Our Story

Laotian Americans are the product of the beautiful and diverse American Melting Pot.

In the early and mid-1980s, refugees fleeing the Vietnam War and the Secret Civil War crossed the Mekong River to Thailand. After years of displacement and hardship, they eventually settled in the United States, many of them in the Central Valley, particularly in Fresno.

These refugees brought with them a rich culture and a strong sense of community. However, they also faced many challenges, from language barriers to disparities in housing, employment, and access to resources. Without guidance and support, many Laotian Americans fell into poverty, even after doing everything they could to support their families.

In response to these challenges, community leaders and members came together to establish the Laotian-American Community of Fresno (LACF). Our mission is to empower the community and support families to achieve educational and socioeconomic success through leadership development, mentorship, and cultural preservation.

We have made significant progress in achieving this mission by providing support to thousands of Laotian Americans, helping them to improve their lives and contribute to the broader community. We have also played a key role in preserving Laotian culture and heritage, because we firmly believe that this is essential to the prosperity of our community.

LACF is grateful for the support of its community partners and donors. With your help, we can continue to build a more successful future for Laotian Americans. Thank you for visiting our website and for your interest in our work. We look forward to partnering with you to build a brighter future for our community.


The Laotian-American Community of Fresno

Meet the Team

Board of Directors


Khampha Thepphavong

OD, Executive Director & Chair

Daytime Profession: Physician, Adventist Health


Anusone Keochai

Public Relations/Co-Treasurer

Daytime Profession: Account Executive, Cal Valley Insurance Services


Lysing Prathammavong

Community Liaison & Historian

Daytime Profession: Cultural Broker/Southeast Asian Navigator, The Fresno Center


Phonesavanh “Noy” Bounkhoune

Community Liaison

Daytime Profession: Elementary School Teacher, Fresno Unified School District


Khamphout “Kami” Thepphavong

Scholarship Coordinator, Co-Treasurer

Daytime Profession: Academic Counselor, Fresno City College


Linda Jones

Business Developer

Daytime Profession: VP Client Manager, FFB Bank


Boutsaba Janetvilay

MLIS, M.A.Ed., Secretary

Daytime Profession: Librarian, California State University of Fresno


David Bouttavong

Community Relations & Volunteer Coordinator


Daytime Profession: Outreach Specialist, Poverello House

Advisory Board and Members


Lany Sivongsay Avakian

NP, Educational Advancement Program Coordinator

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Julianna Phoukhao

Marketing and Media Manager

Pronouns: she/her/they/them