Our first ever Summit was inspired by a vision to convene Pilipino American leaders from across the country with the purpose of discussing ways to to form a more united and collaborative Pilipino American community. Over two days, delegates from throughout the country, Europe and the Philippines connected and established relationships that otherwise would not have been possible outside of Summit. This was a big step toward reaching our vision.
“Building Bridges” featured two roundtable discussions, visits to local Pilipino American Institutions, two regional forums, two workshop sessions, panels on youth, students and young professionals, and three Keynote speakers. The Keynote speakers were; Mark Wolfisz, Dante Basco and Marisa Pizarro.
Mark Wolfisz is a British born Pilipino with a M.S. in Banking and Finance from the Queen Mary university of London. In February 2010 he launched One Filipino Vote, an online electoral service for Filipino overseas absentee voters, providing information for the 2010 Philippine Presidential Election. The website was accessed by Filipinos from over 100 countries during the 3-month campaign period. After the success of One Filipino Vote, he and Jordan Anthony Magototo founded One Filipino, a company supporting FIlipino organizations and businesses based in the United Kingdom and abroad. One Filipino facilitates town hall meetings for Filipino organizations promoting good governance and public diplomacy.
Dante Basco, a Filipino American, was born in Pittsburg, CA, but was raised in Paramount, CA. In his early years, he was part of the Streat Freaks [sic] breakdancing crew. When he got into acting, he started taking on minor roles in television. He later appeared in his most widely known role in Steven Spielberg’s 1991 film Hook with Robin Williams and Dustin Hoffman, as Rufio, the charismatic red-stripe-haired leader of the Lost Boys in Peter Pan’s absence. He starred as Ramos in the 2005 film Take the Lead alongside Antonio Banderas, where he break-danced as well as performed ballroom dance. He had guest roles on television shows; The Fresh prince of Bel-Air and Hangin’ with Mr. Copper, and a recurring role on Moesha. He has done voice acting for animated television series; Zuko in Avatar: The Last Airbender and Jake Long in American Dragon: Jake Long.
Marisa Pizarro is an Attorney for Sony Music Entertainment and Co-Founder of Project heal Manila. Marisa has turned her love of music into a career. After graduating college with a communications degree, she worked at Source Magazine and Game Records. She then decided to go to law school to merge her interest in business with her passion for hip-hop. As an attorney in the business affairs department, she represents artists including Alicia Keys, Pitbull, Ke$ha and T-Pain. In the fall of 2009, in response to Typhoon Ondoy, Marisa and her cousin founded Project Heal Manila to raise money for charities that were providing aid to children.