has grown to 19K members. Founded in June 2020 SoCal Filipinos focus is connecting Filipinos/Filipino American’s through their shared experience living or having a tie to Southern California by engaging in a variety of posts and workshops. The mission is to build a social community that bridges Filipinos from all ages and different places while bringing awareness of the Filipino and Filipino- American culture and experience.
In his spare time Jason has his side baking business called Brown Baked where he brings traditional Filipino flavors and applies them to cookies, breads, cheesecakes and more.
Jason is excited to be working with the SIPA to help give back to the Filipino/Filipino-American community.
DOT Capital Advisors
Founder & CEO
As the Founder and CEO of DOT Capital Advisors, Rosalie has nearly a decade of experience in the commercial real estate industry and over ten years of experience providing accounting and tax services to Fortune 500 companies and high-net-worth individuals.
Her experience began as a CPA for a multi-billion dollar family office, focused on diverse investment strategies and non-profit endeavors. She then spent time on Deloitte’s national tax consulting practice on multi-million dollar corporate tax strategies. In 2011, she founded Jackson Stone Financial Services, Inc., a multi-family office that has pivoted to commercial real estate consulting, becoming DOT Capital Advisors.
Being raised through humble beginnings helped her to understand the burdens of underserved communities and minority groups. Each of her roles and partnerships seek to empower minority leaders and create a positive lasting change within these spaces.
As an active member in the AAPI community, she belongs to the Commercial Real Estate Diversity Coalition, an alliance among Diverse Affinity Organizations in CRE. She is also a board member at Search to Involve Pilipino Americans, Co-Founder and Treasurer of Heart Of Angels, and Los Angeles Co-Market Lead of Filipinos In Institutional Real Estate (FIIRE).
Rosalie is a licensed Certified Public Accountant (Inactive) in California and received her Bachelors of Science Degree in accounting from California State University, Northridge. On her days off, Rosalie enjoys playing tennis, hiking by the ocean, and traveling the globe.
Director of International
Real Estate Inv.
Jonathan Navallo is a Director of International Real Estate Investments and Strategy with Walmart International where he oversees the strategic real estate agenda for the international markets of China, Japan, Canada, India, South Africa, and the UK. With over 15 years of experience, he has completed over $3.0b in real estate transactions comprised of nearly every property time. His previous experience includes The Walton Foundation, The Irvine Company, and Equity Office Properties.
Jonathan holds a Master's in Business Administration with a focus on Business Analytics from the Sam Walton School of Business at the University of Arkansas, and a Bachelor of Sciences Degree in Business Administration with a concentration in Managerial Finance from the California State University of Long Beach. He is a CCIM Candidate and a member of the Urban Land Institute (ULI). Lastly, he serves as a board member of SIPA (Search to Involve Pilipino Americans), an organization whose goal is to enhance the quality of life for Filipino Americans.
Freelance Marketing Manager
With over 20 years of experience as an event producer for events with artists like Jay-Z,, Destiny’s Child and Lebron James, he has helped bridge the gap between Filipino culture and the mainstream through his events and involvement. He also serves as a board member for SIPA, the largest Filipino nonprofit charity in the US.
For 16 years he was the Head of Marketing for global comedian Jo Koy, helping him to catapult to 100% sellout crowds and is in the process of developing an array of new talent called the MyxCast, a millennial group of creatives, artists and curators in the entertainment industry. He has a heartfelt passion for helping bring young Filipinos back to the Philippines & has helped bring over 500 people back to the islands to experience the beautiful culture while connecting to their family’s roots.
Law Offices of Mardi J. Ross
Mardi J. Ross received her Juris Doctorate and Masters of Business Administration degrees from Chapman University in California, and was admitted to the Bar in California and Ohio. She graduated with a Bachelor's of Arts degree in Political Science from the University of California, Berkeley. Having worked as a paralegal, law clerk and mediator prior to becoming a licensed attorney, Mardi has accumulated over 10 years of experience in the legal field.
Mardi's own experience of immigration gave her a unique understanding of the legal challenges facing immigrants in America, and ultimately motivated her to pursue a career as an attorney. She is authorized to practice immigration law in all 50 states. As her clientele grew to include business and property owners, she expanded her practice to include corporate, estate planning and asset protection services.
In addition to running her practice, she is also Of Counsel to Abrams & Taheri, a law firm specializing in personal injury, real property law, immigration, wills & trusts and business litigation. A big supporter of small businesses and a self-proclaimed entrepreneur, Mardi is also a business development consultant and owner of a print and digital design company, MJR Creative Strategies LLC.
Zelenski Law, PC
For nearly two decades, Abigail Tapang Zelenski has practiced as an employment lawyer, successfully representing clients in matters involving wage-and-hour, harassment, discrimination, and wrongful termination. Abigail also provides employment advice and counsel with respect to employment handbooks, policies and procedures, and risk mitigation.
Since 2019, Abigail has served as a Commissioner on the Los Angeles Civil and Human Rights Commission. The Commission is tasked with investigating complaints of discrimination in Los Angeles, and works in close partnership with the Civil + Human Rights and Equity Department to hold businesses and individuals accountable for discriminatory practices that deny equal treatment to any individual in private employment, housing, education, or commerce. Since 2016, Abigail has served on the Board of the Philippine American Bar Association, where she served as President in 2021, and as Chair in 2022. Abigail has also served as an elected representative of the Governing Board of the Silver Lake Neighborhood Council, and served many years on the Board of the Filipino American Library.
Abigail earned her J.D. at the UCLA School of Law. She graduated Phi Beta Kappa from the University of Southern California, magna cum laude, with a B.A. in Political Science and academic minors in Business Administration and Law & Society.
Reed Smith LLP
Ernie Ocampo is Counsel in the Entertainment & Media Industry Group of law firm Reed Smith LLP. He advises clients in various stages of development in a broad range of transactions, including business launches, joint ventures, and mergers & acquisitions. In addition to serving as pro bono counsel for SIPA, Ernie serves on the boards of Los Angeles-Makati Sister Cities, Philippine American Bar Association, and USC Asian Pacific Alumni Association.