Episode 36

Episode #34 - Serving With A Public Servant Focus: An Interview With Fred Faylona

The roots of how we start with anything in our lives often come from the experiences of our upbringing, particularly for today's guest, Fred Faylona. A candidate for Dauphin County, Pennsylvania Treasurer, Fred shares he experiences growing up in the Phillipines and how it shaped him to serve in various public service roles, most notably his current role as the 6th Ward of Susquehanna Township Commissioner, also located in Dauphin County. Through trial and error, we can all learn that even with being a public servant, we can be focused on the bigger picture to help not only ourselves, but everyone else as well.

Guest Bio

Fred Faylona is a first-generation immigrant from the Philippines. He moved to the United States in late 2005 and settled in the Harrisburg area in early 2006. In 2009, he obtained his Associate of Arts degree in Computer Information Systems at Harrisburg Area Community College, and in 2016, graduated from Pennsylvania State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Information Sciences and Technology. He belongs to several non-profit organizations that advance young professionals, Philippine-Americans, and the city of Harrisburg's historic characteristics. He is currently running for Dauphin County, PA Treasurer with his 25 years of IT experience, along with Insurance/Investments background from Primerica since 2015.

Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/Fred4Dauphin/

Instagram Page: @fred4dauphin on Instagram

Website: https://fredfaylona.com/

  • 1521 Movie Overview (https://www.imdb.com/title/tt12802672/) - During our conversation, our guest mentioned the movie 1521 which was currently in post-production at the time of recording. Learn more about the cast and storyline of this film at the following website and check it out when released in theaters!

Visit Our Website: https://speaking-from-the-heart.captivate.fm/

Visit Our Business Website: https://www.yourspeakingvoice.biz

Support The Mission Of The Business! Donate Here: https://speaking-from-the-heart.captivate.fm/support

Intro/Outro By: Michael Dugan, Podcast Host: Voice4Chefs

Transcript
Intro:

Welcome to the podcast where relationships, confidence, and

Intro:

determination, all converge into an amazing, heartfelt experience.

Intro:

This is Speaking From The Heart.

Joshua:

Welcome back to episode number 34 of Speaking from the Heart.

Joshua:

Today we're going to be talking to Fred Faylona.

Joshua:

Fred is somebody that I have known for many years through personal

Joshua:

connection, and once you start to hear our conversation, you'll

Joshua:

understand perfectly as to why, because he has lived a very unique life.

Joshua:

Fred is a first generation immigrant from the Philippines.

Joshua:

He actually moved to the United States in late 2005 and settled in the Harrisburg,

Joshua:

Pennsylvania area in early 2006.

Joshua:

Three years later, in 2009, he obtained his associate of Arts degree in Computer

Joshua:

Information Systems at Harrisburg Area Community College, better known

Joshua:

as HACC, in which in 2016, then he graduated from Penn State University

Joshua:

with a Bachelor of Science degree in Information Sciences and Technology.

Joshua:

He belongs to several nonprofit organizations, which includes

Joshua:

Harrisburg Young Professionals, HYP.

Joshua:

He also has worked with the Philippine Americans, and he also

Joshua:

works with his historic preservation within the city of Harrisburg.

Joshua:

He's currently running for Dauphin County Treasurer, which this is our second

Joshua:

political candidate on our show and I'm really was excited to talk a lot about

Joshua:

his platform and also some of the things that were involved with why he got started

Joshua:

in civil service in the first place.

Joshua:

He has 25 years of IT experience, along with insurance and investments

Joshua:

background from Primerica since 2015.

Joshua:

I think that in this episode, more particularly, I really got to understand

Joshua:

a lot more about Fred, not only because of his background, but some of the

Joshua:

most impressive experiences that I even never knew that he had, but because of

Joshua:

those experiences, I better understood why he led a career into the political

Joshua:

realm and why he's so passionate about why he wants to make some change

Joshua:

happen, not only for those around him, but also for those that he serves.

Joshua:

With that, let's go to the episode.

Joshua:

All right.

Joshua:

I'm here with Fred Faylona.

Joshua:

Fred, thanks for sharing your heart with us today.

Fred:

Hey, Josh.

Fred:

It's been a while, like more than a week, but thanks for having me here.

Fred:

I'm excited, being here with you and I know that you've started this

Fred:

business of yours and now the podcast goes with it, for quite some time

Fred:

now, but we've been busy as all the successful people are, right.

Joshua:

Absolutely.

Joshua:

Yeah.

Joshua:

I'm glad that we're here too.

Joshua:

Thanks so much for doing this with me and for full disclosure for the audience,

Joshua:

I've known Fred for several years now in a variety of different capacities

Joshua:

because he has worn many different hats and I've already shared with the

Joshua:

audience, Fred, all those things that you have been doing, what you have done.

My first question is:

Why?

My first question is:

Why all these things that you do, and more importantly, I'm kind of curious, why even

My first question is:

the public sector service that you do, because I know that you have done so many

My first question is:

different things that you have excelled in and now you're giving back, so why that?

Fred:

Great questions always Josh.

Fred:

I don't know if we have enough time for the whys of these things

Fred:

because, but I'll try to compress it.

Fred:

You're not the first person to ask me why all of a sudden you want to be in a

Fred:

public sector being an elected official.

Fred:

As you shared, with the audience that I'm already and elected official

Fred:

township right now, I'm a commissioner.

Fred:

The short answer is I've always been a policy person growing up,

Fred:

or at least from high school in the Philippines where I'm originally from.

Fred:

I've always been interested in life: the policy that pervades everyday lives.

Fred:

That's because when I was in high school in the Philippines, when I

Fred:

started in 1982, so now I'm aging myself, the Philippines was still

Fred:

govern by dictator but there's already a lot of protests about oppression

Fred:

and all this different stuff.

Fred:

My high school years really soaked me into this really being curious

Fred:

about why are people protesting?

Fred:

What are they saying?

Fred:

If people are protesting like us in hundreds, thousands of people being

Fred:

teargassed every now and then in Manila, where I live in the suburbs of Manila,

Fred:

in the capital of the Philippines, there must be a reason why, because people

Fred:

won't not just like, "I'm going to go walk in the park and get tear gas", right?

Fred:

There must be a compelling reason why so early on, and it didn't hurt

Fred:

that I've always been interested in social studies and history.

Fred:

I'm a history geek.

Fred:

It was ingraining me to really investigate what's going on and

Fred:

why people would risk their lives.

Fred:

Why would they not just watch movie or TV, play video games.

Fred:

The video games, were different back then, but still they choose to do that.

Joshua:

Mm-hmm.

Fred:

And the reason for that is that they really feel that their

Fred:

lives, their future are at stake, so I developed early on an interest in

Fred:

policy from high school growing up, in fact, when it was at our time to

Fred:

graduate, we only had four years of high school in the Philippines back then.

Fred:

1986 was actually, we had what we call the People Power Revolution.

Fred:

It's the first blood revolution in modern times.

Fred:

This predated the fall of the Berlin Wall, so I'd like to believe, and we'd

Fred:

like to believe, us Philippines like to believe that the Berlin Wall was

Fred:

actually a result of what they saw in the Philippines, because in that time we

Fred:

were able to overturn the dictatorship, tanks on the street, no gunfire, no one

Fred:

died because of any firefighting, so to me it occurred to me at the time I realized

Fred:

that, "Okay, so if you are interested enough to have a stake in your own future,

Fred:

you can participate in this mass actions, and when you do these things, you get

Fred:

to be in cross in all this policy."

Fred:

From that point, I've always tuned myself into politics, when I started working.

Fred:

It's funny because that was part one.

Fred:

Part two was in 2000 we had yet another president who was

Fred:

being accused of corruption, illegal gambling, all this stuff.

Fred:

I was actually part of the movement.

Fred:

I actually put up a website for one of the efforts to expose the truth.

Fred:

We call it the Channel One People Powered Digital Library, so we

Fred:

did it for four years, and Josh, I'm sure you're surprised now.

Fred:

Yes, I did all these things.

Fred:

I put up a website, video streaming website, way back

Fred:

in 2000, for four months.

Fred:

I designed the website, make sure our stories are being published

Fred:

every day for four months.

Fred:

I even wrote one of the last pieces: took the video, wrote the last piece.

Fred:

I did not edit video.

Fred:

I didn't know how to do that.

Fred:

When I migrated to the US, the first time I could vote, I participate already in

Fred:

campaigns because to me it's important, but that doesn't still answer the

Fred:

question, why public service, right?

Joshua:

Yeah.

Joshua:

Yeah.

Fred:

I never actually thought about running for office at all.

Fred:

I've always thought about serving government as a professional, but

Fred:

I guess what happens when you put yourself out there supporting people

Fred:

and causes, people notice you.

Joshua:

Mm-hmm.

Fred:

So I was basically recruited to run and I thought about that,

Fred:

and you know what, why not?

Fred:

Why not me?

Fred:

Right?

Fred:

And guess what?

Fred:

I fought the bug because right now I'm a part-time, public official.

Fred:

Most of local government officials are part-timers, so

Fred:

I thought I wanted to do more.

Fred:

I can do more, but obviously I also still have to support myself, so I'm going for

Fred:

something that's more full-time now this year because I believe that for somebody

Fred:

like me who has at least the stomach to go out there, look at, investigate what we

Fred:

call the IEO society, and then determine what I can do as a person in my own

Fred:

community or in whatever I'm interested in, what the capacity I'm interested in,

Fred:

I'm going for it, so I think I want to do more, therefore, I'm doing more and more,

Fred:

but yes, to summarize it, why become a public servant, because I believe policy,

Fred:

good policy, good governance is important, and if one is interested like myself in

Fred:

those things, then you with a brilliant idea or you with a curiosity, go do it.

Fred:

Right?

Joshua:

Right, and I have to say with that said, I have been in state government

Joshua:

now for over 13 years and I've learned a lot from people that are connected,

Joshua:

that really genuinely care, and then you do run into people that are there

Joshua:

to collect a paycheck or they're there to just soak up the time until they are

Joshua:

able to retire, and I know that I've seen best of both worlds and for me,

Joshua:

being influenced by all of them, I know too that propelled me into all kinds

Joshua:

of avenues, which is also opening my business to help others achieve that

Joshua:

voice that they have inside themselves.

Joshua:

With that said, you have certainly set the tone, Fred, for what you have done

Joshua:

to change your voice, especially from growing up in the Philippines, coming

Joshua:

over here to America and being part of this grand experiment that we like to

Joshua:

call the American Dream, and have you noticed a big difference between living

Joshua:

in the Philippines for the number of years you did and then coming to America and

Joshua:

having to also live here and also expand your different skill sets that you have?

Joshua:

Have you noticed a big difference between the cultures, and if so, can

Joshua:

you more specifically talk about maybe some of the cultural things, because I

Joshua:

know that you are a proud person that has grown up in the Philippines, and

Joshua:

I certainly would love to hear that.

Fred:

Yeah.

Fred:

Thank you.

Fred:

I've been here in the US for almost 18 years now, so 17 of that is actually in

Fred:

the Harrisburg area, and I love it here.

Fred:

I bought a house here.

Fred:

Obviously, the people are different.

Fred:

You're looking at the Eastern culture versus the Western culture.

Fred:

I can't recall if it was here because I actually went to Penn State here

Fred:

and got my degree here at Penn State.

Fred:

I also went to University of the Philippines.

Fred:

I'm not sure where I got it, but there's a big difference between

Fred:

the culture, the Eastern mindset, culturally and the Western mindset.

Fred:

Having said that, the major difference would be the Eastern is

Fred:

more community based, group based as opposed to the Western / American

Fred:

that is more individualistic.

Joshua:

Mm-hmm.

Fred:

That's why I'm sure you've seen that most Asian immigrants are normally

Fred:

don't really assert themselves so much but obviously the ones who immigrated

Fred:

here as opposed to the western like, "No me first" type of thing.

Fred:

I'm not saying there's bad, no.

Fred:

It's just that's how it is.

Fred:

What's interesting and what many people I found out don't know is the

Fred:

history of the Philippines, so the Philippines is one of the most, if not

Fred:

the most westernized country in Asia.

Fred:

Why is that?

Fred:

The Philippines was a colony of Spain from the 15 hundreds.

Fred:

I'm going to do a little plug.

Fred:

There's an upcoming movie called 1521 by my friends in Hollywood.

Fred:

It's about the story of Ferdinand Magellan, the Portuguese Explorer who

Fred:

sailed from Spain, from Seville, Spain, to find the Spice Islands under the Spanish

Fred:

flag, and got discovered, but of course we know America was not rediscovered

Fred:

by Columbus, but by the Vikings, right?

Joshua:

Yes.

Fred:

Same thing there.

Fred:

He actually reached the Philippines and he was killed by the

Fred:

natives, so that's interesting.

Fred:

The movie, when it comes out sometime it's going to be good to watch.

Fred:

I haven't seen it, but I think it's going to be great.

Joshua:

I just pulled it up and I saw that it's in post-production as of this

Joshua:

recording, which we're recording a few months behind from when this episode

Joshua:

will air, but nevertheless, for those that are listening and are interested

Joshua:

in checking out a little bit more about the movie itself, I'm going to

Joshua:

put an episode link in the show notes that will allow you to take a look at

Joshua:

that, but I'm sorry, Fred, go ahead.

Fred:

That's okay, because to me, films are always a good starting

Fred:

point in discovering new stuff, right?

Fred:

It makes it easier for people to digest, including myself.

Fred:

The Philippines was a Spanish colony for over 330 years.

Fred:

The Philippines was in the convent for 330 years, because in those

Fred:

times it's the religion and the military are one and the same.

Fred:

Now, the Philippines was actually a commonwealth of the US from

Fred:

1935, it was a colony from 1898.

Fred:

The Treaty of Paris, Puerto Rico, the Philippines, Guam, and some

Fred:

other islands were ceded to America by Spain for 10 million dollars.

Fred:

There's a Japanese thing here, but these two things, two Western powers

Fred:

so to speak, made the Philippines really westernized, not just in a lot

Fred:

of the thought process, even though the Eastern culture is still there,

Fred:

but a lot of attitudes especially when it comes to family, the social values,

Fred:

most Filipinos are Roman Catholics, actually over 80% Roman Catholics.

Joshua:

Mm-hmm.

Fred:

That the culture in itself is not that different from America or

Fred:

Western Europe in terms of attitudes.

Fred:

Also the government is almost like a carbon copy of the US government.

Fred:

Our first constitution was the 1935 constitution, and right now, even now,

Fred:

the government is a bicameral Congress.

Fred:

Sounds familiar, right?

Joshua:

Yes.

Fred:

We have-

Joshua:

Yes it does.

Fred:

Vice president, although we have a multi-party system and we can elect the

Fred:

President, the Vice President separately.

Fred:

We have the provinces, just like Canada, like states, we have governors, we

Fred:

have mayors, so it's almost like the same, so me being in politics, oh, I

Fred:

already knew the structure, and how things work, so in a way, culturally,

Fred:

there's really not much different difference for me, and, I was just

Fred:

talking to a friend of mine yesterday.

Fred:

For many college educated Filipinos, culture shock is not really a thing when

Fred:

we get here, we watch the same TV shows.

Fred:

Basketball is the number one sport in the Philippines for a

Fred:

nation of not so tall people.

Fred:

That's what it is now, but the similarities stop there.

Fred:

The difference and why I chose to live here is because of the opportunities,

Fred:

so the land of the milk and honey rings through that concept because

Fred:

here, if you work hard, you will be paid conventionally in the same way.

Fred:

Of course, not everyone is a quote unquote lucky, right?

Fred:

Some things happen to people, and they just can't get out of it, but to me,

Fred:

as my understanding and my experience is that in America, you work your quote

Fred:

unquote butt off, you get rewarded.

Fred:

There is a certain predictability of life here, meaning to say, you work

Fred:

20, 30, 40 years, you have your 401K.

Fred:

We no longer have the pension, but even better before, right, but you work that,

Fred:

you save, you listen to people who know things like, "hey, save up", and we've

Fred:

had conversations about this, personally.

Fred:

You save for your retirement.

Fred:

You can support yourself financially when you can no longer work full-time

Fred:

when you're in the retirement years, so, this whole thing of there's more or

Fred:

less a working government, so I call it there's a good governance in most states

Fred:

of the US in almost all ways of the US as opposed to the Philippines: not really.

Fred:

Is there corruption in the US?

Fred:

I'm sure there is.

Fred:

After anywhere comes in the world, yes, but for the most part, things just work,

Fred:

so my message to everyone who's listening, everyone anywhere in the world tend to

Fred:

like complain about what's going on.

Fred:

Yes, that is true because we know better, because we should expect better.

Fred:

That's not a bad thing, but it's also important for us to be grateful,

Fred:

to acknowledge that we do have a working system and that other

Fred:

countries, other people in other countries, in the other parts of the

Fred:

planet don't have, can never have.

Fred:

That's why I'm here.

Fred:

Some question that was asked to me by my friends: why?

Fred:

" Now you've learned all those things there.

Fred:

Why did you come back and do that?"

Fred:

Well, it's always easier said than done to import certain things

Fred:

because you still have, there's a system that you have to deal with.

Fred:

The governance of the Philippines has been improving over time.

Joshua:

Yeah.

Fred:

I'm amazed every time I go back every two or three

Fred:

years, but it's not there yet.

Fred:

The way we have it here.

Joshua:

Speaking of improvement, I know that you have been serving the

Joshua:

last year or so with the 6th ward of Susquehanna Township Commissioner, which

Joshua:

you brought up a little bit earlier.

Fred:

Mm-hmm.

Joshua:

And first off, I want to say this at Speaking From the Heart, we

Joshua:

don't talk about the fact that "Hey, we have different opposing viewpoints.

Joshua:

Let's criticize, condemn complain."

Joshua:

No, I'm not about that, because what I really enjoy more than anything

Joshua:

else is the free flow of exchanging thought and learning how to do things

Joshua:

better, so I welcome anybody that is a candidate for any position.

Joshua:

I would love to have you on the show because it's about speaking authentically,

Joshua:

which is why I'm going to have you answer this question because it's been on my mind

Joshua:

with what you've been sharing, especially with your upbringing in the Philippines

Joshua:

and seeing all of that corruption and now telling me that it's been getting better.

Joshua:

Do you think it's been getting better here locally, or do you feel that there's still

Joshua:

a lot more work, and when I say locally, I'm talking about at the local level.

Joshua:

I'm not talking about the state level or the federal level because we can go

Joshua:

into an hour and a half episode of just talking about that, but I'm talking

Joshua:

about what's in your purview and what you are able to help citizens do.

Fred:

You're talking about, let's say the Susquehanna Township, right?

Joshua:

Correct.

Fred:

Yeah.

Fred:

Okay, the question is, are things getting better?

Fred:

I think I'm not the best person to answer that question.

Fred:

Why?

Fred:

I always say this, I just got here.

Fred:

I'm barely a year and a half in office.

Fred:

I will tell you this though, because in general, is it

Fred:

getting better in the township?

Fred:

I would say yes, but I'm sure many people will disagree.

Fred:

They will have a thing or two for me, but what I can tell you at least is that from

Fred:

what I know, and I will say as much as this pains me to say this, I don't know

Fred:

everything that's going on in a township because it's just so much stuff, right?

Joshua:

I think right there is very important to point out is that although we

Joshua:

think that we have these elected officials that are supposed to know everything,

Joshua:

they're really the representatives in which they will go and find out what

Joshua:

that information is and help you to understand that, so I think that's really

Joshua:

important to point out because I've been on that side of the fence too, Fred.

Fred:

Yeah.

Joshua:

And I feel that sometimes people think that I have all these answers.

Joshua:

I'm going to solve all their problems, but we all have rules in

Joshua:

which we have checks and balances.

Joshua:

That's what government's all about too.

Fred:

Exactly, and one of the things I really enjoy is when

Fred:

people tell me, "Hey, Fred, did you know that this is happening?"

Fred:

"Oh, you know what?

Fred:

Forgive me.

Fred:

I don't, but thank you for telling me.

Fred:

Thank you for bringing that to my attention, because now

Fred:

I know", because what does it take for me to know everything?

Fred:

I guess that should be a full-time job that all I do every day

Fred:

is go around the township.

Fred:

I wish that's possible, but that it is not possible, at least financially

Fred:

for me, because I have bills to pay, right, and that's not an excuse.

Fred:

It's just a fact, right?

Joshua:

Mm-hmm.

Fred:

But are things getting better?

Fred:

I think so.

Fred:

Why is that?

Fred:

At least as far as I'm concerned, when people call me,

Fred:

"Hey, I'm having this issue."

Fred:

In fact, last Thursday, I just got a call.

Fred:

I was called by a constituent and say, "Hey, we're back to a development again.

Fred:

We have a hearing.

Fred:

We'd appreciate if you can come", and I thought honesty, and this was on me, that

Fred:

I got a handle of what that issue was.

Fred:

I actually thought wrong because I did not appreciate the process of here I am,

Fred:

business man, trying to put up something in this area and is all it takes.

Fred:

Let me be more specific about this, so there's this gas station at some corner

Fred:

near my house, two blocks away, and they bought the lot behind the gas station, and

hey're making a drive through:

bagels in the morning and pizza after that.

hey're making a drive through:

I mean, awesome, right?

hey're making a drive through:

For people who are on the go.

Joshua:

Yes.

Fred:

But obviously, in areas like this suburban area or the next

Fred:

lot is residential, and now you have the challenge of how do you

Fred:

support economic development, at the same time, make sure that your

Fred:

neighbors are not adversely affected.

Fred:

It's kinda tricky, right, but as far as I know, I think that the only

Fred:

solution to that is just work on it and make sure everyone, both parties,

Fred:

understand what's going on and what kind of impact, because you have to ask the

Fred:

question, "Hey, can you improve this?"

Fred:

I think to me, to answer the question of is it improving?

Fred:

I think it is.

Fred:

Why?

Fred:

Because now, at least I know I'm trying to be responsive to constituent

Fred:

concern, and they call me, I make myself available for meetings, and connect

Fred:

all the proponents of the project.

Fred:

That's one.

Fred:

Another one is that when I ran two years ago for office I actually talked to a lot

Fred:

of people when I was getting signatures to be on the ballot during the signature

Fred:

petition campaign, and you know what ails them, what the issues are, but that's

Fred:

only one thing because remember, everyone knows the Henry Ford saying, "If I ask

Fred:

people what they want, they would've told me they wanted a faster horse.", right?

Joshua:

Yes.

Fred:

Yeah, so I think part of the challenge and actually the beauty of

Fred:

running for office is, one, you get to help solve problems as they arise.

Fred:

The other thing is, based on your understanding of the community, of the

Fred:

people, of what people need, what the community needs, even before people

Fred:

really realize them, or at least when I say people like the collective, right?

Fred:

Some people may have realized things ahead of time than the others, right?

Fred:

Then, you are proposing solution before people will say, "Oh, we want it now",

Fred:

because things take time to build, right?

Fred:

What do they do?

Fred:

It is actually interesting because I'm not really a biker.

Fred:

I enjoy it in my youth.

Fred:

I enjoy it occasionally, but I'm not a diehard biker.

Fred:

But I do understand it's beyond recreation.

Fred:

It's more than that.

Fred:

It touches the climate crisis.

Fred:

It touches financial because, hey, if you don't have the money to buy a

Fred:

car, insure a car, maintain a car, and your commute is like a couple miles

Fred:

each day, why not have a bike, right?

Joshua:

Yes.

Joshua:

Yes.

Fred:

You have to be able to bike safely, so what they run on and do

Fred:

you really want to talk about that?

Fred:

Yes, because it's important.

Fred:

Guess what?

Fred:

We're master planning our bicycle and pedestrian and greenway projects

Fred:

now a year after going into office.

Fred:

Do they do everything?

Fred:

No, but it's something that I thought, "Okay, I'm going to push for this,

Fred:

because I run on it", and basically it's putting everyone, including the township

Fred:

government, because we do have employees, we have a Parks and Rec Director who

Fred:

are also looking at this, so Fred won on that issue, we might as well do this now.

Joshua:

Yeah, and having that buy-in is really important.

Joshua:

Fred, I want to ask you one more question before we wrap up here, because we're

Joshua:

getting close to the end of our time.

Joshua:

I have seen so many people come into public service thinking that they're

Joshua:

going to achieve something that they really want, and unfortunately it doesn't

Joshua:

happen, and you just shared an example in which it did happen because of what

Joshua:

you ran on, so with those things in mind and just thinking about all the

Joshua:

people that you have encountered, even your professional career, has there ever

Joshua:

been a time that you felt that maybe you should have done it a different way, or

Joshua:

maybe you should have handled some sort of particular situation differently, and

Joshua:

I'm just only asking you for one example, but is there something that you regret,

Joshua:

whether it's in your political career or maybe even your professional career,

Joshua:

that if you could reel back the wheels of time that you would change, and if

Joshua:

so, what would that thing be and why?

Fred:

Yeah, all the questions are great by the way.

Fred:

I'm glad that you asked that question because people think that, "Oh, so

Fred:

you're there, so we elected you, so make sure you do everything."

Fred:

Yes, it's easier said and done in every local government, or

Fred:

in any government level, right?

Fred:

We don't have dictators in this country, at least I'd like to believe that,

Fred:

right, so not one person can decide what the whole body will do, right?

Fred:

It's a collective body.

Fred:

I was just at a climate crisis forum a couple weeks ago, and I said, "Hey,

Fred:

you voted, you elected, but make sure you help, but you hold your elected

Fred:

officials accountable, hold them to the fire, so to speak, attend the meetings

Fred:

and whatnot, because by doing that, then you also get to understand what the

Fred:

process is; what's the governance process?

Fred:

How do they make the sausage, right?

Fred:

Not necessarily the whole process, but you get to see because it's not that simple.",

Fred:

and to this is the answer to that.

Fred:

Every two weeks now, I have a meeting with our township manager.

Fred:

He's basically the CEO of the township, right, so the board of

Fred:

commissioners were like the board of Governors, right, so he executes.

Fred:

I have a thousand ideas.

Fred:

It's something you're not surprised with anyway.

Joshua:

No, I'm not surprised by that whatsoever.

Fred:

So one of these I brought up last year is, "Hey, you know what",

Fred:

because I drive an electric vehicle because I really believe that, to me, it

Fred:

saved me a lot of money, but more than that, I do my share in going towards

Fred:

greener transportation, reducing carbon emissions, consumption, all the jazz,

Fred:

so we have a fleet of vehicles for the township, and most of them are used just

Fred:

by checking the inspection, whatnot.

Fred:

All in all, I ask questions maybe at most 70 miles a day, and many

Fred:

affordable EVs now have at least 200 miles of range, so you can charge

Fred:

it overnight and you're good to go.

Fred:

What does that do to the township in terms of financials?

Fred:

One, it saves them the cost of fuel, and two, we do have solar power panels,

Fred:

so that can also factor in there, and that we actually are telling people

Fred:

now as a government, "Hey, if we can do this, you can do that too", right?

Fred:

It's really leading from the front basically is what I was driving at.

Fred:

Can we do it?

Fred:

There incentives for charging stations and the vehicles themselves, so fast forward

Fred:

this year, we start talking about that and there's always concern about safety of

Fred:

the battery from different sectors of the government, and we want to address that.

Fred:

Obviously safety is primary, but I also know we're talking about that, and I

Fred:

would say we're trying to go after the incentive which expires in May, or at

Fred:

least they get exhausted in May, so long short of it, it was kind of rushed.

Fred:

Although I did say what I think, more than saving we have to

Fred:

be able to tell a whole story.

Fred:

Why is that?

Fred:

Because you cannot just go for the savings.

Fred:

It has to be like, "why are we doing this?", right?

Joshua:

Yeah.

Fred:

So anyways, long and short of it, it went to the

Fred:

Board of Commissioner's meeting.

Fred:

We have this last meeting called a workshop, so we just talk about stuff

Fred:

basically, and it came out half baked.

Fred:

From a leadership perspective, being the person who brought it up, although

Fred:

I got some support, but not majority support, I should have said, "you know

Fred:

what, we're not ready to present this.

Fred:

Yes, we're going to miss out on the incentive, but you know what, it's more

Fred:

important that we have a fully baked project to present that we already

Fred:

know all the numbers we are sold on why we're doing what we're doing here, and

Fred:

the benefit to the township in terms of cost savings", and all that jazz,

Fred:

rather than try to rush it and we tried.

Fred:

To me, the failure on my part is that even though the way it works is for

Fred:

these things is put up an agenda.

Fred:

I would've said, "You know what, we're not ready yet.

Fred:

No, there's so many questions and we don't want to open that up,

Fred:

especially for public consumption."

Fred:

That's it.

Fred:

That is a lesson in leadership that I learned, that if you have the courage

Fred:

to bring up an idea, you must have the courage to say, "Wait, we're not ready.

Fred:

Don't do it yet."

Joshua:

Yeah, and that's really important is to be able to recognize that and

Joshua:

to know that too, that we are humans that are capable of having errors,

Joshua:

and yes, it does happen to everyone.

Joshua:

It even happens to people that have good intentions as well, and it's all

Joshua:

about learning what's truly important.

Joshua:

Fred, I'm gonna give you the last few minutes.

Joshua:

I would love for you to let people know how they could get in contact with you,

Joshua:

how can they support you as part of this experience too that you're going

Joshua:

for, because I know that you're running for Dauphin County Treasurer, so I'll

Joshua:

let you have the last few moments here.

Fred:

All right.

Fred:

Thank you Josh.

Fred:

I'm going to kind of repeat some information.

Fred:

I'm Fred Faylona.

Fred:

I'm the current Commissioner of Susquehanna Township.

Fred:

I'm running for the Dauphin County Treasurer position in

Fred:

the November 7th election.

Fred:

I'm on the ballot.

Fred:

I'm asking for your support to look at my qualifications and my priorities.

Fred:

You can find that at fredfaylona.com, so Fredfaylona.com.

I'm also on social media:

Facebook.

I'm also on social media:

Same thing if you Google Fred Faylona and I have both a personal

I'm also on social media:

one, slash Fred Faylona or Fred 4 Dauphin with a number four in it.

I'm also on social media:

Also on Instagram, so it's hard not to find me online because I'm all over

I'm also on social media:

the place all the time, but briefly, for this position, I'm running to be

I'm also on social media:

your next Dauphin County Treasurer if you live in Dauphin County, because I

I'm also on social media:

have this itch to help people, to help our county; number one, Dauphin County.

I'm also on social media:

Number one is to streamline its services, make everything a one stop shop, whether

I'm also on social media:

it's online, so whether you pay your property taxes or any other county fee,

I'm also on social media:

do the application there, pay there, done.

I'm also on social media:

You don't have to go to the office or call anyone or if you need to talk to a human,

I'm also on social media:

because not everything can be done online, you should be able to go to the office

I'm also on social media:

on Second Street and don't go anywhere else for all your treasurer services,

I'm also on social media:

but I also understand, and I realize we have a swat of technically challenged

I'm also on social media:

or physically challenged individuals, especially our senior citizens in the

I'm also on social media:

vast Dauphin County, and I intend to, if I get the honor of being elected

I'm also on social media:

in November, to do a lot more one day treasury services in many municipalities.

I'm also on social media:

I may not be able to bring the service to your doorstep, but at least as

I'm also on social media:

near to you as possible, number one.

I'm also on social media:

Number two is really I'd like to reduce our tax delinquency, which leads to some

I'm also on social media:

of our residents, especially the senior citizens with the fixed income to lose

I'm also on social media:

their homes for tax sales because of the tax delinquency, property tax delinquency.

I'm also on social media:

There are many programs out there.

I'm also on social media:

Not everyone knows that a hundred percent disabled veterans are actually

I'm also on social media:

exempt from paying property taxes.

I'm also on social media:

Just have to apply for it, but more than that, there are other programs, financial

I'm also on social media:

help programs, that I'd like to tap, on behalf of our Dauphin County residents.

I'm also on social media:

I'd like to ask for your support on November 7th, and also, with that, you

I'm also on social media:

can apply for mail-in ballot so you don't have to worry about being available on

I'm also on social media:

November's election because life happens to every single one of us; have it.

I'm also on social media:

If you still intend to vote on the day of, you can bring your mail-in ballot with you

I'm also on social media:

to the polling precinct, but otherwise, a few days before, a week before, if

I'm also on social media:

you think you cannot make it, mail it, you already have it on in your hands.

I'm also on social media:

Again, Fred Faylona for Dauphin County Treasurer at fredfaylona.com.

Joshua:

Fred, I wish you luck in your campaign as you get closer to November,

Joshua:

but more importantly, I really appreciate your upbringing and me personally

Joshua:

getting to know you over these last several years has been a real gift to

Joshua:

me in that I know that you have come through with so many different things.

Joshua:

You are a true people person, and being able to interact with you and share that

Joshua:

energy has been really contagious, even for me, and inspiring for me as well,

Joshua:

which I have never really talked to you about, but I do feel inspired because

Joshua:

of all the things that you've been able to accomplish as a result of this vast

Joshua:

network, and I thank you for sharing your heart with us today on this podcast,

Joshua:

and thank you for being who you are.

Joshua:

I hope you continue to serve in the public and continue to be

Joshua:

successful in your businesses.

Fred:

Thanks, Josh.

Fred:

Thank you for having me here.

Joshua:

I want to thank Fred again for being part of the show and being able to

Joshua:

express a lot about his journey to get here and to have somebody on the show,

Joshua:

especially in the way that our climate can be when it comes to not only the processes

Joshua:

that we have in the United States for letting people in, but also just the

Joshua:

divisiveness when it comes to people that come from the outside is really shocking

Joshua:

to me, and is really not in the spirit of what even I do as somebody that helps

Joshua:

people transform themselves to not only help others, but to see what they might

Joshua:

not otherwise see if they don't have that opportunity to engage with someone

Joshua:

on that conversation, and Fred certainly exemplified the fact that we can rise

Joshua:

above any sort of situation or background, no matter where we're at, and learn a lot

Joshua:

more about our different perspectives.

Joshua:

This is not the first time that we've had even people that have come or live

Joshua:

in other countries before they arrived here in the United States, and I find

Joshua:

it more fascinating about Fred in that he was able to share more specifically

Joshua:

the differences between Eastern culture and Western culture and how that can

Joshua:

make such a big difference about our interpretations, which if you are

Joshua:

interested in checking out the 1521 movie, I'll leave some information into

Joshua:

the show notes as to where you can locate that once everything is released and

Joshua:

how you can access that as a whole, but do you ever think that you are going

Joshua:

to be in a land of the milk and honey?

Joshua:

Do you ever think that you are going to be able to know and understand

Joshua:

and engage with people that will provide that milk and honey?

Joshua:

I think that Fred realized early on in his life that there was going to be

Joshua:

things that he will have to overcome, and especially even in the government of

Joshua:

the Philippines in which he grew up in.

Joshua:

Yeah.

Joshua:

There are a lot of places around the world that are full of corruption, that are full

Joshua:

of mistakes and people that make mistakes and we often have a criminal justice

Joshua:

system that punishes those individuals, whether you think it's fair or not,

Joshua:

equal application of the law is something that is one of the values in which we

Joshua:

stand upon within the United States.

Joshua:

Even with that said, are people allowed to have a second chance?

Joshua:

One of the things that I have learned even in my training as a coach is to

Joshua:

learn and expect that there are always possibilities of different things

Joshua:

that we can work on, not only for ourselves, but for other people too.

Joshua:

And it reminds me of something that I once encountered many years ago when I was

Joshua:

going through training, through Crucial Conversations For Mastering Dialogue.

Joshua:

For those not familiar with the principle of Crucial Conversations, it's about

Joshua:

having those tough conversations when we know that we have a lot of things on the

Joshua:

table that need to be resolved, they have some high implications if they're not

Joshua:

resolved, but we also know that there's a lot of emotion involved with it, and

Joshua:

it reminds me of a story that I learned within that course that forever changed

Joshua:

my life and allowed me to understand that there are some amazing organizations

Joshua:

and people that always try to make a difference no matter where they're at.

Joshua:

In Salt Lake City, Utah, along with Denver, Colorado, there was an

Joshua:

organization called The Other Side Academy, or TOSA, T O S A for short, and

Joshua:

I'll put a link in the episode notes if you'd like to check them out, but they are

Joshua:

an organization that help people get back on their feet through a 30 month program.

Joshua:

Yes, I said that right.

Joshua:

30 months, in which they build personal relationships with each other, but

Joshua:

they also manage the expectations of keeping accountability with

Joshua:

love, charity and dependability.

Joshua:

In the Crucial Conversations course in which I learned about this organization,

Joshua:

Joseph Grenny, who's one of the co-authors of the book and also the

Joshua:

one of the chairs of this organization, was able to describe a lot about what

Joshua:

the principle of what they do is what makes them really impactful, and it's

Joshua:

through a series of what they call games.

Joshua:

It's about sitting down and telling the ultimate truth about what that

Joshua:

other person is going through and what is on their mind that makes them

Joshua:

really, really, really upset with them, and it's downright, brutally honest.

Joshua:

It gets to the heart and core of what's really important about

Joshua:

having feedback, which is to help improve what is all around this.

Joshua:

Now, how does that fit into Fred's story?

Joshua:

Well, simple.

Joshua:

He realized that there was a problem in the Philippines, and

Joshua:

with the help of others, he did rise up against the oppression.

Joshua:

He brought context to that conversation.

Joshua:

He was able to create that land of the milk and honey, when he was able

Joshua:

to come over here then and realized that the opportunities were vastless,

Joshua:

and it's okay to not know everything.

Joshua:

It's okay to have the ability to work with many different people so that

Joshua:

you can learn a lot more about it, and I think that the human element of

Joshua:

this is what Fred even shared as being Susquehanna Township Commissioner and

Joshua:

getting some of the priorities that he ran on on the table to be executed.

Joshua:

We all make mistakes, but it also means that we all have to work together,

Joshua:

to not put ourselves one against the other, to think that it's an endless

Joshua:

crusade of fighting, using our words and throwing all kinds of accusations

Joshua:

that are untrue against somebody else.

Joshua:

Oh, is that what's happening now?

Joshua:

Sure.

Joshua:

You can make that conclusion, and I'm sure that you're probably right,

Joshua:

but let's think about this in a different way, just like how TOSA

Joshua:

thinks about it in a different way.

Joshua:

We often think that we have to work so hard to push ourselves to something

Joshua:

that we never thought possible, and that means that we always constantly have to

Joshua:

work so hard in which we have to prove ourselves over and over and over again,

Joshua:

in which we have so many different things going on in our lives in which we have to

Joshua:

weigh the efforts of many versus one, but isn't it our goal to help solve problems?

Joshua:

Isn't that what we do on a daily basis?

Joshua:

If we need money, we go to an ATM, we withdraw cash.

Joshua:

If we are hungry, we may go to a restaurant, we may

Joshua:

go to the grocery store.

Joshua:

We pick out what we want.

Joshua:

We pay for it, go home and consume it.

Joshua:

Sometimes though, some of the most extreme things in our lives need a lot

Joshua:

more attention than just the simple step-by-step process that we often

Joshua:

think about, but isn't that the truth?

Joshua:

That sometimes that we need that road plan?

Joshua:

That sometimes we need that plan of action to create some of the opportunities

Joshua:

so that we can be successful?

Joshua:

I think that Fred definitely creates that opportunity for ourselves every time

Joshua:

that we help ourselves understand and create some of the best opportunities for

Joshua:

ourselves to be able to learn and grow and accept who we truly, truly can be.

Joshua:

Fred has been on that journey for several decades and he's still growing in it.

Joshua:

He's still asking questions.

Joshua:

He's still trying to discern what is needed.

Joshua:

He knows that sometimes things aren't exactly ready and when they are, he

Joshua:

knows that he needs to course correct.

Joshua:

I think that we need to have a lot more tolerance in this world when it

Joshua:

comes to understanding that we're all accepting of those failures and those

Joshua:

rejections, the very things in which I felt: rejection, rejection, rejection.

Joshua:

Sometimes when we have those be the constant basis in which we build

Joshua:

ourselves upon, it can create some very vast problems, not only in the medical

Joshua:

sense, but also in our self-confidence.

Joshua:

Fred exemplifies the fact that we can always do what we really desire

Joshua:

to do, especially if we truly, truly, truly want it, because

Joshua:

we can have those opportunities.

Joshua:

We can go to another place where we are valued.

Joshua:

We can run for an office and find a way in which we can serve, whether

Joshua:

that is based on the experiences that we have, or something that we

Joshua:

feel passionate about and we want to learn more, but that's the truth.

Joshua:

Can we continue to be grateful to have a system that allows us to do that?

Joshua:

Can we be grateful if we can continue to work in a system

Joshua:

that allows us to do that?

Joshua:

Can we be able to provide context, and continue to do what we really enjoy doing?

Joshua:

We have that potential.

Joshua:

We can do that.

Joshua:

We just need to be able to understand fully that no matter where that is,

Joshua:

wherever that land of the milk and honey are, that we can create some of those

Joshua:

opportunities if we're willing to not only build relationships, not only find that

Joshua:

confidence to do it, but maybe we can have it with one's promise of accountability,

Joshua:

love, charity, and dependability because we control our destiny.

Joshua:

Thanks for listening to episode number 34 of Speaking From the

Joshua:

Heart, and I look forward to hearing from your heart very soon.

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Outro:

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About the Podcast

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About your host

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Joshua Smith

Joshua D. Smith is the Owner and Founder of Your Speaking Voice, a life coaching, business coaching, and public speaking company based in Carlisle, PA. Serving clients across the world, Joshua got his start in personal/professional development and public speaking in April of 2012 through his extensive involvement in an educational non-profit organization called Toastmasters International.

Toastmasters International operates clubs both domestically and internationally that focus on teaching leadership, development, and public speaking skills. Joshua quickly excelled in Toastmasters International and found that he had a passion for leadership and helping others find their confidence and their true "speaking voice". Joshua has held all club officer roles and most District level positions in Toastmasters International and belongs to numerous clubs throughout the organization. Joshua has also been recognized as two-time Distinguished Toastmaster, the highest award the organization bestows for achievement in leadership and communication.

Joshua continues his active role in the community as he serves a Board Member for the Shalom House, an organization located in the Alison Hill section of Harrisburg, PA that provides emergency shelter services to women and children.

Outside of his community involvement, education is something that Joshua has always taken great pride in. His academic achievements include a number of degrees from Alvernia and Shippensburg University. He earned a Bachelor's degree in political science and communications from Alvernia in 2009, a masters of business administration from Alvernia in 2010, and later a masters in public administration from Shippensburg in 2014.

In the professional world, Joshua has held multiple positions with the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania for over 12 years which includes a variety of data analytics, procurement, budgeting, business process improvement (IT and non-IT), legal compliance, and working with the blind. He has applied his public speaking and development skills in the professional world to tackle numerous public speaking engagements and presentations from all levels of the organization, including executive management.

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