Sig Unander

29 Jul

A professional communicator, author and public speaker, Sig Unander began his career in broadcast and print journalism in New Mexico, Minnesota, Georgia, and Oregon. He helped launch the annual Rose Festival Airshow and directed communications for a Portlandaerospace firm. Later he founded Air Art Northwest, a publisher of historical fine artwork and helped develop Latino Perspective, a magazine for Hispanic entrepreneurs and professionals. More recently he served as Director of Public Relations for Latin Media Northwest. He currently is Project Development Director with Eravision, a film production company specializing in documentaries, fundraising and multicultural productions based inLos Angeles.

 Sig has served as an elected city Councilor in Cornelius and on the boards of several public commissions and nonprofits, including Centro Cultural and as president of the Pacific University Alumni Association. He chaired a committee on the Washington County Aging, Disabilty and Veterans Services Advisory Committee and served on the Philippine-American Chamber of Commerce (PACCO) board.

A fluent Spanish speaker, he holds a bachelors degree in Political Science from Pacific University and has done graduate work in International Relations at Portland State University.He has studied Tagalog, the national language of the Philippines, and is active in the Asian and minority communities.

In 1996 he began to research and document the history of the Mexican Expeditionary Air Force, an elite unit that participated with the US Army Air Force in the liberation of the Philippine Islands in World War II. He worked with the Mexican World War II Veterans Association, interviewing surviving pilots in Mexico and with the Foreign Ministry of the Philippines, arranging interviews with key figures and field shoots in that country for a documentary film about the unit. Filmed in Mexicothe United Statesand the Republic of the Philippinesand narrated by Edward James Olmos, The Forgotten Eagles is the only comprehensive and accurate documentary on the United States-Mexico partnership in the Second World War. The film, produced in both English and Spanish, was completed in 2006.

In 2007 Sig went to thePhilippinesas a delegate with the PACCO Trade Mission, meeting personally with President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo and presenting her with a limited-edition lithograph he published, signed by the pilots of the Mexican unit whom she had previously decorated with the Philippine Legion of Honor. He has authored papers, feature stories and a book on theUnited States’ strategic wartime alliance withMexicoand experience in theFar East.

In 2008 he began researching Claire Phillips Snyder, an actress, author and activist who received theUnited States’ highest civilian decoration – the Medal of Freedom – for her espionage and humanitarian activities in thePhilippinesduring the Second World War. He is currently working on a documentary film about Phillips’s remarkable life, writing her biography and leading a committee to develop a public memorial to honor her legacy.

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