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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 Online Newsletter of PALCUS    

Highlights of the 2012 PALCUS Leadership Awards Gala


H.E. Nuno Brito, Ambassador of Portugal to the U.S., and Hon. Bob Menendez, U.S. Senator (NJ) addressed over 200 guests while seven were honored at the 16th Annual Leadership Awards Gala on Saturday, October 27th, 2012 at the Hilton - Short Hills in New Jersey.


2012 Gala Co-Chairs(L to R): Gala Honorary Co-Chair Deputada Maria João Ávila, U.S. Senator Bob Menendez (NJ), H.E. Ambassador of Portugal Nuno Brito,  Essex County Sheriff Armando Fontoura, Gala Honorary Co-Chair NJ Assemblyman Albert Coutinho (Photo: Henrique Mano - LusoAmericano)



Following the tradition of bringing the annual leadership awards gala to the various Portuguese-American communities of the United States, dignitaries, members and guests came together in this vibrant New Jersey community to honor their own.  Honorees from California to New Jersey to Rhode Island were recognized and feted for their outstanding accomplishments and service in a varied range of fields. Chairman of the PALCUS Board of Directors, Fernando G. Rosa, served as Master of Ceremonies in the elegantly appointed Ballroom of the Hilton Hotel at Short Hills.


PALCUS was honored by the presence of H.E. Nuno Brito, Ambassador of Portugal to the United States and Hon. Bob Menendez, U.S. Senator (NJ-D) who each spoke on the topic of the importance of U.S. - Portugal bilateral relations and the strength of the Portuguese-American communities across the nation.


Serving as Honorary Co-Chairs were:

  • Hon. Maria João Ávila, Deputada da Assembleia da República
  • Hon. Albert Coutinho, Assemblyman of the New Jersey General Assembly.


Other distinguished guests included:

  • Hon. Maria Amélia Paiva, Consul General of Portugal to Newark
  • Hon. Daniel DaPonte, RI State Senator
  • Hon. Rosa Rebimbas, CT State Representative


2012 Leadership Award Honorees


The PALCUS Leadership Awards were presented during the evening to seven outstanding Portuguese-Americans nominated by the PALCUS membership. Each honoree was presented with a gold-trimmed porcelain "jarra" specially produced, inscribed and donated by PORCEL of Portugal and facilitated by AICEP Portugal Global though Rui Boavista Marques, Trade and Investment Commissioner.


Founder's Award

John Rebelo, PALCUS Founder and Council of 100


Leadership in Community Service

Albert S. Dutra, President, Portuguese Heritage Society of California


Leadership in Education

António Simões, Ed.D., Dean Emeritus, Fairfield University


Leadership in Public Service

Armando B. Fontoura, Sheriff, Essex County,  NJ


Outstanding Organization

Heavy and General Construction Laborers Union Local #472


Young Portuguese American "Promessa" Award

Margo Petitti, Owner/Designer at Margo Petitti


Leadership in Corporate Philanthropy

Banco Espirito Santo


2012 Gala Honorees

(L to R)  António Oliveira (Local #472), H.E. Nuno Brito, Hon. Maria Amélia Paiva, Hon. Albert Coutinho, Sr. Espírito Santo, Mr. Al Dutra, Chairman Fernando Rosa, Ms. Margo Petitti, Mr. John G. Rebelo, Dr. António Simões, Sheriff Armando Fontoura, Mrs. Alda Petitti (Photo:Henrique Mano -  LusoAmericano)


PALCUS Inaugural Scholarship Award


Dennis De Almeida, a second year Juris Doctoral Candidate at Seton Hall University School of Law, is the first recipient of the PALCUS National Scholarship Award.  He graduated summa cum laude with a B.S. in Finance from Seton Hall University, is president of the Corporate Law Society and is a co-founder of the Lusophon Student Association (undergraduate) and the Portuguese American Law Association (graduate).


Mr. De Almeida was selected for the merit-based scholarship by earning the top score in a blind evaluation process from a field of outstanding candidates on the basis of academic achievement, community involvement, responses to essay questions and professional recommendations.  The award is funded by the Rosa-Simão Family Scholarship Fund and was presented by one of the family benefactors, Mr. Marc Filipe Rosa.


A second scholarship application cycle will be opened in the spring of 2013 to be presented at the 2013 Leadership Awards Gala.  Individuals or organizations who wish to fund a scholarship in honor of or in memory of a loved one or other entity should contact Elisabete Martins at palcus@palcus.org for more information.


Scholarship Recipient 

(L to R) Dennis De Almeida, Fernando G. Rosa, Marc Filipe Rosa (Photo: Henrique Mano - LusoAmericano) 



Gala Sponsors


PALCUS gratefully acknowledges the generosity of our donors and sponsors:


Active Print Shop

AICEP Portugal Global

AIDIL Importing

Alice Pereira - Graphic Designer

António Andrade, Signature Printing

António Frias, S & F Concrete Contractors, Inc.

António Matinho, Luso-Americano Newspaper

Banco Espírito Santo


Café Opção

Cassella Package Store

Continental Trading & Hardware, Inc.

Councilman Augusto Amador, City of Newark, NJ

Couto & Sons, Inc.

Dept. of Portuguese and Braziian Studies, Brown University

DJs Unlimited

Donzelina Barroso, J. B. Fernandes Memorial Trust

Europa Pombalense Supermarket

Fernando G. Rosa

Fernando Silva

Fundação Luso-Americana (FLAD)

Gávea-Brown Publications, Brown University

Genova Burns Giantomasi & Webster, Attorneys-at-Law

Gerald and Barbara Hosaka

H & L Package Store

H. Robert Thiesfield, Professional Photographer

Heavy  and General Construction & Laborers' Union Local # 472

Henrique Mano, LusoAmericano


Hon. Albert Coutinho, NJ State Assemblyman

Hon. Maria Amélia Paiva, Consul General of Portugal to Newark

Hon. Maria João Ávila, Deputada da Assembleia da República

Hotspot Diner/José Sousa

Iberia Tavern & Restaurant

Institute for Portuguese and Lusophone World Studies at Rhode Island College

Jeffrey A. Leitz

John Pereira

Joanne Sousa

La Plaza Super Market

Marc Filipe Rosa

Marie & David Fraley

Merrill Lynch Wealth Management

Nelson C. Monteiro, Attoney-at-Law

Neves Jewelers

Odete Amarelo, Ph.D.

Olshins Pharmacy

People's United Bank

Pereira & Azevedo, LLC


Portuguese Heritage Society of California

Portuguese Instructive Social Club

'Rosa -Simao' Family Scholarship Fund

Sandra Marques, Sogevinus Fine Wines USA

Santos Florist

Seabra Group

Sheriff Armando Fontoura

TAP -Air  Portugal

Tagus Press, UMASS-Dartmouth

The DSA Companies

The Nutshell Portuguese Cuisine

Tony Da Caneca Portuguese Restaurant

Trenk DiPasquale

Valença Restaurant

Vinhas Jewelry Store

Vintage Trading of Connecticut

Virginia Contractors Supply

Wine In Motion

Zig Zag Boutique, Inc.



16th Annual Gala Committee:

  • Fernando G. Rosa, Chair
  • Marie R. Fraley, Vice-Chair
  • Angela Simões, Secretary
  • Rosa Alves, Gala Co-Chair
  • Cynthia Russo, Gala Co-Chair
  • Antonio Gato, Gala Co-Chair

PALCUS would like to thank everyone who helped make the 16th annual awards gala a success! 

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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  


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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.