PALCUS Announces New Leadership – 2017

The Portuguese-American Leadership Council of the United States (PALCUS) announced a new Chair of the Board of Directors and a new slate of officers for 2017.  Angela Costa Simões (California) has been elected the new Chair, Katherine Soares (New York) is the new Vice Chair.

Marie Fraley (Rhode Island) is now Secretary of the Board, and will continue to serve as Managing Director, managing the day to day activities in the PALCUS home office.  Simões, a resident of Fremont, California succeeds Fernando Gonçalves Rosa who since 2009 has led the PALCUS Board of Directors as Chairman.

Angela Costa Simões, Chair

A University of San Francisco alumnus with a B.A. in Communications, Simões boasts nearly two decades of experience in the high tech public relations sector.  She has parlayed this expertise into a multi-faceted personal brand of entrepreneurial ventures that include a tech start-up, a consumer products development company and three podcast co-hosting positions.

A PALCUS member since 1998 and a director since 1999, Simões has been active within the Portuguese community for most of her life. Some of her extensive involvement includes dancing with the Portuguese Folklore Group “A Portuguesa”, being an officer for West to West and founding Angela’s List. Started in 2000, this free, online resource informs the community of news and events in the worldwide Portuguese community.  Currently, Angela’s List now has more than 8,500 subscribers and is published by PALCUS.

“From the moment I became involved with PALCUS in 1998, I knew it was a unique, much needed organization, and I have remained steadfastly committed to the organization ever since,” said Simões.  “There is no other organization that represents Portuguese-Americans at the national level to the extent that PALCUS does on a daily basis, and the various resources and programs we provide the community are unmatched.  I am extremely proud of the work we have done as a Board to continue serving our community, and yet there is still so much that can be done. I am excited about the road ahead.”

Katherine Soares, Vice Chair

Katherine Soares has a long career in Marketing and Corporate Communications, with expertise in strategic planning and marketing communication, public relations, and research. Ms. Soares has been active in the Portuguese-American community of Elizabeth and Newark, New Jersey most of her life. Her comprehensive involvement within the community includes participation in the youth group of the Portuguese Instructive Social Club (PISC) in Elizabeth, NJ as well as having previously been a part of the Elizabeth Portugal Day Committee. She continued her community involvement with tenures as  Director of the folklore group “Belas Ilhas”, for which she was also a dancer for over 15 years, as well as serving as Vice President of the  Açores Social and Sport Club in Newark, NJ. Currently, Katherine serves as the Vice-President of the Portuguese Circle in New York. A graduate of Seton Hall University, she is fluent in Portuguese and Spanish.

Ms. Soares has been an active and supportive PALCUS member since 2013 and joined the board of directors in August 2016 representing NY.

“I’ve always felt a need for involvement in the Portuguese community. Maintaining close ties to my Portuguese roots despite having been born in the US has always been a priority for me. It’s no secret that PALCUS is known for its excellent reputation in successfully representing and defending the interests of Portuguese-Americans on a national level and I immediately felt at home when I became a member. Having never been able to just stand by in a passive role, and recognizing the extensive reach PALCUS has through its multiple programs and initiatives, I happily accepted an invitation to join the Board of Directors representing New York. PALCUS continues to grow and achieve new heights of national recognition and status within the ranks of successful non-profits. This new leadership role as Vice-Chair will allow me a front seat opportunity to have a hand in the great things that are planned for the future of this organization.”

The 2017 PALCUS Board of Directors and slate of officers include:


Chair – Angela Costa Simoes (California)

Vice Chair – Katherine Soares (New York)

Secretary – Marie Fraley (Rhode Island)

Treasurer – Fernando Rosa [Acting] (Connecticut)

Assistant Treasurer – Manuel Geraldo (Maryland)

Past President – Fernando Rosa (Connecticut)

Board of Directors

Cynthia Russo (New Jersey)

John Bento (California)

Manuel Geraldo, II (Washington, DC)

Odete Amarelo (Massachusetts)

Onesimo Almeida (Rhode Island)

(L to R: John Bento, Marie Fraley, Fernando Rosa, Cynthia Russo, Manuel Geraldo Sr., Manuel Geraldo Jr., Katherine Soares. Not pictured: Angela Simoes, Odete Amarelo, Onesimo Almeida)

“I am also grateful for the commitment and service of Fernando Rosa these past 8 years as our Chairman,” added Simoes.  “His leadership and commitment have guided PALCUS to a higher level that has elevated its stewardship of the community, and we are a better organization because of him.”


PALCUS is a non-partisan, non-profit 501(c)(3) organization incorporated under the laws of the District of Columbia.  It was founded in 1991 by a group of successful, forward-thinking Portuguese-Americans with the purpose of providing a singular national voice that would advocate for the interests of Portuguese-Americans in the United States. At the center of their vision was to establish and maintain channels of communication between the government of the Republic of Portugal, via the Embassy of Portugal to Washington, D.C., and the U.S. congressional delegation representing Portuguese-American communities.

Now in its 26th year, PALCUS has been true to its founding principles and much more. Throughout its history, the organization has evolved and matured, guided by a dedicated all-volunteer board of directors representing Portuguese-American communities throughout the United States. PALCUS has worked consistently and tirelessly, weathering changes in political and economic climates, to create and expand its programs. Its activities and events are mission-driven to address the community’s needs in the strategic areas of government affairs, international affairs, educational opportunities, Portuguese language and culture, community outreach and recognition of our community’s success.

PALCUS is a member-supported organization that depends on membership dues for operational and program support.  Nevertheless, membership is not required in order to benefit from our programs and advocacy initiatives. We are committed to serving all Portuguese-Americans in the United States who would benefit from our help.

To learn more about PALCUS, visit

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