PAANC Presidents’ Welcome 2021
The Filipino Spirit: Fun, Giving Back, and Hard Work
Keith and Laura Lawton address PAANC members as 2021 co-presidents. They touch on how the organization is pivoting to provide virtual activities and events, and how important it is to support the Filipino and Asian communities during this turbulent time. Laura emphasizes that members should reach out to PAANC for help if they’re experiencing anti-Asian sentiment or violence. Keith recalls our annual events like the gala, picnic, and member luncheon, and urges members to share their ideas for events to email@example.com. Maraming salamat sa inyong lahat!
The mission of the PAANC is to preserve cultural heritage, foster education and social exchange, and provide humanitarian assistance and services in the wake of natural or economic disasters regardless of geographical location, but especially in North Carolina and the Philippines.
PAANC aims to implement cultural, social, health, and educational support and initiatives to improve the resilience and general quality of life of vulnerable and underserved communities in North Carolina and in the Philippines. It also strives to meet the growing and ever-changing needs of its members and of those in dire need of assistance.
Board Member Spotlight: Tess Ferrer-Turner
This article features PAANC treasurer Tess Ferrer-Turner and continues our series that spotlights a different member each month. We hope you’ll be inspired by Tess’s story and want to volunteer with PAANC. If so, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Q: What originally sparked your interest to volunteer with PAANC?
Tess: When I moved to Raleigh 30 years ago, I wanted to get involved. I found out about PAANC, and my first volunteer task was at the International Festival, which was held at the Civic Center at the time. I’ve always enjoyed volunteering and I was drawn to PAANC because of its mission and initiatives, which are in line with my beliefs and commitment to service.
Q: How long have you been a PAANC volunteer?
Tess: I’ve been involved with PAANC for 30 years. I also volunteer and am an active member at St Francis of Assisi Catholic Church.
Q: Where were you born and where did you grow up?
Tess: I was born and raised in Lapu-Lapu City, Province of Cebu on the island of Mactan, Philippines.
Q: How did you end up living in North Carolina?
Tess: I moved to N.C. in 1990 when I joined the Clinical Research Team of Glaxo. I had to choose between Bristol Myers in CT, and Glaxo in N.C. I am glad I chose Glaxo over Bristol Myers.
Q: What is your education/work background?
Tess: I have a bachelor’s degree in nursing and graduated in 1979. I worked as an operating room nurse in the Philippines before I migrated to the U.S. In Houston, TX, I worked as a medical surgical nurse, then I went on to specialize in clinical oncology starting with head and neck, thoracic, then hematologic malignancies, and later explored the area of oncology clinical research. After gaining clinical experience in clinical research as a research nurse/research coordinator, I pursued my career goal of working in a pharmaceutical/biotech organization. I did so to further expand my involvement in drug development specializing in oncology and infectious diseases. I’ve been engaged in this combined area of specialty for the past 30 years in increasing levels of responsibility until my retirement in 2019.
Q: What do you do in your spare time (hobbies, passions, etc.)?
Tess: I enjoy gardening, traveling, and recently, becoming more interested in birdwatching. I also enjoy cooking, baking, and dancing.
Q: What is your favorite board or card game and why?
Tess: My family has this favorite card game that we play and has become a tradition when we get together and it is called Jet Jet. It is a very fun, energetic, and interactive game and has given our family countless memories and tons of laughter. I also enjoy playing online the Word Game because it helps sharpen my mind and keeps me on my toes.
Q: When travel is safe again, where will you go first?
Tess: My husband and I would like to go the Holy Land, which was our scheduled trip last May, but just like everyone else, covid interrupted our travel plans. Our bucket list includes Australia, New Zealand, Rome, Italy, Japan, and the beautiful places within the Philippines.
Q: How have you grown as a result of COVID?
Tess: It made me appreciate the value of enjoying the moment and enjoying doing simple things. I also became more prayerful, closer to God, and more grateful for all of my blessings.
Q: What advice would you give to young people regarding the importance of volunteering?
Tess: I’ll share this one simple statement that I’ve always believed and lived through life: “It is in giving that we receive.” Additionally, sharing one’s time and talent, and showing kindness makes a difference in someone else’s life.
Want to learn more about our board members? Be sure to check out our Board Member Spotlight articles.
Congrats to Our 2020 PAANC North Carolina Scholarship Recipients!
Alianna is a cum laude graduate of Millbrook High School. She was vice president and president of the Venture Crew, a member of the National Honor Society, and she received the Presidential Service Award. Alianna was a member of the PAANC dance group for 12 years and also volunteered in the soup kitchen. She is a freshman at East Carolina University and intends to major in biology.
Alexis is a magna cum laude graduate of Rolesville High School. She was an N.C. Academic Scholar, captain of the Women’s Varsity Soccer team, class of 2020 treasurer for three years, president of the Asian Student Association, and an officer of the Health Occupation Students of America club. Alexis was a member of the PAANC dance group for 12 years, a Wake Med Hospital volunteer, and also participated in Habitat for Humanity. She is a freshman at Clemson University and intends to major in biology.