2020 Board of Directors

The Board of Directors of the Portuguese American Leadership Council of the United States is the governing board of the organization as stipulated in Article IV of the “PALCUS Articles of Incorporation and By-Laws”.  Its function is to set policy for and to ensure the sound management of the organization.

Directors of the Board are all required to be charter members and serve without any personal compensation for their service.  The Board strives to represent the diverse cross-section of the Portuguese-American community of the United States in regard to geography, gender, age and region of origin as well as area of expertise and experience.


Executive Committee



Angela Costa Simões - California

Founder, Red Roof Industries

PALCUS Member since 1998


Katherine Soares - New York

Deputy Director, Office of Communication and Public Information, Union County, NJ

PALCUS Member since 2013



Anabela Dacruz-Melo, Esq. - New Jersey

Attorney at Law, Law Office of Anabela Dacruz-Melo

PALCUS Member since 2016


Lisa de Medeiros Morris - Rhode Island

Director, Cross Cultural Initiatives

University of Massachusetts Medical School – MassAHEC Network

PALCUS Member since 2017

Assistant Treasurer


Board of Directors

Manny Antunes - New Jersey
Research Manager at Audible, Inc.
PALCUS Member since 2020

John Bento – California

Principal, MJB Designs, 
Architecture & Design

Past Chair from 2007-2009
PALCUS Member since 2004

Diniz Borges - California

Honorary Consul to Portugal, Tulare, CA

Director, Portuguese Beyond Borders Institute
California State University, Fresno

PALCUS Member since 2016

Cristina Da Silva, Esq. - New York​

Law Office of Cristina Garcia Da Silva

PALCUS Member since 2018

Daniel DaPonte - Rhode Island

Founder, President & Chief Compliance Officer: Axis Advisors

Fmr. Senator and Finance Chair, RI General Assembly

PALCUS Member since 2018

Jack de Oliveira - South Carolina

Legislative Assistant for the Connecticut General Assembly
Public Official for the Borough of Naugatuck

PALCUS Member since 2018

Ana R. Ferreira, Esq. - Pennsylvania

Ferreira Law

PALCUS Member since 2019

Sergio Ferreira - Massachusetts

Chief Underwriter & Director of Rental Operations, MassHousing
PALCUS Member since 2020

Manuel Geraldo, Sr. Esq. - Maryland

Principal, Law Firm of Robinson & Geraldo

PALCUS Member since 1993

Ilídio Pereira - Florida

Financial Banking Consultant

PALCUS Member since 2019

Jose (“Joe”) A. Santos - Connecticut

Former Vice President and General Counsel, Pratt & Whitney Aerospace

Professor of business law at CCSU (Central Connecticut State University)

PALCUS Member since 2018

Jordan Thomas - New Jersey

Chief of Staff to Raymond G. Chambers

PALCUS Member since 2020


Research Consultant:

Dulce Maria Soares Scott, Ph.D.

Professor of Sociology and Criminal Justice,

Anderson University, Indiana

PALCUS Member since 2011

Program Coordinator:

Gracielle Camilo