Rotarian of the Month: Nelsie Parrado

Nelsie T. Parrado believes in sharing her talent, resources, and time for the greater good. Since migrating to the United States on January 15, 1984, she had volunteered in community-based organizations and assumed numerous leadership positions. Nelsie is an active member and past president of the Handang Tumulong Foundation, Inc., the Filipino American Association and the University of the Philippines Alumni Association in America, Inc.

In 2008, she was contacted by a friend, Jennifer Padolina, a Paramus Rotarian who was actively involved in the Gift of Life Foundation, to ask if she could host a child from the Philippines being sponsored by Rotary for heart surgery in the US.

“After learning what the program is all about, I became very much interested and agreed without hesitation to host the child, Sara. That was when I learned about Rotary, and what it does for the community and humanity and Service above Self. For a month, we housed the child, Sara Popatco, and her mother Diane. All these time, members of the Rotary Club of Bergenfield took turns visiting her and bringing her to places a child might be interested to see. John Mosca, past president of the Bergenfield Rotary Club, suggested I check out the Sunrise Rotary Club of Fair Lawn and I attended a few meetings. I quickly realized that being a member of Sunrise Rotary would enable me to help people in need, especially those in third world countries like the Philippines. I knew being a Rotarian would be a good fit for me, knowing my natural inclination of wanting to help.”

Nelsie Parrado was named one the 100 most influential Filipinas in 2009 in the US by the Filipina Women’s Network movement in 2009. A past president (2011) of Sunrise Rotary Club of Fair Lawn, she was honored with the Prestigious Paul Harris Fellow award. Nelsie also received an Excellence Award in Community Service by the Garden State Filipino American Association, Inc. (2013). In her hometown of Fair Lawn, she sat at St. Anne’s Parish Council and was appointed as Assistant Governor to the Rotary District Governor, served for two years at the Asian Advisory Board of Bergen County and served on both the Fair Lawn Planning Board and Fair Lawn Ethics Board.

Since 1985, Nelsie has been with the New York Life Insurance Company as a Financial Service Professional. In 2002, she was the first Filipino Agent elected by her peers into the NYLIC Agent Advisory Council to serve for one year. This profession enables her to help her clients achieve financial security. Married for 49 years to Steve Parrado, she enjoys her four grandchildren – Ava, Alex, Harry, and Charlotte. All her three children – Sandra, Sherry-Ann, and Stevie – have their own families and households. One of her passion is gardening in her backyard. The Parrados have been a long-time resident of Fair Lawn since 1984.