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Working Today for Our Community's Tomorrow

The Portuguese-American Leadership Council of the United States

Established 1991

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The Monthly Newsletter of PALCUS 


2011 has been an invigorating and productive year for PALCUS. Chairman Fernando G. Rosa has crossed the country visiting Portuguese American communities this year to learn the needs of the community. From coast to coast, Chairman Rosa as well as the other PALCUS directors attended over 50 community events in addition to meetings with congressional staff, embassy officials and community leaders throughout 2011 working on behalf of PALCUS and its constituents.  


Below are some of the results of PALCUS' efforts.

In This Issue
20th Anniversary Leadership Awards Gala
Government Relations: Renewal of the Portuguese-American Caucus
International Relations: Visit of H.E. Anibal Cavaco Silva
International Relations: PALCUS Hosts Breakfast for Azorean Delegation
International Relations: GSI 2011
International Relations: Protesting the Possible Closure of the U.S. Consulate in Ponta Delgada
Education Program: Adoption of Espirito Santo School
Education Program: 2011 PALCUS Internships
Education Program: PALCUS National Scholarship Program
Cultural Program: Artist and Author Websites
Community Relations: PALCUS Success on the Social Web
2011 Board of Directors

20th Anniversary Leadership Awards Gala

PALCUS celebrated 20 years of service to the Portuguese American community at the spectacular National Harbor in St. George's County, Maryland. Since its establishment in 1991, PALCUS has served as the primary voice and advocate for the Portuguese community in the United States. Its list of accomplishments include facilitating a tax treaty between the US and Portugal, ensuring Portugal's participation in the Visa Waiver Program, establishing the Portuguese-American Caucus in the U.S. House of Representatives and the Friends of Portugal in the U.S. Senate, and providing countless internships for young Portuguese-Americans.

PALCUS Chairman Fernando Rosa presents President Cavaco Silva with a commemorative porcelain vase created and donated by Porcel of Portugal.

Image courtesy of LusoAmericano Newspaper

PALCUS brought together Portuguese-Americans from across the nation to welcome our special guests H.E. Dr. Anibal Cavaco Silva, President and the First Lady of the Republic of Portugal and to honor the 2012 Leadership Award honorees. The distinguished guest list included ambassadors, senators, congressmen, state and local elected officials, consuls, conselheiros and community leaders. The 20th Anniversary Gala Committee was led by Director Manuel Geraldo, Esq. with the able assistance of his wife, Ingrid Valentine.


PALCUS has recognized the outstanding accomplishments and service of over 70 individuals and organizations since its first gala in 1996. PALCUS was pleased to honor the following 2012 Leadership Awardees who have brought so much honor and pride to our community:

  • Hon. Dr. Berta Cabral, Mayor of Ponta Delgada - International Leadership Award
  • Antonio P. Goulart - Leadership in Community Service
  • Maria F. Pacheco, Ed.D. - Leadership in Education
  • Jose Rodrigues - Leadership in Entrepreneurship
  • Portuguese-American Post-graduate Society (PAPS) - Outstanding Organization
  • Antonio Frias - Founders' Award
  • Antonio Matinho - Founders' Award

Melissa Simas, co-anchor of KARK 4 News, Little Rock Arkansas

(now relocated to Massachusetts) was Mistress of Ceremonies

for the evening.
Melissa Simas
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Government Relations 

Renewal of the Portuguese-American Caucus in the U.S. House of Representatives and Friends of Portugal in the U.S. Senate


Upon the opening of the 112th Congress, PALCUS was at the forefront of the renewal of the Portuguese-American caucuses of the U.S. House and Senate. The caucuses are critical in maintaining effective lines of communication with legislators who are in a position to work on behalf of Portuguese-Americans in the United States.


The departure of Cong. Patrick J. Kennedy (RI-1) created a leadership vacuum in the House caucus that was taken up by the co-chairmanship of Congressmen Jim Costa (CA), Dennis Cardoza (CA), Jim McGovern (MA) and David N. Cicilline (RI). To date, 23 House members have committed to their participation in the caucus.


Senator Jack Reed (D-RI) reaffirmed his long-time leadership of the Friends of Portugal in the U.S. Senate. With PALCUS' intervention, Senator Reed enlisted Senator Patrick Toomey (R-PA) as co-chair in a bi-partisan effort to represent all Portuguese-Americans. Senator Toomey is of Portuguese descent through his mother's family. Senators Daniel Akaka (HI), Scott Brown (MA), Richard Blumenthal (CT), and Sheldon Whitehouse (RI) are the newest members of the caucus which has been in place since 1995.

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International Relations

Visit of H.E. Anibal Cavaco Silva


PALCUS was honored to have been able to facilitate the visit of the H.E. Anibal Cavaco Silva, President of the Republic of Portugal, to the United States in November. Chairman Rosa's invitation to the President in early 2011 to the 20th Anniversary Gala set into motion a series of discussions resulting in a full itinerary of visits to the Portuguese American communities on both east and west coasts from November 9th through November 14th.


On the east coast his itinerary included speeches and meetings at the United Nations, meeting at the White House with President Barack Obama, visits in New York City including 9/11 Memorial Plaza, a luncheon for Elected Officials of Portuguese descent and presiding at the PALCUS 20th Anniversary Gala. On the west coast in the first visit by a President of Portugal in twenty years, the President visited with the Portuguese-American community in San Jose as well as meeting with numerous corporations and organizations in the Silicon Valley.


This visit solidified relations between the United States and Portugal at the highest levels, most notably the visit with President Barack Obama resulting in the reaffirmation of the long-standing partnership between the two countries. They discussed maximizing the U.S.-Portugal Bilateral Commission which works in areas of defense and security, education, science and technology exchanges, economic revitalization, law enforcement, and development in the Azores. To read the Joint Statement from President Barack Obama and President Anibal Cavaco Silva: http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/DCPD-201100845/pdf/DCPD-201100845.pdf    

President Cavaco Silva and President Barack Obama in the Oval Office
White House Photo
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International Relations

PALCUS Hosts Breakfast for Azorean Delegation


Azores Delegation Breakfast 

PALCUS Chairman Fernando G. Rosa accepts a gift from Dr. Vasco Cordeiro, Secretary of Economy, Regional Government of the Azores

Herald News Photo  


The beautiful Grande Salon of the Quequechan Club in Fall River was the setting for a welcome breakfast hosted by PALCUS in honor of the Azorean delegation to the 25th Grandes Festas do Divino Espírito Santo da Nova Inglaterra on Friday morning, Aug. 26th. The special guests comprising the delegation were Dr. Vasco Cordeiro, Secretary of Economy of the Regional Government of the Azores, The Most Reverend D. António Braga, Bishop of the Diocese of Angra and the Islands of the Azores, and the Honorable Dra. Berta Cabral, Mayor of the City of Ponta Delgada.


Local dignitaries joining in the welcome were Fall River Mayor William Flanagan, MA Senators Michael Rodrigues and Joan Menard, MA Rep. Tony Cabral and Consul of Portugal to New Bedford Graça Fonseca as well as President of the 2011 Grandes Festas Mr. José Moniz and Mrs. Moniz. PALCUS Director Odete Amarelo organized the event also attended by Directors Marie Fraley and Onésimo Almeida as well as Charter Member Fernando Garcia.

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International Relations



GSI, Global Strategic Innovation Program, is an annual initiative organized by Leadership Business Consulting, which brought 52 Portuguese entrepreneurs, CEOs and Executive MBA students to Boston and the Bay Area the week of 12th March.


PALCUS hosts the GSI Program business mixer in San Francisco


PALCUS held its most attended business mixer to date at the Autodesk Gallery in San Francisco. PALCUS hosted the event which was held within the context of the 2nd edition of the GSI 2011 - Global Strategic Innovation Program. The PALCUS business mixer at Autodesk Gallery in San Francisco provided one of the main networking opportunities for the GSI participants. Through PALCUS' connections and network more than 100 people, excluding the 52 GSI participants, attended the business mixer. In total more than 150 people mingled and exchange business cards in the inspiring setting of the Autodesk Gallery, home to some of Autodesk's major contributions to design and manufacturing. The business mixer included a short presentation by Jon Pittman, VP of Corporate Strategy at Autodesk and addresses by Mario Mesquita, Member of the Executive Council of the Luso-American Foundation, the Consul General of Portugal in San Francisco, Mr. António Costa Moura, Ana Sofia da Silva of the Portuguese Trade and Investment Office and PALCUS Director Angela Costa Simões.


Massachusetts Portuguese-American Caucus hosts GSI in Boston


The historic Massachusetts State House in Boston was the site of a recently hosted reception by State Senator Marc Pacheco and State Representative Antonio Cabral to discuss the executive program of Global Strategic Innovations. The event attracted over 50 people, including State Senator Michael Rodrigues, State Rep. Kevin Aguiar and Consul General of Portugal Paulo Cunha Alves. Pacheco and Cabral serve as co-chairs of the Massachusetts Portuguese American Caucus. PALCUS, one of the initiative's "Strategic Partners", was represented by Fernando G. Rosa, Chairman of the Board of Directors.
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International Relations 

Protesting the Possible Closure of the U.S. Consulate in Ponta Delgada


Throughout the year, PALCUS has monitored reports regarding the possible closure of the U.S. Consulate in Ponta Delgada, S. Miguel, Azores directly with the U.S. State Department. The Consulate in Ponta Delgada is one of several that are under review for closure by the U.S. State Department for budgetary reasons. Choosing to be proactive, PALCUS is joining with the Portuguese American Caucus of the House and the Friends of Portugal in the Senate in expressing objection to the closure and the hardships it will cause for U.S. citizens visiting family and friends in the Azores. Letters have been sent by the Portuguese American Caucus over the signatures of Congressmen Jim Costa (CA), Dennis Cardoza (CA), David N. Cicilline (RI) and Jim McGovern (MA) and by the Friends of Portugal over the signatures of Senators Jack Reed and Sheldon Whitehouse (RI).


In addition to writing its own letter of protest to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, PALCUS has undertaken a letter writing campaign drawing on the strength of the Portuguese American community nationwide. This appeal has gone out to individuals and over 400 organizations across the country to encourage the writing of letters of protest.


PALCUS will continue to follow this issue directly with the State Department until we are assured that the consulate will be maintained.
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Education Program  

Adoption of Espirito Santo School, Fall River, MA


PALCUS continues to support the teaching of the Portuguese language through its support of the Espirito Santo School of Fall River, Ma. in the way of materials, professional development for teachers and parent support workshops. PALCUS Director Dr. Odete Amarelo is responsible for the program providing direct service to the school. In 2011, Dr. Amarelo also brought various cultural activities to the school, i.e. author of Portuguese children's literature, Alice Vieira and the Azorean musical group, Raizes.


Espirito Santo 

Author Alice Vieira speaks to students of the Espirito Santo School

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Education Program

2011 PALCUS Internships


The PALCUS Internship Program, was established in 1994 to provide Portuguese-American students with work experience in their field of interest. Using its connections with government, civil-society and business leaders, PALCUS helps these students find internships which will give them the experience needed for success in a future career. Since its inception, over 134 internship opportunities have been provided to university students. This program provides both undergraduate and graduate Portuguese-American students with the opportunity to obtain invaluable work and career experience in government, business, and international organizations throughout the United States and Portugal.


Four internships were arranged by PALCUS in 2011 under the sponsorship of the J.B. Fernandes Memorial Trust and the St. Francis Foundation:


  • Gary Resendes - Consulate of Portugal to San Francisco, CA
  • Iliana M. Da Silva - Luso Americano Newspaper, Newark, New Jersey
  • Alex Norocea - IMAX International Film Development Department, Santa Monica, CA
  • Andrea Tavares - Pediatric Dental Practice of Dr. Matos, DDS

Director Cynthia Marques Russo, Esq. is responsible for coordinating internship placements.

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Education Program

PALCUS National Scholarship Program


Chairman Fernando Rosa has announced the establishment of the PALCUS National Scholarship Program. Scholarships will be merit-based and open to university and college students of Portuguese descent from throughout the United States. A fund has been opened, donations are being solicited and the application process will be opened soon. The first scholarships are scheduled to be awarded at the 16th Annual Leadership Awards Gala in the Fall of 2012.


To make a donation to the scholarship endowment, donate through PayPal, or send a check to PALCUS, 9255 Center Street, Suite 404, Manassas, VA 20110 

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Cultural Program

Artist and Author Websites


Red Roof Banner 


Promoting and supporting the Portuguese culture has been a part of the PALCUS mission since the organization's inception. As part of that mission, PALCUS has launched two new websites in an effort to promote Portuguese artists and authors. Through www.redroofstudios.org  and  www.portugueseauthors.weebly.com, more than 25 artists and authors are able to showcase their works to the world for free.


If you are an artist or author, please submit your works to be showcased to  palcus@palcus.org.

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Community Relations 

PALCUS Success on the Social Web:


This past year PALCUS has bumped up its efforts on the social web in an effort to connect more directly with our members and the community. Through our representation on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and YahooGroups, PALCUS is reaching more than 10,000 people in the United States and worldwide. If you aren't following us on the social web, do so today!


Like us on Facebook


Follow us on Twitter 


View our profile on LinkedIn 


yahoo group


PALCUS has also increased its regular communication with members through the LUSUS e-newsletter. In 2011, PALCUS published nearly 30 newsletters. If you aren't receiving the LUSUS Newsletter, sign up now by sending an email to palcus@palcus.org with "Subscribe" in the subject line.

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PALCUS is pleased and honored to have forged partnerships and working relationships with the following entities:


            The Government of the Republic of Portugal

            The Embassy of the Republic of Portugal to the US

            The Government of the Autonomous Region of the Azores

            AICEP / Portuguese Trade and Investment Office

            Portuguese-American Caucus of the U.S. House of Representatives

            Friends of Portugal in the U.S. Senate

            Leadership Business Consulting

            Luso-American Foundation

            J.B. Fernandes Memorial Trust

            New Bedford Whaling Museum

            Portuguese American Citizenship Project

            Portugal-US Chamber of Commerce
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2011 Board of Directors


The PALCUS Board of Directors is an all-volunteer board that not only is responsible for the governance and oversight of the organization but also takes on many management duties with a limited paid staff. In this regard, thanks and recognition are extended to the Directors who take on special projects that serve the community.


  • Fernando G. Rosa, Chair: Official Spokesperson and PALCUS Representative
  • Manuel Geraldo, Esq., Treasurer: 2011 Awards Gala Chair
  • Marie Ray Fraley, Vice Chair: 2011 Gala Awards Coordinator, LUSUS Newsletter Editor
  • Alda Petitti, Assistant Treasurer: Liaison with New Bedford Whaling Museum, AICEP
  • Angela Costa Simões, Secretary: Public Relations, LUSUS Newsletter Publisher, West Coast Professional Mixers
  • Dr. Odete Amarelo: Espirito Santo School Adopt-A-School Program Coordinator
  • Dr. Onésimo Almeida: Nominating Committee Chair
  • Antonio Gato, Liaison to Corporate Community
  • Cynthia Marques Russo, Esq.: Internship Program Coordinator
  • John Bento, Cabrillo Restoration Project Liaison
  • Nuno Ricardo: Social Media Relations


PALCUS welcomed to the Board of Directors late in 2011 the following new directors:

  • Mary Louise Nunes, CPA - Massachusetts
  • Rosa Alves, J.D. - New Jersey
  • Nuno Ricardo - Virginia
  • Patricia Joseph - Virginia
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PALCUS has been serving the Portuguese American community for over 20 years with pride and dedication. Please contact us if we can be of service to you. Thank you for your support!


PALCUS wishes everyone in the Portuguese American community a new year filled with happiness, health and prosperity.

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Contact Information


Email: palcus@palcus.org

Website: www.palcus.org

Phone: 202-466-4664


9255 Center St., Suite 404

Manassas, VA 20110  


Follow PALCUS on Facebook, LinkedIn, YahooGroups and Twitter!


For daily news and infomation on events and all things Portuguese, subscribe to Angela's List on YahooGroups, officially sponsored by PALCUS.


PALCUS Mission

In order to create a singular voice to advocate  for the Portuguese American and Luso-American communities at large, the Portuguese American Leadership Council of the United States Inc. (PALCUS) was founded in 1991  as a 501 © 3 non partisan, non profit, organization headquartered in Washington D.C.
The PALCUS mission is to address domestic and international concerns of the  Portuguese American Community.
The Council conducts an expanding program of educational and public affairs activities on issues of interest to the Portuguese American community and of salience to the Luso-American Relationship.
PALCUS is committed to serving the community through increasingly active government relations efforts, the promotion of a greater awareness of ethnic accomplishments and encouraging stronger ties between Portugal and the United States. In this role PALCUS advance the community professionally, politically and culturally while working to ensure that issues directly affecting our community are addressed through our network of government and community leaders.

PALCUS is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization incorporated under the laws of the District of Columbia.  Donations are tax deductible to extent allowed by law.