Dr. Victor Manalo: Mayor of Artesia, CA
Dr. Manalo is also an active member of the National Association of Social Workers (NASW), serving as the Region XIII Representative to the National Board of Directors, Trustee to the NASW Political Action for Candidate Election Committee, and appointed member of the International Committee and Awards Committee.
In 2007, Dr. Manalo was elected to the Artesia City Council, where he currently serves as Mayor. During his tenure as Mayor, he has worked with local churches to form “Artesia in Action”, a group of volunteers dedicated to helping needy residents clean up their properties with trash removal, landscaping, and painting. He has reached out to the community through four town hall meetings, and he has worked with the local ABC Unified School District to bring social work interns and counseling services to local schools.
Dr. Manalo lives in Artesia with Monica, his wife of 20 years, and his three children.
1. What are your hobbies?
My wife and I are very social, and we love entertaining friends at our home and spending time with our friends.
2. What books are you reading now? What do you recommend?
Right now, I am finishing a great read entitled “The American Soul: Rediscovering the Wisdom of the Founders” by Jacob Needleman, and I would highly recommend it. This book gives the reader a fresh look at what our founding fathers intended, and how we are at a point in history where we could rise to the potential of America or spiral downwards towards humanity’s lowest and selfish nature.
3. What single trait do you attribute your success?
I have a very strong faith in God. I believe that God has given us life to serve one another, and I pray everyday that I can be of service to others.
4. What was the biggest obstacle you experienced?
Getting elected to the Artesia City Council was not very easy for me. I ran three times before I was elected. I never saw it as an obstacle; I saw it as an opportunity to prepare myself to be a better elected official one day.
5. How do you manage stress?
My favorite way of managing my stress is by laughing. Whether I am with my family or friends or watching my favorite comedies on TV (Modern Family, Parks and Recreation), I love to laugh loudly! This does wonders for my health! I have also tried to stay healthy be exercising regularly, adapting my daily workouts from crossfit.com and walking up the stairs at my work, instead of taking the elevator.
6. What has been the most significant accomplishment in your life? Why?
The most significant accomplishment in my life thus far is that I am alive and that I have a truly blessed life. I have my best friend for my wife, three wonderful children, and a loving, supportive family. I love my work, both at California State University, Los Angeles, where I am an Associate Professor, at in Artesia, where I am serving as the Mayor.
7. What do you like best about your job?
As an Associate Professor at Cal State LA, the best part about my job is being able to work with students, who, for the most part, are the first in their families to attend a university–I feel that I am contributing to the future of our world. Nothing is better than when I see the “light bulb” go on in students’ heads–when I know they are really learning and getting it.
As the Mayor of Artesia, the best part about my job is working with a committed group of my council colleagues, city staff, constituents, businesses, and schools to improve the quality of life for all Artesians and beyond.
8. What has been the biggest disappointment in your life? Why?
The biggest disappointment in my life was when I lost my second bid for the Artesia City Council by only 21 votes. I realized, though, that this was a blessing in disguise because my son, Jack, was born a few days before election day, and I needed to be there for him and my wife.
9. What is your secret to success?
My secret to success is to have faith and to attune yourself to what your purpose in life is. If you stay focused on your life’s purpose, the opportunities available to you will be endless.
10. What kind of things bring you the most pleasure now?
Seeing my kids grow up, getting into bed with my wife at the end of the day, going to a hockey game (LA Kings) with my kids, having dinner and drinks with friends, laughing with my wife.
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