MANILA – Filipino American lawyer Billy Dec, who led the fund-raising campaign for super typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) in Chicago, Illinois, has been appointed one of the 14 members of President Barack Obama’s Advisory Commission on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders.
In a White House press release issued on April 24, 2014, it was stated that Dec, CEO and founder of Rockit Ranch Productions, a hospitality and entertainment development company in Chicago, Illinois, is one of the 14 individuals President Obama has appointed to the President’s Advisory Commission on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders.
This commission is charged with working to improve the quality of life of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPIs) through increased participation in and access to federal programs.
The members will advise the President on ways to involve AAPIs in efforts to improve their health, education, environment, and well being.
The commission members will work to advance the interests of the AAPI community and to uplift the community’s contributions to America.
The announcement on the new members of the commission was made four days ahead of President Obama’s two-day state visit to the Philippines starting April 28.
An active Filipino-American community leader, Dec is a regular entertainment contributor to ABC TV’s Windy City Live, a television program in Chicago that started in 2009.
He is involved in several philanthropic organizations, including the Make-A-Wish Foundation, Lookingglass Theatre Company, and Maggie Daley’s After School Matters. Dec also served as director of cultural relations for the 2016 Chicago Olympic Committee.
He has received an Emmy for Outstanding Achievement for Broadcast/Advanced Media and the Illinois Secretary of State’s Asian Pacific American Business Leadership Award.
When interviewed by this reporter during a fund-raising event held in his restaurant shortly after super typhoon Yolanda struck, Dec said, “I am half-Filipino, my family is still there (in the Philippines). I just want to help the Philippines.”
Dec’s mother, Celia Dec (nee Bumanlag), is a native of Vigan, Ilocos Sur, Philippines.