MEMBER SPOTLIGHT: Benel Se Liban (U.S. FWN100™ '11) and Trish Quema La Chica (Global FWN100™ '15)


Maria Benel Se Liban
Principal, Vasquez & Company, LLP
Los Angeles, California

My Fil-Am s/hero is... the late Senator Ninoy Aquino because he was not only a man of principles and brilliance but also a man of action and character. I admire his love for God and his family; he later gave up his choice of personal comfort and freedom of his new home in America in order to help bring back democracy to the Filipinos that he loved so much. I truly share Senator Aquino's principle that "The Filipino is worth dying for!"

My proudest professional achievement is my work as a co-founder of ISSFA and raising it as a leading Filipino American professional development organization in the field of accounting and finance in the U.S.

My biggest workplace challenge as a Fil-Am woman is balancing work, family and faith.

My five-year goal is to continuously grow the non-profit business as a Principal and Nonprofit Practice Leader of Vasquez and Company, LLP.


Trish Quema La Chica
Policy Analyst, Office of the Governor, State of Hawai’i
Honolulu, Hawai’I, USA

What is the global impact of your work? As a public health advocate, I am involved in a lot of initiatives that aim to improve health outcomes for the Asian and Pacific Islander population. Here in the U. S., my work has had an impact across the nation, particularly in the development of Tagalog translated materials that are used by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as well as the Department of Health and Human Services.

What's the best part of being a Filipina woman leader? I love being the only Filipina woman in the Governor's Office who actually grew up in the Philippines. I like being able to talk about my home country and the unique experiences I have had that helped to shape my career.

What is the most significant barrier to female leadership from your experience? There are actually a lot of women leaders in the health care field, and many of them are vocal about issues that affect the Filipino community. I think that there is always a need for Filipina women to run for public office, particularly those who wish to implement innovative and progressive legislation.