Migrant Pen’s choice of personalities who should be named as the Top 5 Most Inspiring Filipino Human Resource practitioners in the United Arab Emirates include Sahron Roy R. Tamano, Vagelyn, Tumbaga-Federico, Lou Olvido-Parroco, Gina Tuazon-Salazar and Alexie T. Rieza.
Let me share few of their achievements to inspire migrants in Middle East and other parts of the world.
Roy moved to UAE in 2006 eager to look forward for a professionally managed organization that offers a challenging and stimulating work to provide him an opportunity to utilize his skills and share his knowledge and which can offer attractive prospect for long term development and career growth.
He joined the Sharjah Cooperative Society, a company which involves a chain of supermarkets. As Administration-in-Charge, he directs, supervises and coordinates the activities of his subordinates in ensuring smooth administration operations management of the company. The cooperative holds business interests in 20 branches of retail and wholesale across the Emirate of Sharjah with annual sales turnover of almost 1 Billion AED. The total manpower of the company exceeds 1500 employees.
“In the HR Department, I deal with people who have different nationalities, hence, putting a challenge in my career. Our company changed me a lot both personally and professionally. I made adjustments in the working environment, proper execution of my job, as well as understanding of different values and cultures of different people around me. Through our perseverance, the company management appreciates our efforts by giving us a chance to recruit more Filipino staff. At the span of 2 years, we reached around 200 Filipino workers.”
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She was part of the pre-opening of four hotels in the UAE. One of these is Acacia Hotel where she served as the General Manager and HR Director. “It was a very big success since I have played an important role in the implementation and completion of the project and the hiring process of its employees. It was with great pride and honor as well that the hotel was recognized as “ excellent hotel” by Trip Advisor and one of the top hotels in Ras Al Khaimah, in fact, top 3 hotels during my term.”
For the past 10 years that she has been working in UAE (since 2005), the most important lesson she has learned is give her best. “We have to love what we do and do what we love. Whatever you are doing you have to be passionate on it, nothing is hard to do when you love what you are doing, when you put all your heart, mind and soul on it. She believes in an adage that says, “follow your passion and success will follow you.”
She feels great to have achieved much at a young age. “Not even in my wildest dreams before I thought that I will become a General Manager at the age of 28.” She’s the only Filipino General Manager from all over the Middle East who became part of the most prestigious event “The Great GM Debate 2011” of Hotelier Middle East which she considers as well as her greatest achievement in life.
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When she moved to Dubai in May 1996, she initially worked on the shop floor of Dubai Duty Free as a stepping stone towards finding her HR career path in Dubai. It did not take long for her talent, abilities and hardwork to get noticed because after a few months, she was promoted to the position of Training and Development Officer. In 2000, she joined Dubai World Trade Center, a semi-government organization, also as Training and Development Officer. After three years, she was hired as Senior Executive for Human Resource, Training and Career Development of Dubai Development and Investment Authority (DDIA) from 2003 to 2005.
From 2006 to 2010, she held two different regional positions at Schlumberger, one of the world’s largest oilfield services company in the oil and gas industry. As Senior Mid-career Recruiter of the Experienced Professionals Recruiting Network (EPRN) for MEA from 2006 to 2008, she was part of the pioneer team, made responsible for sourcing, selecting, recruiting and inducting mid-career petroleum technical experts (PTE) for placements across Middle East and Asia geomarkets. She was able to surpass the recruiting objectives set for three consecutive years which enabled her to gather consistent outstanding performance.
Then from 2009 to 2010, she was Senior Compensation and Benefits Analysts for Middle East with key responsibility of managing day-to-day activities related to compensation and benefits in the assigned countries of the United Arab Emirates, Oman and Pakistan. From 2010 to 2011, she was hired for the position of Lead HR Professional in Johnson Controls Inc., a Fortune 500 diversified and multi-industrial global company.
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She was employed as Accounts Secretary and Paymaster at Ramada Hotel until 1989. From there, she was hired to serve on the following posts: Executive Secretary and Personal Assistant at Arabian General Insurance Corporation, 1989-1991; Administrator and HR Officer at Malaysia Airlines, 1991 to 2001; and, Internet Support Executive at the Commercial Department of the government-run Dubai Internet City, 2000-2001.
For the next two years of her professional career, from 2001 to 2003, she worked as a Personal Assistant to the Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of Consumer News and Business Channel (CNBC) and MEBN at Dubai Media City. CNBC is a satellite and cable television covering business headlines and providing live coverage of financial markets. From 2003 to 2008, she was Psychometric and HR Admin Coordinator at Emirates Airlines, one of the most admired and innovative in the world.
Blessings continue to pour like rain for this hardworking mother. From 2008 to 2011, she was Senior HR and Admin Manager at Elite Jets FZCO. Elite Jets is a luxury private jet operator, a free zone company based at Dubai International Airport providing services of executive jet charter, aircraft asset management and aircraft sales and consultancy. Prior to her present appointment, a year ago she held the post of Human Resource Head of Union Tobacco and Cigarette Industries at Jebel Ali Free Zone.
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Alexie Trinidad Rieza or simply called “Lexie” by his family and friends is currently the HR Manager and HR Business Partner.He currently leads the HR operations across UAE, Bahrain, Oman, Qatar and Kuwait for the Global Business Services Division of the Nielsen Company, the leading global information and measurement company, that provides market research, insights & data about what people watch & what people buy.
An HR practitioner for almost a decade now, he actually never planned to be one. “I believe I got into this field through Divine providence. Back in 2007, when I was looking for a job, I just tried my luck and applied in almost all HR entry level vacancies and posts that I see in the newspapers even though I only have related experience in it being a teacher. But when I finally got a call for an interview and later was offered for an HR post, I never looked back since then.”
After his appointment as an HR lead, he was tasked to do a company handbook for their offices across UAE, Bahrain, Oman, Qatar and Kuwait – a project which he did find the most challenging yet most exciting. Since joining his company back in 2008, he has already been a recipient of the prestigious Nielsen Simply Excellent Award, a global recognition award for excellence at work and for exemplifying and demonstrating the company values for a record-breaking 8 times.
His bachelor’s degree in Classical Philosophy from the Immaculate Conception Major Seminary and master’s degree in Philosophy from the University of Santo Tomas enable him to construe and simplify complex theories in HR while on the other hand his master’s degree in Human Resources from Middlesex University – UK (Dubai Campus) aides him to put those theories into practice.
It is also noteworthy to mention that his membership in the Chartered Institute of Personnel Development (CIPD) of UK provides him the competence to practice HR in global context.
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THE BLOGGER. Ulysses Espartero is a journalist, historian and book author who traces his roots from two Philippine jewels – Laguna and Antique. While in Dubai, he enjoyed his expat life documenting the struggles and victories of migrant workers in the Gulf Cooperation Council states. In 2014, he released Precious Gems in a Desert of Gold, the first and only coffee table book about Filipino achievers in the United Arab Emirates. Connect with him on facebook.