The Portuguese-American Leadership Council of the United States
Serving our Community for 26 Years!
LUSUS Newsletter
The Online Newsletter of PALCUS
2017 End of Year Summary
Table of Contents
A Message from the Chair~

Greetings to all our PALCUS members and friends!

Looking back on 2017 I am amazed that time has flown by so quickly. Assuming the role of Chair of PALCUS earlier this year has been a humbling and awesome experience as I have tried to fill the shoes of Fernando Rosa after so many years of his devoted leadership.

With the dedication and tireless work of the PALCUS Board of Directors and the generosity of supporters, we have launched a number of initiatives that are designed to serve the Portuguese-American community by providing information and making connections.

Please read more about our programs and activities below and, if you like what we are doing, please join us by becoming a member and donating to our shared cause.

We are all Portuguese and can do this together. We will steer the ship if you will provide the wind in our sails.  Obrigada!

Angela Costa Simões, Chairwoman
PALCUS, Board of Directors

PALCUS launched the PAL ITI CUS podcast to drive conversation about politics and public service from the Portuguese-American perspective.  Listen to the podcast on SoundCloud or iTunes. Please share with family, friends and colleagues, and send feedback on who we should interview, what questions to ask or what topics to discuss.
PALCUS Index National Survey
PALCUS launched a first-of-its-kind national community survey to be known as the PALCUS Index. The PALCUS Index, will be conducted bi-annually and aims to collect data regarding the issues that matter to the Portuguese-American communities across the United States.  Read more about the survey and download the full report from our website at
(L-R) Fernando Rosa (CT), Cynthia Marques Russo (NJ), Marie Fraley (RI), Katherine Soares (NY), Manuel Geraldo (DC), Anabela Dacruz-Melo (NJ) and Manuel Geraldo II (DC).
Congressional Reception
PALCUS hosted a Congressional Reception on Wednesday, October 25, 2017 on Capitol Hill. in the John D. Dingell Room of the Rayburn House Office Building.   It was attended by several members of the Portuguese-American Caucus in House of Representatives and the Friends of Portugal in the Senate and key PALCUS stakeholders. 

We are happy to announce that the co-chairs are reaching out to their colleagues to join them in the House and Senate caucuses and that two congressmen from California have agreed to join as a result of this effort.

A full report on the reception, outcomes and future action items will be published soon.
2017 Leadership Awards Gala
Our flagship event honors six Portuguese-Americans and is addressed  by H.E. Ray Kala "Xanana" Gusmão.  Read the full Gala report here.

Over 150 guests from across the United States, Portugal and Timor-Leste gathered on a lovely evening at the Portuguese American Community Center in Yonkers, New York, to celebrate PALCUS's 21st Annual Leadership Awards Gala.

PALCUS Chairwoman Angela Simões, Scholarship Recipient Cathy Marques (represented by her sister, Marisa Marques), Award recipients Dr. Franciso Cota Fagundes , Adam Costa (represented by his father, Paul Costa), Ambassador Fezas Vital, Maria Lawton, H.E. Xanana Gusmão, Alan Tenreiro, Rosa Leal, Ambassador  João Vale de Almeida and Ana Ventura Miranda.
Annual Members' Meeting
In accordance with PALCUS  by-laws, the Annual Membership Meeting was held in Yonkers, NY on September 23, 2017.   The n omination of the Directors' Class of 2018 for a three year term was approved:
  • John Bento - California /  PALCUS Member since 2005; Principal, MJB Designs, Architecture & Design
  • Diniz Borges - California /  PALCUS Member since 2016; Honorary Consul to Portugal, Tulare, CA; Portuguese Language Teacher, Tulare Union High School
  • Cynthia Marques Russo, Esq- New Jersey / PALCUS Member since 2003; Attorney at Law, Specializing in Immigration Law
Please view the PALCUS annual update shown at the Annual Meeting.
Scholarships and Internships
Once again, five scholarships were awarded to outstanding Portuguese-American graduate and undergraduate students at the annual gala thanks to the generosity of Marc Filipe Rosa with matching funds from Merrill Lynch and the Luso-American Fraternal Association of New Jersey. 

Internship: Sabrina Brum , a junior majoring in Spanish and minoring in Portuguese at  Rhode Island College, interned at the Vice-Consulate of Portugal in Providence during the summer of 2017. The internship opportuni ty was organized by PALCUS.

Graduate Division Scholarships

Catarina Marques, Vanderbilt University, M.Ed., Higher Education Administration - Sponsored by the Luso-American Fraternal Association of NJ

Robin Curry, Seattle University, Master of Arts in Teaching

Undergraduate Division Scholarships

Gabriel Thelonious Marques Borg, University of Texas at Austin, Biology

Celina Caetano, University of Conn., Molecular & Cellular Biology

Gina Raquel Silva, Colorado State Univ, Biomedical Sciences/Pre-Veterinary

(L-R) Fernando Rosa (CT), Ambassador George E. Glass and Katherine Soares (NY).
Meeting with New Ambassador of the United States to Portugal, George E. Glass
On August 22, US Ambassador-Designate to Portugal, George Glass met with PALCUS Vice Chair Katherine Soares and Past Chair Fernando Rosa in Washington DC. PALCUS' role in US-Portugal relations as well as within the Portuguese-American communities were on the day's agenda.  He traveled to Portugal shortly thereafter to present his credentials to the Portuguese government and was officially confirmed as Ambassador. 
Click here to view the Ambassador's message from Portugal
Click here to view the presentation of credentials to President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa  
(L-R) Marie Fraley (RI), Fernando Rosa (CT), Katherine Soares (NY), Secretary Carneiro, Deputy Head of Mission Frederico Nascimento, Odete Amarelo (MA)
Annual Breakfast for the Visiting Delegation to
Grandes Festas do Divino Espírito Santo, 
Fall River, MA

PALCUS hosted the 9 th Annual Breakfast in honor of the visiting delegation to the Grandes Festas do Divino Espírito Santo da Nova Inglaterra in Fall River, Ma. on Sunday, August 27 th. The guest of honor was José Luís Carneiro, Secretary of State of the Portuguese Communities Abroad. Secretary Carneiro addressed over 70 attendees emphasizing the global importance of the Portuguese language and the values shared between Portugal and the United States. The Secretary was accompanied by Rui Jorge da Silva Leite de Bettencourt, Azorean Regional Assistant Secretary of the Presidency for External Relations.

(L-R) Angela Simoes, Consul General Maria Joao Lopes Cardoso and John Bento.
Welcome Reception: Consul General of Portugal in San Francisco, Maria João Lopes Cardoso
PALCUS hosted a wonderful evening welcoming San Francisco's new Consul General Maria João Lopes-Cardoso to California! Our community is so thrilled to have her and we all look forwar d to working with her to continue the great relationship with the Portuguese Consulate General!   
Thank you to Luso-American Financial for hosting the event
We were excited to collaborate with CPAC (California Portuguese-American Coalitio n) for a networking mixer on Thursday, August 31st in Sacramento, CA. The funds raised during the mixer were contributed towards the PALCUS Scholarship Fund. 
FYI Webinar Series - Foreign Bank Account Reporting 
We continued to host webinars on different topics of interest and benefit to the community.  
Our latest FYI Webinar video on Foreign Bank Account Reporting is available online, along with all other past webinars. The Webinar was hosted by G. Michelle Ferreira, a San Francisco-based tax specialist. Visit the link above to watch the Webinar. If you have an idea for a Webinar topic, send us an e-mail.  
What's New at PALCUS?WhatsNew

Welcome Graci!  Gracielle Camilo, Executive Assistant
Graci joined PALCUS in late July, 2017 and has hit the ground running.  A graduate of Santa Catarina State University, Brazil (UDESC), she is fluent in English and Portuguese. Her skills have already been invaluable updating our website and databases, curating social media and translating the PALCUS Index National Survey into Portuguese.
Graci is standing by to assist you Monday - Friday, 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. at or 202-466-4664. 
PALCUS is now using memberplanet, a user-friendly platform that will help us to serve you better.  It is an interactive service that will allow you to update your PALCUS member profile, track donations and dues and join PALCUS circles with members of similar interests all with the click of a mouse.  
When you become a PALCUS member, you will be prompted to join us on memberplanet. As always your information is confidential and will never be shared without your permission. Questions? Contact Graci for more information! 
As a non-profit organization, PALCUS depends on funds from membership dues and donations.  Your tax deductible donation helps us to provide the programs that benefit our community.

Started your holiday shopping? Anyone can support PALCUS while shopping on Amazon via  AmazonSmile .  

Give online via PayPal on our  website   by clicking the " Donate Now " button

Checks are gratefully accepted payable to PALCUS. Mail to PALCUS, 9255 Center Street, Suite 404, Manassas, VA 20110. 

Does your employer have a  matching funds program?  Check with your Human Resources office to double your contribution.

Some members have included PALCUS in their planned giving and Will.  Please consider including PALCUS in your long-term planned giving. 

PALCUS is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. Gifts are tax deductible to the extent allowed by law and will be acknowledged.
PLANS FOR 2018 Plans

We are very excited for 2018 and the new programs and initiatives we have planned! Some of these programs include:
  • Meeting of Portuguese-American Elected Officials: An opportunity for Portuguese-American elected officials from all levels of government to come together and discuss how we can encourage more Portuguese Americans to run for office and get involved in public service.
  • Lusitanian Forum: A gathering of experts from both the US and Portugal to discuss a particular topic such as the Lajes base, business and technology, or the maintenance of the Portuguese language. 
  • Elected officials database: Expanding the Gateway database to include elected officials at all levels of governement, nationwide, and present this information in a user-friendly format to the community.
  • PALCUS Index: Improving upon the national survey to include in-person interviews, and therefore encompass a more representative sample of the community.

We will also continue with existing programs such as our PALITICUS podcast, the FYI Webinar series, the Leadership Awards Gala and local networking mixers.


Want to participate in or volunteer for any of these programs?  Please contact us at


PALCUS is a membership-driven organization. 
PALCUS depends upon the participation of its members to inform us about their concerns as well as their activities as Portuguese Americans in the United States.
PALCUS develops its programs by listening to our members and by soliciting their opinions.  Our mantra of "working today for our community's tomorrow" is at the heart of our strategic planning to create and to implement programs that address the four pillars of our mission: education and culture, international relations, government relations and community relations.
Your membership supports us so that we can support you, not only to keep us up and running, but to lend your voice for a better tomorrow for our community.
By joining PALCUS you will have exclusive access to "Members Only" news publications, programs, reports, invitations and member discounted tickets to PALCUS events.

Membership starts at just $25 per year for Young Portuguese-Americans, and $50 for General Membership.  

Paid advertisement. Does not imply an endorsement or recommendation by PALCUS.

Getting Your Portuguese Citizenship Service with 25% Discount

Portugal ReConnect is offering PALCUS members* a 25% discount on their service to obtain your Portuguese citizenship. If you didn't have a chance to watch PALCUS' webinar, "Getting Your Portuguese Citizenship: Benefits and Advantages" live, you can still watch it by following  this link. In the webinar, Portugal ReConnect's attorneys guide you through the criteria to help you find out whether you're eligible for the citizenship program.

*PALCUS Member in good standing, who has paid his/her 2016 or 2017 dues

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Did you enjoy this newsletter? Do you know about all the programs PALCUS offers our community? Please visit our website and become a member today! 
We can't do what we do without your support!

Newsletter Archive

Read past issues of the LUSUS Newsletter at!lusus-newsletter/cbac 

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Jobs for Portuguese Speakers
Jobs for Portuguese Speakers

If you want to put your Portuguese language skills to use in your next job, there are many opportunities out there! Visit the  Jobs for Portuguese Speakers Facebook page to see some job openings.

Contact Information

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(c)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 advances 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.

Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.