Rozita Villanueva Lee “Aloha!” This familiar Hawaiian greeting heralds the arrival of Rozita Villanueva Lee, a.k.a. “Manang Rozita.” An older Filipina woman is fondly called “Manang” when she has achieved “sage” status. Rozita Villanueva Lee, who is sprinting toward her octogenarian decade and proud of it! is based in Las Vegas, Nevada. For this petite powerhouse, there are no plans for retirement. During a recent national business summit of the National Federation of Filipino American Associations, Rozita shocked many of the attendees by breaking into a short run for the podium from the back of the huge conference hall. Comments ranged from “What is she taking? This woman can run!” to “I want what she has!” Manang Rozita beamed as she said, “Protandim! I’ve been taking this supplement for more than a year now and I am very healthy.” She cannot resist adding, “Let me know if you want to try it.” Strong family ties for this Maui, Hawaii born-and-raised community leader keep her feet firmly planted on the ground. Her first-generation parents were immigrants from Pangasinan Province in the Philippines. From Roosevelt High School in Honolulu to University of Hawaii and University of Nevada, Rozita Lee honed her talents and skills in Communications. Manang Rozita had married Dr. Clifford Lee, M.D. in 1979. The teenage friends had met again after many years and they didn’t waste any time getting married two months after their reunion. Rozita states, “We were very much in love. After all these years since he has passed away, I still miss him. He was a wonderful person.” Life for Rozita V. Lee nowadays revolves around her Navigator responsibilities in Nevada’s Affordable Care Act’s health insurance marketplace. “I can reach out to people and explain options and answer questions,” Manang Rozita explains. Rozita V. Lee Consulting, her government and community affairs consultancy, is the prime mover of her advocacy work that impacts the communities she serves. Managing the Las Vegas office of Nevada Governor Bob Miller, representing the governor in presentations, were milestone experiences. For many years, Rozita had owned and managed “Drums of the Islands” which provided quality Polynesian entertainment in Las Vegas. As an in-demand speaker throughout the USA, Rozita’s resonant, melodious voice commands immediate attention and respect whenever she gives an opening prayer or thoughts for the day at a meeting or delivers a speech about Hepatitis B or Comprehensive Immigration Reform to a predominantly Asian American and Pacific Islander audience. Manang Rozita is gently paving the way for these communities’ voices to be heard “loud and clear” at The White House. Since 2010, Rozita Lee serves as a Commissioner at the White House Initiative on Asian Americans & Pacific Islanders (WHIAAPI), giving information about federal plans and projects as well as highlighting local issues and concerns to the national level. Recently, among the many accolades that Rozita Lee has garnered, Nevada’s Secretary of State honored her with the “Jean Ford Award for Participatory Democracy.” “Mahalo!” (Thank You!) P Leave a Reply Cancel ReplyYou must be logged in to post a comment.