The Portuguese-American Leadership Council of the United States
Serving our Community for 28 Years!
February 2019
LUS US Newsletter
The Online Newsletter of PALCUS
In this issue......
  • PALCUS Announces 2019 Officers and Board of Directors 
  • New director Daniel DaPonte
  • PALCUS Director Diniz Borges Named Director of Portuguese Beyond Borders Institute
  • Portuguese Professional Mixer in New York City
  • PALCUS Named a 2018 Organizations of the Year by Tribuna Portuguesa
  • Alexandre António DaCosta Simões Memorial Scholarship
  • Signing Ceremony of the Trainee Pilot Program MoU between Portugal and the United States 
  • Make Portuguese Count™ Campaign Updates
  • Member Spotlight - Dr. Filipa Godoy Vitorino
PALCUS Upcoming Events
  • Portuguese Professionals' Mixer Planned in Springfield, NJ
  • Visit Sunny Portugal
Gateway Featured Business
  • Touch of Class DJ, Video & Photo booth
Community News:
  • FLAD Launches Let's Talk About Business Mentorship App
  • MAPS Awards Gala
  • University of Macau - Scholarships for International Students
  • CENSE 2019
PALCUS Announces 2019 Officers and Board of Directors

PALCUS elected its executive officers at the January Board of Directors meeting.

Executive Committee:
Angela Costa Simões (CA), Chair
Katherine Soares (NY), Vice-Chair
Anabela Dacruz-Melo (NJ), Secretary
Fernando G. Rosa (CT), Treasurer

John Bento (CA)
Diniz Borges (CA)
Laurinda Clemente (VA)
Daniel DaPonte (RI)
Paul do Forno (OH)
Marie R. Fraley (RI)
Manuel Geraldo, Sr. (MD)
Manuel Geraldo, II (DC)
Lisa de Medeiros Morris (MA)
Cynthia Marques Russo (NJ)
PALCUS Welcomes Daniel DaPonte to the Board of Directors

PALCUS is pleased to announce that Daniel DaPonte (RI) has been elected to the Board of Directors. He is the Founder, President, and Chief Compliance Officer of Axis Advisors, LLC.
From 1999 to 2018, he was a member of the Rhode Island State Senate, and served as Chairman of the Senate Committee on Finance from 2009 to 2017. He was the key architect of personal and corporate income tax reform plans and was a key participant in the Rhode Island Retirement Security Act.

DaPonte is highly respected at home and abroad recognized by the President of Portugal with the insignia of Commander of the Order of Merit for his contributions to the Portuguese-American community.  PALCUS looks forward to working with him.

PALCUS Director Diniz Borges named Director of Portuguese Beyond Borders Institute

Fresno State's  College of Arts and HumanitiesJordan College of Agricultural Sciences and Technology  and  College of Social Sciences,  have named Portuguese language lecturer Diniz (Dennis) Borges as the first director of the Portuguese Beyond Borders Institute. The institute was founded in November 2018 after the  Luso-American Development Foundation  granted $130,000 to launch a Portuguese-American Oral History Project and a speaker series.

"I'm thrilled that Diniz Borges is the founding director for the Portuguese Beyond Borders Institute," said Dr. Saúl Jiménez-Sandoval, dean of the College of Arts and Humanities at Fresno State. "Mr. Borges will coordinate with the Jordan College of Agricultural Sciences and Technology and the College of Social Sciences to bring our community together to celebrate the rich culture and historical legacy of the Lusophone world."

Portuguese Professional Mixer in New York City

PALCUS and the Portuguese Circle recently co-hosted a Professional Networking Event in New York City on January 16th. 

The event was held at OneOneFour Lounge in the Marmara Hotel in midtown Manhattan. In attendance were members of the Portuguese-American community from Manhattan, Long Island, Queens and New Jersey. 

PALCUS thanks the Portuguese Circle for their collaboration on this event. We were happy to meet those that braved the cold to come and network as well as learn more about PALCUS' mission and upcoming events for both organizations. 


PALCUS, Chair Angela Simoes and Director Diniz Borges named "2018 Best of the Year"   by Tribuna Portuguesa

The Tribuna Portuguesa has been distinguishing the Best of the Year since 2004. 
'With our constant focus on being the "mirror of our Portuguese-American community, each year it becomes harder to select the true "Best of the Year." While some names may have surfaced in previous editions, there are many new names, businesses, and organizations being recognized in this edition.'

Alexandre António DaCosta Simões
PALCUS Memorial Scholarship:
Alexandre António DaCosta Simões

On February 5, 2019, the son of Angela and Adrian Simões of Fremont, California suddenly passed away.
In response for requests from PALCUS members and friends for suggestions for expressions of sympathy, PALCUS has established a scholarship in memory of Alexandre to be awarded to a P ortuguese-American college student.
It is our hope that Alexandre's spirit and promise will continue on in the accomplishments of another young worthy Portuguese American.

This scholarship named in memory of Alexandre is part of the PALCUS National Scholarship Program established in 2012 by the Rosa Family with matching funds from Merrill Lynch and with donations by others.  It follows all policies and procedures of the parent program.

Donations to the  Alexandre António DaCosta Simões Scholarship will be acknowledged and the family will be notified of your gift  in Alexandre's memory. 
Gifts may be made by check mailed to: PALCUS, 9255 Center St., Ste. 404, Manassas, VA 20110 with your address and email and "Alexandre Scholarship" on memo line OR
via PayPal or credit card. Thank you for giving to this lasting tribute.

(L-R) Assistant Secretary Royce, PALCUS Director Laurinda Clemente and
 H.E. Domingos Fezas Vital
Signing Ceremony of the Trainee Pilot Program MoU between Portugal and the United States

On February 11,  the Government of the United States and the Government of Portugal signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) establishing a pilot program in the Intern and Trainee categories of the Exchange Visitor Program. 
The signing of the MOU was held in the Treaty Room of the U.S. Department of State .  Signatories were His Excellency Domingos Fezas Vital, Ambassador of Portugal to the United States, and the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs' (ECA) Assistant Secretary Marie Royce. 
PALCUS was represented by Director Laurinda Clemente.

2020 U.S. CENSUS UPDATE: Make Portuguese Count™ Update

Marie R. Fraley to Serve as National Make Portuguese Count™ Campaign Director

PALCUS has announced that Marie Fraley will be taking on the role of National Census Director for the Make Portuguese Count™ in the 2020 U.S. Census Campaign.

She will chair the National PALCUS Complete Count Committee as it works with Ronald E. Brown, U.S. Census Partnership Coordinator to put the campaign's strategy into motion. Her duties will include overseeing fundraising, recruiting area "Captains", registering Affiliated Organizations and crafting a mass communication outreach to ensure that all U.S. residents with Portuguese ancestry are counted in the 2020 Census. 

Read more here

PALCUS is pleased to announce that the following organizations have registered as PALCUS Affiliated Organizations for the Make Portuguese Count™ Campaign.

More organizations are coming onboard. 
Won't you join us?
PALCUS is calling on over 500 Portuguese-American civic, social and faith-based groups and organizations to join with us in establishing a nationwide network that will help us work together in mobilizing our community to be counted in 2020.
PALCUS will provide information, materials and support through a regional captain while the organization agrees to work with us to create a unified message and instructions for completing the 2020 Census questionnaire.
Join us and register your organization today.  It's simple and takes 5 minutes!
 Download the Guidelines for participation.
Why do we ask for registration?
1) To secure your permission for working with us and to share your link;
2) To verify your correct contact information to send campaign materials;
3) To keep you updated on all current census information.

Questions?   Contact Gracielle Camilo at or call her 202-466-4664.

View the Make Portuguese Count™ promotional video HERE.

Member Spotlight - Dr. Filipa Godoy Vitorino
Portuguese scientist studies bacteria for early detection of HPV and Cervical Bacteria in Puerto Rico

Dr. Filipa Godoy Vitorino leads a research group at the University of Puerto Rico, School of Medicine, that studies bacteria in the reproductive tract to trace those biomarkers for early detection of cervical cancer and HPV. She recently published some work and was featured in the local newspaper.

PALCUS Mixer in Springfield, NJ: Make Portuguese Count™

Join PALCUS for an evening of networking over wine and appetizers while learning about how New Jersey can Make Portuguese Count™ in the 2020 U.S. Census.

Thursday, February 28, 2019
6:00 - 8:00 p.m.

The Machado Group 
1 Cleveland Place Springfield, NJ

Presentation by PALCUS National Census Director, Marie Fraley

RSVP here by February 22, 2019  or by email to


September 13-22, 2019
10 Days - 14 Meals
Optional 4 Night Madeira Island Post Tour Extension

  • $100 Discount for PALCUS members in good standing at time of booking (Associate and Charter Members)
  • Double: $3,899
  • Single: $4,699
  • Triple: $3,869
Contact Collette at 800-581-8942.  Refer to booking #914486

Want to learn more???  
Join us for an informational webinar!!

Join us for a webinar on
It is time to go beyond the brochure. Join us for an entertaining online travel presentation. Discover the people and places that make our tours special and do it from the comfort of your own computer. Learn from travel experts and lose yourself in incredible images of Portugal. This is the first step on what will be an amazing adventure.
Unable to attend at the scheduled time? Register, and you will be able to view the archived session as soon as it becomes available!

After registering you will receive a
confirmation email containing
information about joining the webinar.

Contact Gracielle Camilo for the full brochure!
Proceeds to benefit PALCUS
T his month's feat ured business is Touch of Class DJs, Video & Photo Booth of Kearny, New Jersey
Touch of Class provides disc jockeys for any event or function ranging from weddings, business and family events.
Touch of Class Video offers a variety of packages to fit any budget. The video packages adapt to any event such as a wedding, anniversary, sweet sixteen or even a birthday. Regardless of which video package you choose, customer service and video quality are our their priority. 
To learn more about Touch of Class, visit their Website or Facebook
To look for more Portuguese businesses and organizations throughout the US (or add your own), please visit the Gateway online.
FLAD Launches Let's Talk About Business Mentorship App

The Let's Talk About Business program is a Luso-American Development Foundation (FLAD) program which is directed to the Portuguese and Luso-Americans living in the US.
This program is aimed at people looking for an opportunity to create their own company, and to acquire training and education in the field of business innovation; as well as entrepreneurs wishing to affirm themselves and grow their businesses sustainably in the USmarket.
The initiative has three main components: Workshops; a Mentoring Network; and a study of encompassing professionals from different fields of knowledge and successful experience directed to the Portuguese community of entrepreneurs in the US.
In short, it is a multifaceted and innovative program which aims to add value to entrepreneurs and all those who seek to start an entrepreneurial activity, enriching the economy and the societies in which they live in.
It also aims to provide working knowledge of entrepreneurship to young people of different academic fields seeking to create their own job. The program intends to make available to this segment a comprehensive array of hard and soft skills which are vital in the current business world.

Carmen Monereo is the coordinator of the LET'S TALK ABOUT BUSINESS Program.
Carmen has extensive experience in the business sector. She is a consultant, mentor, manager, and a specialist in marketing and communications. Carmen Monereo holds a degree in Management, a Masters in Communication from the Catholic University of Lisbon and is currently a researcher at Universidade Nova de Lisboa. Carmen coordinates and teaches training programs for executives in Portugal and Portuguese Speaking Countries, as Angola and Cape Verde.

For more information or to become involved visit their website
MAPS Gala: April 27

The MAPS Awards Gala celebrates the many successes of our communities, and honors individuals or organizations who greatly contribute to the empowerment of Portuguese speakers and others in Massachusetts.

MAPS' Annual Awards Gala is their main fundraising event. With the generous support of great businesses and organizations who sponsor it, every year MAPS host a wonderful evening filled with lively musical performances, a red-carpet cocktail reception, delicious food and, most of all, inspiring stories and words of community engagement and dedication.

University of Macau - Scholarships for International Students

University of Macau is now offering scholarships to international  stu dents who are applying for Bachelor and Master Programs
All international students will automatically be considered for the International Student Scholarship.  Scholarships will be awarded to those who have demonstrated excellence in their academic performances after the evaluation by UM.  There are two types of scholarships p ackages:  2 Years scholarship packages for Master students and  4 Years scholarship packages for Bachelor students.

CENSE 2019
Depois do sucesso das últimas quatro edições, o CENSE - Construction Entrepreneurs Networking Seminar - volta a realizar-se em 2019.
Nos dias 7 e 8 de Março no Avenue A, em Newark, NJ irão juntar-se vários empresários, empresas e técnicos do mundo da construção civil para uma partilha de experiências, contactos e influências.
Como tributo às origens luso-americanas partilhadas por muitos dos participantes, esta edição voltará a contar com várias empresas oriundas de Portugal, que irão exibir soluções e produtos inovadores usadas em toda a Europa e explorar possíveis colaborações com empresas ativas nos mercados norte-americanos.
Entre os vários temas que irão ser abordados nos dois dias de evento estão os mais recentes incentivos fiscais a quem se decide aventurar no mundo da construção civil, as melhores oportunidades de negócio em vários pontos de New Jersey e ainda como posicionar-se para concorrer a obras públicas.
Presentes no evento estarão personalidades como Eliana Pintor (Legisladora de NJ), Alberto Santos, (Mayor de Kearny, NJ), Jack Martins (ex- senador em NY) e ainda Taha Marhaba, (Dpt Engenharia Civil da universidade NJIT). A variedade de temas a abordar pelos oradores será pertinente, actual e de utilidade prática imediata.
We would love to hear what you have been up to. Events, Promotions, Graduations, Awards, Lectures or News the community should know about.   Send us an email to be featured in our newsletter:
Are you a PALCUS member yet?  
We are stronger together!

I f you agree with the work undertaken by PALCUS to build the social, cultural and political capital of our community, then please join us and become a member today!

Strong membership participation means a stronger voice in the national Portuguese-American agenda. In order to advance Portuguese language education, increase presence in the congressional caucuses, and provide economic opportunities, the collective voice of thousands is needed!  

In addition, PALCUS is a member-driven non-profit organization that depends on membership dues and fundraising events to fund its operations.  Members of the all-volunteer board of directors donate their time and personal funds for travel, lodging and tickets to attend networking events and planning sessions so our administrative costs are relatively low but nonetheless critical to doing business on a daily basis.

There are membership categories to suit every budget and level of interest.  Please click on our membership webpage and join our voice today!

PALCUS announces that we are 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! 

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 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 under the IRS tax code and  incorporated under the laws of the District of Columbia.  Donations are tax deductible to extent allowed by law and will be acknowledged.

Copyright © 2019, PALCUS. All Rights Reserved.