Monday/Aug 24, 2020: Today it was announced to the public that I was elected as the new President of FACC - Hollywood, and today was my first day in the seat. From the moment, it was brought to my attention that I should join FACC - Hollywood on the Board of Directors during the prior year, I admittedly was reluctant to do so. I was already busy with managing my own business and balancing the family life as a husband and two kids ages 7 and 5.
Unfortunately there are only 24 hours in a day and I'm at least on the 1,000th tweak of my daily schedule in an attempt for personal efficiency and productivity. Being a veteran of the military and federal government service, and having been on multiple deployments to war zones and conflicts in the past, and now as a father of two young kids, I know that I can adjust to the high operations tempo and less sleep. However, and strangely, I felt more at ease operating in a combat environment in Afghanistan or Iraq, or on a tiny island in Southeast Asia looking for a high value terrorist, than leading a non-profit organization.
It's not that I'm not confident in leading a non-profit chamber of commerce. I'm confident that I can. But from experience thus far, it means that it requires more personal involvement and extending my reach to ensure our members are fully supported. Our members, community, partners, sponsors, and donors are our customers. They pay our bills to keep our organization operating. Lead from the front, be the visionary, and I am here to serve them. That's what leadership means to me. That's what I have learned in the different capacities, leadership schools, courses, and careers I've been in. So how do I continually add value for our Board of Directors, our members, and community so they can continually value our organization? That's the question that will keep me up every night.
I am humbled that our Board of Directors have the trust and confidence in me to take our organization into a new chapter. Most importantly, I accepted the position because I also trust and have confidence in our board.
And now the challenging and fun part--
FACC-Hollywood is unique from our sister and brother chambers within the FACC network, and as a member of the Coalition of Filipino American Chambers of Commerce (COFACC). Rather than it being a geographically focused chamber, we are an industry focused chamber, focused on the behemoth entertainment industry, hence the "Hollywood" title. Our home base is the Los Angeles area, but I can easily envision our organization quickly evolving with reach globally.
My vision and focus is to grow our membership and community that consists of people and businesses involved in all different aspects of the multifaceted entertainment industry. From the talent agencies, marketing agencies, restaurant caterers, logisticians, fashion designers, graphic artists, music artists, DJs, actors, writers, producers, technologists, and distributors, to say the least. My goal is to enable and support all of our members, each specializing in their own craft. Bottomline: Enable the Artists. How do we enable them to succeed in their craft or project, whether it's producing an event, film, tv show, video, podcast, music, blog, or book? How do I connect the dots so they / we can find the right partners and investors to eventually put their product in front of their target audience? Those are the questions I will ask myself daily.
As we have experienced more so recently during the Covid-19 pandemic while in home quarantine, entertainment plays a major role in every one of our lives whether we realize it or not. We use different forms of entertainment as an outlet for stress relief, inspiration, motivation, fitness workouts, and even as a necessity for online education. Our preference of entertainment varies from gaming, listening to your favorite podcasts, watching cable tv, attending online meetups, or listening/watching concerts on conference type applications (i.e. Zoom), reading online blogs, books, or streaming via Netflix, Apple TV, Disney+, Amazon Prime, Hulu, or other movie streaming devices. Entertainment has evolved from the 3 - 4 major tv networks to massive multimedia platforms that are easily accessible on our smart phones.
The entertainment industry touches our daily lives, in ways that we don't suspect it does. The daily news has taken on the form of being more "entertaining" to attract more viewers. Commercials and advertising have to be informative and entertaining. Now think of the technology being used and engineered that happens behind the scenes.
Then comes distribution. It's not about who you know, it's who knows you. My vision and goal is that the Filipino American community has exposure, contributes, and is embraced in mainstream America. The small businesses, the culture, the food, the artists, actors, films, tv shows, producers, and music artists. I recently read a statistic that showed that Filipino Americans have the second highest average income within Asian Americans. The Asian American population as a whole, also shows to be the largest growing minority population in the U.S. (with Filipino Americans being second highest within the Asian American population). Mainstream America is a lot more diverse and its taste for culture diversity, i.e. ideas, technology, food, music, entertainment, consumer products, continues to grow.
The real challenge for the Filipino American community-- but more of an opportunity is: 1) continue to produce content and forms of entertainment that resonates within the Filipino American community, and 2) produce content and forms of entertainment that resonates with mainstream America. Like with every business and product, the consumer and market will always dictate what they like. Most important is that we produce the content.
Dream Big. I love big ideas, I love creativity, imagination, and innovative thoughts that will scare you in thinking it can't be done. That's how innovative change happens. That's how magic happens. When I watch my kids (ages 7 and 5) and other kids play, their imagination amazes me. They can transform themselves into anything and they're so bright eyed. As we grow older as adults, I think we lose that sense of imagination and possibilities. I often ask myself-- Why are we, as adults, more risk averse than we were as kids, but we have more control now as adults?
Now and Forward. Now is the time to create opportunities. We can further retreat and hope the storm will pass-- or we create, build, and grow. This historical period is when each of our creativity is tested. I believe that those who retreat will have to play catch up when the storm subsides. The entertainment industry is playing a much more major role now and into the future. It's not about having resources, it's about being resourceful.
This is my first blog post in my new role and position. I plan on writing on a regular basis (hopefully weekly) to share my thoughts as we evolve as an organization and I evolve also. I welcome our members, community partners, and non-members seeking to join, to reach out to me at anytime for frank discussions on how I / we can better support and add value to you. For the dreamers out there, join us.
Let's collaborate and dream big together.
Dreamer in Chief,
connect with me here >