Iowa Hosts NaFFAA Midwest Region 3 Conference

by Joseph G. Lariosa

CHICAGO (jGLi) – Consul General Leo M. Herrera-Lim is going to pitch for the passage of the SAVE Act when he keynotes the three-day Midwest Regional Conference of the National Federation of Filipino American Associations in Des Moines, Iowa between Oct. 7 and 9 next month, according to NaFFAA Iowa State Chair Roel Campos.

The 5th Midwest Region 3 Empowerment Conference whose theme, “Filipino Americans: Bridging Communities and Promoting Culture,” is going to be held in the College of Fine Arts and the Department of Music at Drake University at 2507 University Avenue, Des Moines.

NaFFAA Region 3 chair Princess Emraida Kiram said NaFFAA national chair Ed Navarra is going to be the opening-day speaker at the conference, which will welcome delegates from Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Ohio and Wisconsin. Ms. Kiram is also among those, who will also deliver a speech.

The conference will cover topics on immigration, small business, Culture/Heritage, Health care, Diversity, Volunteerism and Youth Programs.

Mr. Herrera-Lim will update the conference delegates on the progress of the SAVE Act legislation pending in the U.S. Congress. The bill will invigorate the moribund textile industry in the Philippines and generate jobs in the Philippines and in the United States.

Among the topics to be discussed at the conference are Immigration (visa options and immigrations; Business (Ideas, Tips and Financing) – Ying Sa, CEO, Community CPA & Associates Inc.

– Youth Programs – Elizabeth Horner, NaFFAA R-3 Youth Chair.

– Diversity, Volunteerism and Community Involvements – Mira Yusef, Monsoon United Asian Women of Iowa.

– Healthcare issues affecting Filipino Americans – Dr. Lili Wells, Jefferson County Health Center (JCHC) in Fairfield, Iowa.

– Culture and Heritage – Dr. Gene Matibag, Professor, Director of the Center for American Intercultural Studies, Iowa State University.

There will be legal clinic to be conducted by Mary Mardrid-Crost Law Offices, presentation of Philippine Consulate Services (questions on dual citizenship, working permits, renewals, etc.), Iowa Small Business Development Centers, Wellmark, BlueCross BlueShield.

A Gala “Filipiniana” Night, featuring awards and cultural presentations, will cap the conference on Oct 8. It will feature DJ Rick of Waterloo, Iowa.

Open to everybody, the conference is going to be hosted by Holiday Inn Express (in the Drake University Campus), at 1140 24th Street, Des Moines (Tel. 515.255.4000).

Interested parties may contact the following: Iowa State Chair Roel Campos at office:(515) 986-9208 mobile: (515) 490-3293 Email , Donna Thompson (515) 770-6425 , P. Emraida Kiram, Chair, Region 3, (414) 899-2329 Email:

Meanwhile, at a recent meeting in Detroit, Michigan between Messrs. Navarra and Bobby M. Reyes, a community activist from Los Angeles, California, Mr. Reyes wished the upcoming Iowa conference a success. Mr. Reyes, a long-time critic of NaFFAA, pledged to help find sponsors for the conference. (

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