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(by Founding President Thelma Siglos)

AFCA - AGM 2024 (23).jpg

Today, we pay tribute and honor Vance Noriega and Cecil Sanchez, who were called home to God.

For many years, NCPACA, a US-based umbrella organization for Filipino accounting groups, and FAACPA (Filipino American Association of Certified Public Accountants) based in Washington State, aspired to establish a Vancouver chapter. In 2007, FAACPA Presidents Vance Noriega and Ben Pascual, and NCPACA representative Nanie Enriquez worked to establish diplomatic relationships with us in Vancouver. After much discussion, AFCA-BC came into being.

Vance Noriega was a great influencer. He offered to sit on the board to bring his experience for as long as we needed it. Vance was a CPA and CGA gold medalist in BC. He was the 1999 president of FAACPA, whose member accountants helped each other to succeed while keeping Filipino values of family, friendships, and culture (a unique Kabayan tradition). Vance was a very good man, always happy, charming, and easy-going. He had the knack for supporting and encouraging others with his kind approach. Because of his frequent travels, Vance preferred to share his wisdom and insights as a board member, but he was always there for our events, participating fully. His wife, Violet Noriega, was often seen volunteering during our activities.

Vance also convinced Cecil, his friend for many years, to join as founder and next President. Cecil was a CPA and a CMA gold medalist. He graduated from the University of the Philippines and worked with SGV before coming to Canada. He volunteered extensively for St. Patrick’s Church and the Archdiocese of Vancouver in various capacities. Cecil was well-versed in the administrative and financial side of running a successful business. When he took over as President in 2009, we knew that AFCA-BC was in very good hands. Cecil was a gentle and visionary leader, guiding us during the initial stages. I often thought of him as a Quiet Collaborator. He did a lot of internal heavy lifting by delegation. He co-opted his godson RJ and son Paolo to join as members to work on the registration, communication, and AFCA-BC web presence, which was not an easy task. We remember his peaceful and generous spirit of hospitality as he and his wife, Adele, opened their hearts and home for many of our gatherings (meetings, summer and Christmas events) over the years.

Vance and Cecil were not just founders; they were also our colleagues and friends. They worked and shared their talents, time, and life with goodwill, peace, and kindness. Adele and Violet have become our friends - auxiliary members because they were inseparable from their husbands. They supported AFCA-BC in the same way that Vance and Cecil did and witnessed the Kabayan tradition of sharing, learning, and having fun. I think this is Love in Action. I miss Vance and Cecil. We miss them, but they live on because of their testimony and contribution. I pray that we always remember the legacy and sacrifice of our two beloved core founders. May they look kindly and intercede for AFCA-BC from heaven.


My brother artist Dan Siglos created a painting that speaks of the legacy of Vance and Cecil. We present these awards to Adele and Violet in their honor.

2024 Incoming President’s Message – Thelma Siglos


Thank you for attending the AGM. I extend my gratitude to all volunteers, especially the 2023 Council, for their work today. Your presence fills me with joy and hope. I am humbled and grateful to all our awardees and those who have supported AFCA over the years. You all truly deserve our recognition.

The pandemic has profoundly impacted all of us. Many have struggled with stress, isolation, and family health issues. Last summer, the Presidents' group met to deliberate on what actions could be taken and how they could provide assistance. Sadly, Vance and Cecil have departed, and some are dealing with family concerns. We are adapting to a new normal, and it is increasingly important to remember that you are not alone. We are here to offer support and encouragement.

AFCA-BC was founded primarily on collegial support and friendship. The founders envisioned AFCA-BC as an organization that shares knowledge, skills, and time to assist members in achieving a fulfilling accounting career. Our focus is not solely on reaching the top—though that is commendable when it occurs. Our emphasis is on being a supportive community for our members, as we have all navigated similar paths.

We fondly recall those who aided us during our transitions and recognize the need to return to our foundational purpose.

  1. The first step is to form a Council composed of both senior and junior members. We have achieved this for 2024.

  2. The second step is to enhance our relationships as friends and family—to connect, discover, and encourage one another. We learn together.

    • Connecting more leads to growth and enrichment through the presence of familiar, supportive faces.

    • Through listening, we uncover a capacity for compassion and the discovery of gifts in our relationships.

    • Encouraging others empowers and affirms them.

  3. To facilitate this, the third step is to reboot the way we operate.

    • We pivot to a participative approach where everyone plays a role. Our meetings aim to be creative, fun, and supportive of each other’s soft skills and talents. Collaboration and collective brainstorming are key.

    • With your help, we aim to create circles or groups for participation and engagement. This includes collaboration, learning, and sharing skills/knowledge.

    • The Council, focusing on three main events—AGM and Ethics CPD in the fall, Christmas in July, and Tax Clinic in the spring—is just one of these circles.

    • Through Café-AFCA, we can form circles of engagement for friendships, networking, mentoring, and discussing CPD topics such as technical matters, careers, office issues, social and mental health tips, hobbies, books, and PD learning insights. We will document these events for CPD purposes.

    • We also appoint special ambassadors. Rita de la Cruz has been pivotal for the tax clinic, and Mary Tecson will oversee the BC accreditation process.

Stay tuned for more news. Please call or email us your ideas and comments. We will respond.

Finally, let’s take pride in AFCA’s family values. Spouses are automatically auxiliary members according to our constitution. Our families contribute to our diversity, strength, and joy. Let’s nurture this and welcome their contributions. Together, we take intentional small steps to affirm our foundational purpose and values.


Welcome to our special feature on the 2023 Awardees, a tribute to outstanding individuals who have significantly contributed to our organization's success and legacy. This year, we take a moment to honor the remarkable dedication and service of our esteemed members, each of whom has played a pivotal role in shaping our community.

We begin by paying homage to Vance Noriega, CGA, CPA, and Cecil Sanchez, CMA, CPA, both founding directors who have left an indelible mark through their visionary leadership and commitment. Their contributions have been foundational in establishing the values and direction of our organization.

We also celebrate the exceptional contributions of Jannet Taruc, CA, CPA, Michael Infante, CMA, CPA, and Rowena Altamirano, CGA, CPA. Each, through their multiple terms as President, has demonstrated an unwavering commitment to service, leadership, and excellence.

Join us as we honor these inspiring individuals who have not only led but also elevated our organization to new heights. Their legacies continue to inspire and guide us in our ongoing journey towards excellence.

Lifetime Achievement Awardees

Vance Noriega, CGA, CPA

Founding Director

Cecil Sanchez, CMA, CPA

Founding Director and 2009 President

Distinguished Service Awardees

Jannet Taruc, CA, CPA

Three-Term President

Michael Infante, CMA, CPA

Four-Term President

Rowena Altamirano, CGA, CPA

Three-Term President

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