On Friday, October 30, the Filipina Women’s Network (FWN) honored Naomi Tacuyan Underwood, Deputy Director of Asian Pacific Islander American Vote, and Jian Iza Custodio Zapata, Aide with the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, as two of the 100 Most Influential Filipina Women in the United States.
This prestigious recognition places them alongside other highly successful Filipina Americans such as news anchor Gel Relos, professional dancer Cheryl Burke, former Hawaii State Senator Lorraine Inouye, and Alice Bulos, leading voice for increasing Filipino America political participation for more than 20 years. Previous recipients of the award include fashion designers Monique Lhuiller and Josie Natori, entrepreneur Loida Nicolas-Lewis, and Broadway actress Lea Salonga.
Ms. Underwood & Ms. Zapata are founding members of the Washington, DC Chapter of KAYA. Another founding member of the DC Chapter, Laureen Laglagaron, Policy Analyst with the Migration Policy Institute, was selected as one of the 100 Most Influential Filipina Women in the U.S. for 2007 under the “Policymakers and Visionaries” award category.
The 100 Most Influential Filipina Women in the U.S. Award™ honors Filipina women who are changing the face of power in America and who have reached status for outstanding work in their respective fields and who are recognized for their leadership and achievements in the U.S. workplace and communities. The 100 Most Influential Filipina Women in the U.S. Awards™ is a working recognition award, a key initiative of Pinay Power 2012. Pinay Power 2012 is a dream with a meaningful purpose: double the number of Filipina women leaders by 2012.
The entire list of 2009 Honorees can be found here.