Herna (pronounced “Er-Na”) Cruz-Louie is the Director and Co-Founder for the American Center of Philippine Arts (ACPA), based in Oakland, CA. Herna’s exposure to Philippine dance and music started at the age of 5, when she learned Philippine cultural dances to perform at local town fiestas. In 1995, she graduated from learning Philippine dance in garages and backyards to becoming a performer with PASACAT Philippine Performing Arts Company of San Diego, CA and eventually became an instructor for music by the age of 18. After moving to the San Francisco Bay Area in 2000, she performed with LIKHA-Pilipino Folk Ensemble as a musician and became their Executive Director from 2005-2008.
For over 20 years, Herna has performed and collaborated with many dance companies, organizations, schools, and individual artists such as KulArts and Alleluia Panis, Sydney Loyola, Barangay Dance Company, Kawayan Folk Arts, Kariktan Dance Company, Parangal Dance Company, Patrick Landeza, Pilipino American Collegiate Endeavor (PACE) of SFSU, Asian Pacific American Youth Promoting Advocacy & Leadership (AYPAL), Mga Kapatid of UC Davis, Kasamahan of USF, Little Manila Dance Collective of Stockton, and more.
Herna has over 15 years working as an administrator and youth program practitioner for nonprofit organizations such as the YMCA, Coaching Corps (formerly Team-Up for Youth), San Francisco Community Health Center (formerly Asian & Pacific Islander Wellness Center), Kearny Street Workshop, The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, and the Oakland Asian Cultural Center. She also spent 7 years in human resources with tech start-ups (Circle of Moms and Tightrope Interactive, Inc.) in San Francisco. She currently serves as Chief Organization & People Officer at Girl Scouts of Northern California and leads the organization’s human resources, member success, retail, marketing and communications, organizational effectiveness, and diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging initiatives.
Herna was awarded as one of Filipina Women's Network’s 100 Most Influential Filipinas in 2011, and was a featured Asian American Studies Alumna of San Francisco State University in 2014. She completed her Masters in Human Resources Management from Golden Gate University in 2015, and completed her Certificate in Diversity & Inclusion from Cornell University in 2020. Herna is a Girl Scout troop leader, and proudly raising 2 daughters with her husband in Oakland, CA.