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October 1, 2013 > Local community leaders recognized

Local community leaders recognized

Submitted By Jeff Barbosa

Four local community leaders from Alameda and Santa Clara counties active in education, business, civil rights and government, and a non-profit historical society were recognized by state Assemblymember Bob Wieckowski (D-Fremont) during his 3rd Annual Asian Pacific Islander American Heritage Leadership Awards ceremony September 20 at Milpitas City Hall.

The honorees are: Anna Muh, Fremont; Phong La, Fremont; Deepka Lalwani, Milpitas; Zahra Billoo, Santa Clara; and the Filipino-American National Historical Society, Santa Clara Valley Chapter.

Muh is a former member of the Fremont Unified School District Board of Trustees. She has worked in the information technology field for more than 25 years. She has served as vice principal at the Fremont Chinese School and is a board member of the Citizens for Better Community. She chairs the CBCÕs internship program.

LaÕs family left Vietnam and arrived in America when he was 2-years-old. He is the vice president and general counsel of PTR Manufacturing Inc. The company supplies the flat panel display and solar industry with precision parts. La is also a Realtor and owns his own law practice. He has taught classes at San Jose City College on real estate law, property management and real estate economics. He is a former Fremont human relations commissioner and currently serves on the board of directors for Bay Area Women Against Rape.

Lalwani has received several awards for her community work, including Milpitas Citizen of the Year in 1998. She has been a speaker at several conferences and seminars on diversity and multi-culturalism. SheÕs served as president of the Milpitas Chamber of Commerce and as the program chair of the Milpitas Rotary Club. She is the founder of the Milpitas Democratic Club and a boardmember of Democratic Activists for Women Now. Lalwani is also a former chair of the Milpitas Planning Commission and was a member of the Milpitas Budget Task Force.

Billoo is the executive director of the San Francisco-Bay Area chapter of the Council of American-Islamic Relations. In that role, she strives to promote justice and understanding at the local and national levels and provides training at local mosques and universities to help build bridges in the community. Her work has been highlighted by several local and national media outlets. A graduate of the University of California, Hastings College of Law, she was admitted to the California Bar in 2009. She received the San Francisco Minority Bar CoalitionÕs Unity Award in 2010.

The Filipino-American National Historical Society is a non-profit founded in 1982 to document Filipino American history for succeeding generations. Santa Clara Valley is the eighth chapter of 30 nationwide and promotes education, understanding, and appreciation of Filipino culture in America. Nationally, the organization has promoted its history through public programs, films, publications and artistic expression.

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