In December 2008, a small group of "islanders" living in the Hampton Roads community of southeastern Virginia, established an organization called the ​​​​Pacific Islanders American Group of Virginia (PIAG).  Leading this group from its inception was Iakopo "Jake" Poyer, with a vision and overall mission to bring together all Pacific Islanders (and islanders-at-heart), by striving to keep the "island spirit" alive through programs, activities and workshops within the community. 

    One of the biggest accomplishments of PIAG, was the establishment and sponsorship of the annual Virginia Beach Polynesian Festival (VB POLYFEST), which has grown to become the largest Polynesian festival on the east coast of the United States.

About us

      From that very first meeting in 2008, the vision was simply to preserve our culture, to educate others about our culture and to educate our people to become self-reliant, productive members of society - by focusing on the needs of our youth and teaching them, by example, to be civic minded and active citizens of the community in which they live. ​​​

      The untimely passing of Jake in 2015 left a void that was felt throughout the entire community. However, because of the foundation that he established, we have been able to carry on and build upon his vision and his mission.

     Since 2010, we have been recognized as a non-profit organization under section 501 (c) (3) of the Internal Revenue code.  In 2017, we applied for a name change to become the PACIFIC ISLANDERS OF VIRGINIA (PIVA). Our name has changed, but our vision and our mission remains steadfast - to develop and promote educational, cultural, and socio-economic advancements for the group with the local, state and federal government and agencies of the state of Virginia.

2018 PIVA Officers

   Chair                             Pelasio Taelase Ah-Hing (Bella)
                                           [email protected]

   Vice Chair                     Amata (Sheila) Fleming
                                          [email protected]

   Secretary                      Catrina Wolfe (Cat)
                                           [email protected]

   Treasurer                     Levy Apelu
                                           [email protected]

   Public Relations /        Tricia Orpilla
   Media Coordinator
     [email protected]