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Elaine Calderon photo

President

Elaine M. Calderon

Pryor Cashman LLP

Elaine began her legal career practicing U.S. immigration and nationality law where she counseled human resource managers and individuals on nonimmigrant visa classifications, permanent residence, and U.S. citizenship. After solo practice and public service for the Social Security Administration in the Office of Hearings Operations, Elaine is currently an Associate in the Immigration Group at Pryor Cashman LLP.

 

Noel Vales picture 6.16.2018

Vice President/President-Elect

Noel Vales

Robinson & Cole LLP

Noel Vales practices commercial real estate law at Robinson & Cole LLP in their New York City office. He is also a member of the firm’s Diversity Committee. His professional experience includes working on commercial real estate finance transactions representing institutional lenders, the leasing of commercial office space, acquisitions/dispositions of real property and affordable housing transactions utilizing the federal low-income housing tax credit program (LIHTC). Noel has worked on many New York City transactions, as well as deals involving properties located throughout the United States. He has worked worked at various Am Law 100 law firms and also in-house at Wall Street investment banks such as Deutsche Bank, Morgan Stanley and Citi.

Noel is the Northeast Regional Governor for the National Filipino American Lawyers Association and is on the board of directors of the University of San Diego School of Law Alumni Association. He is also a former treasurer and an original steering committee member of FALA New York.

Noel is a proud Bruin and graduated from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) with a B.A. in Political Science. Before attending the University of San Diego School of Law, Noel worked at Search to Involve Pilipino Americans (a non-profit community service organization in Los Angeles) and at the Asian Pacific American Legal Center (now, Asian Americans Advancing Justice – LA). During law school, he was a law clerk extern to the Honorable Robert F. Takasugi of the United States District Court, Central District of California and a summer intern to Vice Chairman Paul Igasaki of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in Washington, DC.

 

 

ariel

Recording Secretary

Ariel Risinger

AXA U.S. Holdings, Inc.

Ariel is Counsel at AXA U.S. Holdings, Inc. where she provides legal advice and guidance to the CEO and General Counsel relating to AXA’s business expansion strategy in the United States. Prior to joining AXA, Ariel was an Assistant Counsel at AIG. Ariel’s practice interests include international commercial transactions, advertising and social media law, and privacy law. As a member of FALANY and AABANY, Ariel is committed to mentoring law students and new lawyers, especially those on non-traditional career paths.

When Ariel isn’t doing her lawyer thing, you’ll find her wandering the streets of NYC and Jersey City to reach her daily Fitbit miles, hanging out with her spoiled cat, Tina Turner, while devouring all sorts of books (she read 40 in 2017) or at the gym at 5 a.m. lifting weights with her trainer.

Ariel received her B.A. in Art History in 2003 from Smith College and her J.D. in 2015 from Seton Hall University School of Law where she was a Dean Acheson Stagiaire to Judge Anthony Borg Barthet (Malta) at the Court of Justice of the European Union. Prior to law school, Ariel was a litigation paralegal for eight years.

 

AndrewVillacastin

Membership Secretary

Andrew Villacastin

Boies Schiller Flexner LLP

Andrew Villacastin graduated from UC Berkeley School of Law in 2012, and is now a litigation associate at Boies Schiller Flexner LLP. Andrew joined the firm after clerkships with Judge Edith Brown Clement of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit and Judge Lorna G. Schofield of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York. Before law school, Andrew served as a Surface Warfare Officer in the United States Navy.

 

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Treasurer

Kevin Medrano

OnDeck Capital

Kevin Medrano is a commercial contracts attorney at OnDeck Capital. Prior to OnDeck, he was a corporate associate in the New York office of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP, where his practice focused on mergers and acquisitions and other corporate transactions. Outside of work, Kevin enjoys volunteering and indulging his inner science geek. Kevin attended Stanford University, where he obtained a B.A. in Anthropological Sciences, and New York University School of Law.

 

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Immediate Past President

Vincent J. Roldan

Ballon Stoll Bader & Nadler, P.C.

Vincent Roldan is a Partner and Co-Chair of the Bankruptcy and Restructuring Group at Ballon Stoll Bader & Nadler, P.C. He has represented parties in interest in various aspects of bankruptcy proceedings, including debtors, secured lenders, noteholders, foreign and domestic trade creditors, creditors' committees, trustees, and asset purchasers. Prior to joining the firm, he was a Partner and head of the restructuring practice at mid-sized New York firm, and a senior associate in the New York office of DLA Piper LLP, for whom he worked for over nine years. He is a frequent speaker and writer on corporate bankruptcy, restructuring, and commercial litigation topics.

Vincent served as a law clerk to the Honorable Lewis M. Killian, Jr., United States Bankruptcy Judge for the Northern District of Florida, and interned for the Honorable Adlai S. Hardin, Jr., United States Bankruptcy Judge for the Southern District of New York.
He is an active member of the Asian American Bar Association, and is a founding member of FALA New York, for which he has served on the Steering Committee since its inception.

 

amanda

Director

Amanda Bernardo

New York Legal Assistance Group (NYLAG), Immigrant Protection Unit

Amanda supervises the case work of staff attorneys representing clients in removal (a.k.a “deportation”) proceedings, with a particular focus on immigrants newly released from detention, minors, and parents in proceedings with their children. Amanda also provides direct representation to clients in removal proceedings. Prior to joining NYLAG, Amanda was the senior associate attorney at a boutique immigration firm in downtown Manhattan where she specialized in removal defense and complicated matters involving fraud and criminal issues. As an immigration lawyer, Amanda has represented refugees, empowered victims of domestic violence, given hardworking men and women with criminal records a second chance, saved countless families from deportation, and legalized the status of even more.

Amanda is a frequent speaker on immigration law for various affinity bar associations. She is the Immigration Law Committee Co-Chair for the Asian American Bar Association of New York (AABANY), which AABANY named the Committee of the Year. In 2017, FALA New York gave Amanda the Rising Star Award. In addition, Amanda is a Delegate for the Embassy of the Philippines’ Filipino Young Leaders Program.

Amanda received her juris doctorate from Brooklyn Law School and her bachelor’s degree from American University, where she graduated summa cum laude with honors and focused on Philippine migration to the United States.

 

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Director

Rio Guerrero

Guerrero Law Firm

Rio Guerrero is renowned for nearly 20 years of successfully representing companies, organizations and individuals with complicated U.S. visa, work permit and green card matters. In particular, he is respected for achieving creative solutions for profoundly complex immigration cases.

The National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA) has presented Attorney Guerrero with the coveted “Best Lawyers” national award. He was selected among distinguished attorneys nationwide for his long and outstanding record of success representing corporate and individual clients in matters involving U.S. immigration law. Also, Attorney Guerrero has received the “Contributions to Excellence” award from the Filipino-American National Historical Society (FANHS), recognizing his national success as a Filipino-American attorney, and his commitment to the preservation and promotion of Filipino-American history and culture.

Deeply involved in all facets of immigration law, Mr. Guerrero is an active member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA), where he has served on the National Committee on Health Care Professionals. He founded and served for many years as Co-Chair of the Asian American Bar Association of New York (AABANY) Immigration and Nationality Law Committee. He has served as a member of the Corporate Immigration Committee and the U.S. Department of Labor Committee for the AILA-New York Chapter.

A distinguished Edward V. Sparer Fellow of Brooklyn Law School, Attorney Guerrero also holds one baccalaureate degree in Economics and a second in International Studies as a Dean’s Scholar of The American University of Washington D.C.
Since 2007, he has taught as an Adjunct Professor of Immigration Law at the City University of New York – School of Professional Studies. A sought-after speaker in his field, he frequently lectures at continuing legal education seminars and other pro bono events.

Rio is a founding member of FALA New York and led the charge to form the original Steering Committee. He also served in 2015-2016 as the organization’s first president.

 

montoya

Director

Concepcion A. Montoya

Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP

Conception A. Montoya is a 2000 graduate of Brooklyn Law School and is Partner at Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP. Connie’s trial and litigation practice focuses on the areas of consumer class action litigation, employment litigation and legal malpractice defense. She is also a member of Hinshaw’s Diversity Committee. Previously, she was an Assistant Corporation Counsel in the Special Federal Litigation Division of the Office of the Corporation Counsel of the City of New York, where she received the “Municipal Affairs Award” in 2004 for outstanding achievement in the New York City Law Department, from the Municipal Affairs Committee of the Association of the Bar of the City of New York. Connie is a founding member and the Immediate Past President of the Filipino American Lawyers Association of New York. Connie is a member of the Board of Directors of the LGBT Bar Association of Greater New York Co-Chair of the Diversity Committee of the National Association of Women Lawyers, and a former Co-Chair of the LGBTQ Network of the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association,. She served as Co-Chair of the Litigation Committee of the Asian American Bar Association of New York for several years.
Connie has crafted and led several major professional education efforts, given deposition trainings, and conducted mock trials before professional bar associations. Her pro bono work includes the handling of immigration and employment matters for the Asian American Legal and Education Fund, specifically individuals affected by the Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors, or "DREAM" Act.
Connie was born in the Philippines and is a graduate of Stuyvesant High School and New York University. Prior to Brooklyn Law School, she studied Theology and Ethics from Union Theological Seminary, earning a Masters of Divinity degree. Her training and education has supported her passion to teach, defend, and serve.