“APALA has always held a special place in my heart. I am honored to have been elected as the new National President, and I am excited to strengthen our chapters, our community and labor partnerships, and elevate the voices of Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) workers and workers of color everywhere,” stated APALA National President Monica Thammarath.
Johanna Puno Hester of the United Domestic Workers, AFSCME Local 3930, who had served as APALA’s president for the past six years, added: “Monica’s drive, commitment, and leadership to APALA is unparalleled. Her heart to bring the broader AAPI community together with the labor movement and her track record as an organizer will be critical to pushing APALA forward as it begins its next twenty five years.”
Alvina Yeh, APALA Executive Director, concluded: “I will always be grateful for the leadership of President Emeritus Johanna Puno Hester and outgoing Executive Director Gregory Cendana. Under Monica’s leadership, I am confident that APALA’s future is bright and our path forward for workers is clear. Monica is a champion for our communities, and I can think of no better sister to lead us in the fights we know we will experience ahead.”
Thammarath is joined by the other elected officers: Tracy Lai, American Federation of Teachers; Michael Yee, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers; Kim Geron, California Faculty Association; and Johanna Hester, AFSCME.