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PCCM elects new officers


by Lucille Nolasco- Garrido

After the annual general meeting held on April 6, 2024, the members and officers of the Philippine Canadian Centre of Manitoba’s (PCCM’s) governing board elected new officers during their meeting on April 20.

Elected officers are the following:

Virginia Gayot, President

Serving the PCCM as President since June 13, 2019, Virgie is also an adviser of the BIBAK Association of Manitoba. She was a board member of Siloam Mission from 2003-2010. She graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from the University of Baguio in Baguio City. Currently, she works as Inspector Specialist at Standard Aero, Ltd.

Estrelita Gacula, Vice President

Gigi is the newly Elected VP of the PCCM. She has been a member of the board of directors since 2018. She is a Building Construction Technician graduate of Red River College and has been working as a manager at Singh Enterprises Inc. (Tim Hortons) for over 10 years.

Kenneth Salazar, Secretary

Kenneth Salazar is one of the new members of the governing board. He is actively involved as member/volunteer in various Filipino and non-Filipino organizations, some of which are the 204 Filipino Forum and Marketplace as moderator, Caring for Environment Manitoba, as one of the charter members, Winnipeg Folk Festival, and William Whyte Neighbourhood Association as member of the housing committee. Kenneth brings to the PCCM more than 20 years of combined school, politics, professional and community organizing experiences in Canada and in the Philippines. He is a human resources practitioner both in his civilian job and in the Naval Reserve as Sailor First Class. He is married to Rosalie, proprietor of House of FeliSa and father to AJ, 22, Bachelor of Criminology student at UoM and KC, 17, G12 at the Maples Collegiate and the reigning Miss Teen Galaxy Canada 2024.

Lou Fernandez, Treasurer

Lou served as PCCM president from 2014-2016. He was president of the old Philippine Association of Manitoba during the years when the PCCM’s 50-year land lease with the City of Winnipeg was under negotiation. He has a Bachelor of Commerce degree and a Master of Business Administration. He is now a retired accountant, program/planning analyst and paralegal. As former Senior Immigration Officer, he was a member of a team who developed the Manitoba Provincial Nominee Program in the 1990s. Along with his wife Leah, Lou has been running a successful day spa for the last 13 years.

Paul Unciano, Auditor

Paul is a returning member of the governing board. He is a Certified Public Accountant with over 17 years of experience as financial and operational professional, internal auditor and financial analyst in the public and private sector. He is passionate about his chosen home province of Manitoba and believes in giving back to the community by serving as board member and respects the importance of member-based organizations such as the PCCM.

Members of the governing board are:

Maria Harper

Maria brings over 20 years of experience in the banking industry, where she worked her way up as a Branch Administrator at CIBC Wood Gundy Wealth Management.

Driven by her unwavering passion and commitment to empowering individuals to succeed in their careers, she pursued her Human Resources credentials at University of Winnipeg.

Transitioning into an HR Professional, she has spent seven years specializing in diverse sectors, including non-profit, for profit, unionized and non-unionized environments.

Lucille Nolasco-Garrido

Lucille is a familiar voice in the community, being the host of 92.7 FM – CKJS drive-home program, Afternoon Pasada. She is a contributing writer for Pilipino Express news magazine and the Winnipeg correspondent for ABS-CBN’s The Filipino Channel (TFC). Lucille is also a licensed Zumba® instructor. Her love for dance has helped her raise funds for different organizations such as the Children’s Hospital Foundation of Manitoba, Diabetes Canada, St. Peter’s Roman Catholic Church, and others. This is her second year serving as a member of the governing board of the PCCM.

Dante Aviso

Dante has been a School Trustee for the Winnipeg School Division since 2022. He joined the PCCM Board in 2021 and he heads the Programs and Services Committee. He is passionate in promoting Philippines arts and culture in the community, organizing fundraising events and mentoring youth and students in the pursuit of their chosen interests. He is the Executive Director of Musica Singers of Manitoba, Commissionaire for Oaths in the Province of Manitoba, and a licensed realtor for Century 21 Bachman & Associates.

Christopher Santos

Chris was the PCCM President in 2018-2019. He currently serves as President of the Bulacan Association of Winnipeg, Inc. (BAOWI) He has been an officer and volunteer for various community organizations such as the Philippine Heritage Council of Manitoba and the Filipino-Canadian Technical and Professionals Association of Manitoba. He also volunteers in many charitable works and fundraising projects, mostly in the Filipino community.

Atty. Efren Cabrera

Efren arrived in Canada in 2011. PCCM appointed him as a member of the board of directors in 2022 and was subsequently elected as a member of the governing board in 2023. Efren is a practicing lawyer at Cabrera Law Firm.

Eric Hernandez

Eric has been a PCCM volunteer for the last seven years. He heads the PCCM Building and Maintenance committee. He currently works at Carte International where he has served as a lead hand for the past 40 years. He immigrated to Canada in 1982.

Enrico Tiglao

Enrico joined the PCCM Board of Directors in 2018. He works as a site superintendent at J5 Construction. He is an alumnus of Red River College, Robertson College, and International Worship Centre School of Leadership

Alvin Fernandez

Alvin Fernandez is a visionary CEO, dedicated financial planner, and resilient immigrant who has made it his life’s mission to empower Filipinos through financial education and opportunities. Originally from the Philippines, Alvin’s journey has inspired him to uplift his fellow Filipinos.

As a financial planner, Alvin specializes in catering to the unique needs of individuals.