By Lydia V. Solis

The Filipino American Chamber of Commerce Tri-County (L.A., Riverside and San Bernardino Counties) held its Christmas party and election on December 11, 2020, at the West Covina Canyon Woods International office of re-elected treasurer Art Abellada.  

Merwynn Montenegro, a graduate of De La Salle University in Manila, is the founder of the FACC TC Charter and has been working on its formation for about two years before he was first inducted president on April 21, 2017, at the Almanzor Court in Alhambra, Calif., with Consul General Adelio Angelito S. Cruz as inducting officer and keynote speaker. He was re-elected and inducted president on May 4, 2019. ConGen Adel was again the inducting officer and commended FACC TC “for its commitment to provide resources and opportunities for businesses to contribute to the economic growth and sustainable development of Los Angeles, San Bernardino and Riverside Counties.”


Merwynn is the executive director for American Workers Insurance Services specializing in Affordable Dental and Supplemental Health Insurance and is a co-founding member of the Board of Directors of the Coalition of FilAm Chambers of Commerce of Southern California (COFACC). For some 20 years, Merwynn has been practicing martial arts and has a 2nd degree black belt in Tae Kwon Do, along with his two older children. He has a strong faith in God and practices his Catholic religion together with his wife Sylvia and children Steven, Kathleen, Diane, and Kevin.

Gerry Palon, COFACC President, thanks Merwynn for his service to the local FilAm community “since you and the rest of the founding board members of FACC Tri-County chartered the Chamber six years ago. I am sure you are leaving a solid foundation and legacy that Carmela and the future Presidents of FACC TC will continue to pursue and emulate.”

Incoming president Carmela (Cosio) Giliberto says she’s “an energetic and positive team player with over 20 years of training and experience in sales and relationship management.” She’s a Business Advocate and founding member for BEYOND and specialize in providing Business Solutions in the form of Merchant Services, Payroll/HR and Lending. She’s the current Chapter President for Executive TEAM referral network in Riverside/Corona, member of the Board of Directors for Asian Industry B2B, and member of Business Retention Committee for the Greater Council of Ontario and Asian Business Association of the Inland Empire.

“I enjoy spending quality time with my family and friends,” she says, “especially when food and travel are involved. I am excited to be a founding Board Member for the FACC-TC and look forward to increasing our membership and helping one another achieve success though our relationships!”

“Congratulations and thank you Carmela for accepting the new challenge bestowed upon by the FACC TC Board of Directors,” emailed Gerry. “We welcome you in COFACC in your new role now as President of FACC TC.”


Former Board member and secretary Ed Casino and FACC Orange County President Joseph Joseph served as chairs of the Comelec.

Besides Art, other officers elected are: Michael Miranda, 2nd Vice President; Hermie Natividad, Corresponding Secretary; Christen Montero, Recording Secretary; and Art Abellada, Treasurer. (Editor’s note: author was elected 1st VP.) Other members of the Board are: Kathryn Balila (Philippines), Dan Niño, and Nick Muñoz.

To be continued…