NaFFAA Regions

NaFFAA’s member regions cover the continental United States, Alaska, Hawaii, Guam, and the Pacific Islands.

Pacific Northwest

Lou Vargas

Region Chair

Alaska
Idaho
Oregon
Washington

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Northern California

Kevin Suarez

Region Chair

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Kevin Suarez

Northern California
Region Chair

Kevin Suarez is an accounting services professional, aspiring investor and a dedicated Filipino- American community advocate.

A San Francisco Bay Area native, Kevin attended San Jose State University, earning his Bachelor of Science in Economics in December of 2018.

During his collegiate career, Kevin held the role of EVP of De Anza College’s student government, served as a State Chair of a national youth run political organization, volunteered for multiple national and local political campaigns, and served as an intern for San Jose City Council.

Since completing his undergraduate degree, Kevin has worked for the registered public accounting firm; Ernst and Young, in the Audit Assurance practice.

Kevin’s desire to see additional representation in the accounting and finance services industries lead him to join up as the Executive Vice President of the San Francisco chapter of the International Society of Filipinos in Finance and Accounting (ISFFA); an organization that is dedicated to educating, training and mentoring emerging Filipino and Filipino-American professionals in the accounting and financial services industries.

Kevin is a proud alumnus of EPYC (Empowering Youth Through Collaboration); the National Federation of Filipino American Association’s Youth Program, and was most recently elected as NAFFAA’s Northern California Region Chair in 2022. Kevin has also been a member of the San Jose based organization; LEAD Filipino since 2017. As a member of LEAD Filipino’s Civic Engagement team, Kevin assisted the statewide FIERCE Coalition with the planning and execution of the 2018 Filipino Policy Symposium and 2019 Filipino Advocacy Day that was hosted at the California State Capitol in Sacramento. In 2022, Kevin also became a Board Member of the Sacramento based political action committee; SacFilPAC.

Kevin also aspires to be a real estate investor and hopes to pass on the knowledge of intergenerational wealth creation to the wider Filipino-American community.

Kevin’s goal with these organizations is to help train, motivate and inspire the next generation of Filipino-American community leaders, to not just break the “bamboo ceiling”, but to also fully realize their potential in their given passions and careers.

Counties north of San Luis, Obispo and Kern

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Desert Mountain

Sally Balecha

Region Chair

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Sally Balecha

Desert Mountain
Region Chair

Sally C. Balecha is a Filipino-American Realtor and Community leader who has made a name for herself in Las Vegas. Born in Narvacan, Iloco Sur, Philippines, Sally moved to the United State at the age of eight and settled in Honolulu, Hawaii. There, she attended Fern Elementary and graduated from Farrington High School in 1981.  Sally went on to earn her degree from the University of Hawaii Kapiolani Community College, where she got her skills and prepared herself for a successful career.

After college, Sally married her high school sweetheart, and they started a family together. They have two children whom they adore, as well as a granddaughter who brings them endless joy. In 2000, Sally and her family moved to Las Vegas, where she began her career as a REALTOR®. Since 2001, she has been a full-time real estate professional and is now a Broker-Salesperson. Her hard work and dedication to her clients have paid off, and she has been recognized as a Top 20 Producer with Realty One Group Southwest in 2015. Her Ong and Balecha Team have consistently been Top Producers from 2018 to 2022, making Sally one of the most successful REALTOR® in Las Vegas.

When she’s not working, Sally is also actively pursuing her hobbies, which include traveling, ballroom dancing and Zumba. She is also actively involved in the American Filipino community, holding positions as Secretary for NaFFAA Nevada in the past and as well NaFFAA Desert Mountain Region Secretary for 3 sets of administration. Currently, Sally serves as the NaFFAA Desert Mountain Region President, working tirelessly to promote and empower the Filipino-American community and a Secretary for Sing Out For Autism (SOFA).

Sally also stays connected to her Filipino heritage by joining the Filipiniana Dance Company of Las Vegas in 2003. She is a current Board of Director, but also served as Vice-President and Secretary in previous years. In addition, she is a Board of Director for her Edgefield Homeowner Association that consists of four communities, keeping her in touch with her local community.

Above all, Sally is passionate about helping her Filipino-American community and giving back to those around her. Her work in the community is truly fulfilling, but being a grandmother to her three-year-old granddaughter is the best satisfaction that life can bring to her. Sally’s journey from her humble beginnings in the Philippines to her successful career as a REALTOR® and community leader is an inspiring story of hard work, perseverance, and dedication to one’s roots.

Arizona
Nevada
Utah

Rocky Mountain

Jennifer Samuel

Region Chair

Colorado
Kansas
Montana
North Dakota
South Dakota
Wyoming

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Southwest

Anthony Guevara

Anthony Guevara

Region Chair

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Anthony Guevara

Anthony Guevara

Southwest
Region Chair

Anthony Guevara is an award-winning licensed Senior Loan Officer in the mortgage banking industry. A graduate of Texas A & M University; a past delegate of the Filipino American Youth Leadership Program (FYLPRO) and currently serves as the Immersion program co-chair.

He also serves as the Region 6 Chair for NAFFAA (National Federation of Filipino American Associations); Youth Chair for the US Pinoys for Good Governance (US4GG) Region 6; Board of Director for the Philippine- American Chamber of Commerce of South Texas; Vice- Chair for the Filipino American Caucus for Empowerment (FACE); a founding member of the Filipino American National Historical Society (FANHS) Houston chapter; and a founding organizer for the Houston Rockets Filipino Heritage Night and was also the youngest member to serve in Houston’s umbrella organization The Filipino American Council of South Texas (FACOST).

Arkansas
Louisiana
New Mexico
Oklahoma
Texas

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Midwest

Evelyn Natividad

Region Chair

Illinois
Iowa
Minnesota
Missouri
Nebraska
Wisconsin

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Great Lakes

Wilmar Suan

Region Chair

Indiana
Kentucky
Michigan
Ohio

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Northeast

Laura Garcia

Region Chair

Delaware
New Jersey
New York
Pennsylvania

Capital

Ryan Namata

Region Chair

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Ryan Namata

Capital
Region Chair

Ryan Namata is currently the Global HR Director for international cyber security experts at Kivu Consulting. He has over 18 years of experience as an HR leader and HR Projects professional, working in varied industries, from several small startups to a Fortune 200 company and including the non-profit space. He has extensive corporate experience in the areas of staffing, workforce and strategic planning, training and professional development, HR information systems, change management and engagement. In his personal time he is a part of several community organizations in which he has several leadership roles, including officer and board member. He is currently the pro-bono HR Director for the Children and Families Network Centers, Chairperson of the National Association for Asian American Professionals (NAAAP) DC Chapter, Human Capital Director for the National Federation of Filipino Associations (NaFFAA), and Intelligence Community Heritage Council Liaison. Ryan Namata is a graduate of the University of Maryland, College Park and is also a certified Global Professional in Human Resources (GPHR) and certified SHRM-Senior Certified Professional (SHRM-SCP).

District of Columbia
Maryland
Virginia
West Virginia

New England

Frank Celoza

Region Chair

Connecticut
Maine
Massachusetts
New Hampshire
Rhode Island
Vermont

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Pacific Islands

To Be Announced

Region Chair

Hawaii
Guam
Commonwealth of Northern Marianas Islands
American Samoa

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Southern

Melviona Thomson

Region Chair

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Melviona Thomson

Southern
Region Chair

Melviona G. Thomson (Mae) currently serves as the Southern Region Chair, after serving as the NaFFAA Florida Chair. She also volunteers with NaFFAA passionately as the Florida Membership Director. Appointed as National Membership Council Liaison, Mae does not hesitate to travel around the state and other states seeking members and supporting NaFFAA events. Her passion to propagate NaFFAA’s mission strengthened upon learning that two brothers of her father received reparation from being WWII veterans.

As a former president of the Filipino-American Association of Volusia County, Mae currently serves as one of the organization’s advisers.

Mae was the first Filipino-American hired as a teacher and administrator in Volusia County Schools, Florida, where she certified as an English Speakers of Other Languages trainer in Multicultural Education and “Using Cultural Competence to Close the Achievement Gap”.

Mae trained teachers to achieve ESOL endorsement on their teaching certificate. Her extensive experience as a research associate with the Stetson University’s Multicultural Education Institute enabled her to co-present workshops on Cultural Diversity models and strategies to educators in the United States and the Philippines. She was a member of the ESOL District Advisory Board and an adjunct instructor of Bethune Cookman University of TESOL. She was a compliance team member for Volusia County Public Schools seeking accreditation from Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

Mae served as a lector, former Vice President of the Council of Catholic Women’s, and a missionary of Mission Circle who has gone to Cuba and Haiti for mission work. She is currently the chairman of the Disciples of the Black Nazarene at St. Peter parish in DeLand, Florida.

A native of the Philippine Island of Central Luzon, Mae started her education at St. Joseph School, San Jose, Nueva Ecija. Mae received her Bachelor’s degree from Florida State University, Master’s degree from Nova Southeastern University and Education Specialist’s degree at Stetson University, DeLand, Florida with emphasis in Curriculum and Instruction and Educational

Alabama
Florida
Georgia
Mississippi
North Carolina
South Carolina
Tennessee
Commonwealth of Puerto Rico
U.S. Virgin Islands

Greater Los Angeles

Noel Omega

Noel Omega

Region Chair

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Noel Omega

Noel Omega

Greater Los Angeles
Region Chair

Noel S. V. Omega co-founded the Filipino-American Chamber of Commerce of Greater Los Angeles (FACC-GLA). Noel studied Electronics and Computer Engineering at Cal State L.A. and is currently the CEO of Omega Quadrant, LLC. Noel has diversified business interests in Information Technology outsourcing, Renewable Energy development and International trade & investments.

Noel promotes economic empowerment by working with various Filipino-American population hubs in the greater L.A. area and engages the youth to become champions of economic empowerment. Noel currently serves as president emeritus and lifetime advisor for the Filipino-American Chamber of Commerce of Greater Los Angeles and has helped establish various Filipino-American Chambers in Southern California.

Noel’s community leadership includes: the Federation of Philippine American Chambers of Commerce/FPACC as Vice President of Public Relations, Kalayaan of Southern California (Chairman Emeritus), Jose P. Rizal Monument Movement, Los Angeles Mission College Foundation (former board member), Valley Voters Organized Toward Empowerment(Valley VOTE), Leyte-Samar Association, and, continues to speak on behalf of various civic and community interests. Noel also performs as a professional voiceover talent and emcees major events in his spare time.

Noel joined NaFFAA in April 2014 and currently serves as Chairman for Region IX to promote advancement and empowerment for Filipino-Americans in Southern California.

Counties south of San Luis Obispo, Kern and Greater LA through the northern boundary of San Diego

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San Diego / Imperial

Nicanora Montenegro

Region Chair

San Diego, Riverside, Imperial and San Bernardino

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Pacific Northwest

Alaska
Idaho
Oregon
Washington

Rocky Mountain

Colorado
Kansas
Montana
North Dakota
South Dakota
Wyoming

Northeast

Delaware
New Jersey
New York
Pennsylvania

New England

Connecticut
Maine
Massachusetts
New Hampshire
Rhode Island
Vermont

Midwest

Illinois
Iowa
Minnesota
Missouri
Nebraska
Wisconsin

Southern

Alabama
Florida
Georgia
Mississippi
North Carolina
South Carolina
Tennessee
Commonwealth of Puerto Rico
U.S. Virgin Islands

Capital

District of Columbia
Maryland
Virginia
West Virginia

Great Lakes

Indiana
Kentucky
Michigan
Ohio

Northern California

Counties north of San Luis, Obispo and Kern

Desert Mountain

Arizona
Nevada
Utah

Southwest

Arkansas
Louisiana
New Mexico
Oklahoma
Texas

Pacific Islands

Hawaii
Guam
Commonwealth of Northern Marianas Islands
American Samoa

Greater Los Angeles

Counties south of San Luis Obispo, Kern and Greater LA through the northern boundary of San Diego

San Diego / Imperial

San Diego, Riverside, Imperial and San Bernardino

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