To perpetuate the local Filipino heritage and provide development opportunities that empower young active citizens to create positive change.
The JCI Hawaii Filipino Junior Chamber (FJC), a local organization member (LOM) of Junior Chamber International (JCI), JCI USA, legacy can be traced as far back as 1970 when Geminiano “Toy” Arre, Jr. made history by becoming the first president of non-Japanese descent to lead the Honolulu Japanese Junior Chamber of Commerce. During Toy’s tenure, he led the effort with Ernest Mina to form the first Filipino-themed JCI chapter in Hawaii with Ed Hasegawa (ironically of Japanese descent) as its first president: the Bayanihan Jaycees. Unfortunately, the word ‘Bayanihan’ was forced to be removed due to the U.S. Junior Chamber’s policy banning ethnic connotations to chapter names. Although it got renamed to the Metropolitan Jaycees, the chapter’s bayanihan spirit remained.
The U.S. Junior Chamber’s policy eventually changed and a new chapter later emerged as the Oahu Filipino Jaycees. It became a solid source for young leadership in the local Filipino community, bringing forth today’s notable individuals such as Judge Rey Graulty, Roland Casamina, Larry Ordonez, Alex Sonson, and Willie Espero. Some of its members would ultimately be key in helping establish Oahu’s Annual Filipino Fiesta and the Filipino Community Center.
After some time of hibernation, today’s organization began to form in the late 1990s by Harry Alonso. In 1998, the Filipino Junior Chamber officially reemerged as the Honolulu Filipino Junior Chamber of Commerce (HFJCC) with Michelle Acosta as its first president. Under Eric Barsatan’s leadership in 2008, HFJCC branded itself simply as the ‘Filipino Junior Chamber.’
Under Jay Raymundo’s leadership in 2011, HFJCC officially renamed itself ‘JCI Hawaii Filipino Junior Chamber of Commerce’ as JCI resources have become more readily available to its national and local organization members.
In 2012, Ryan Fernandez became the first ex officio board member of the Filipino Chamber of Commerce of Hawaii. This position would continue to be held by current Filipino Junior Chamber presidents and open leadership and networking opportunities to members.
Like the chapters that preceded it, the current chapter has a diverse and talented membership. Current and former members are sought for their leadership by businesses, government of all levels, and the community. Today, the Filipino Junior Chamber is the local community’s PREMIER organization for young adults in leadership development.
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