August 19

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Back in the Monkey Suit: ADP meets AMCHAM

Last week was a very touching and emotional experience. I gained such insight into the global healthcare challenges of third world countries. It was front and center in Mindanao. I feel I am forever changed after witnessing such extreme human suffering and death from largely preventable circumstances.

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Leaving those Filipino communities, I had ADP top of mind. I did a ‘5 Why Analysis” as to how such attrosities can occur in the twentieth century with available vaccines and medical assistance. The root cause is a lack of awareness and funding. How do we close the gap? Clearly the story needs told. Additionally, external corporate sponsors are needed to fund such projects.

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Fast forward a few days and I am back in my business attire, i.e. the monkey suit, to relate these stories to key potential corporate sponsors in hopes of their helping our cause.

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I have always believed a strong relationship is essential to business success. I have put this to the test with our Save Internal Sparebucks Campaign and got newfound successes. People partner with those they know and like. In my case, it was someone who offered free swimming lessons seaside. I’ll offer more details on that in a future blog. Next goal was recruiting our first external partner. I did just that last week with GSK.

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My next stop was AMCHAM. The American Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines, Inc. is a private, independent and non-profit association incorporated under Philippines laws in July 1920. It is affiliated with the Chamber of Commerce of the U.S.A. (COCUSA) and the Asia-Pacific Council of American Chambers (APCAC). I learned that key decision makers attend their seminars.

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Monday, I attended a seminar on employee engagement. Not only was it a great learning I’ll take back for my GSK team stateside, it opened my eyes on how CEO’s think in the Philippines. I heard from two such leaders who spoke of humanitarian outreach and mission work as key drivers to employee development. These are perfect ties into my fundraising work for Save the Children.

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AMCHAM maintains close liaison with other foreign chambers in Manila and Philippine business groups: the Employers’ Confederation of the Philippines (ECOP), Philippine Chamber of Commerce & Industry (PCCI), Philippine Association of Multinational Regional Headquarters (PAMURI), Makati Business Club (MBC), Management Association of the Philippines (MAP), Financial Executives Institute of the Philippines (FINEX), and other trade and business organizations.

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I got to meet additional key employer decision makers at a cocktail reception on Tuesday evening.

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This organization also networks in the U.S. with the Philippine-American Chamber of Commerce in New York, US-RP Business Committee, Asia Society, and the US-ASEAN Council.

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I gained valuable contacts and business wisdom from a couple retired military men. One was a retired Five Star General from the Pentagon, while another a navy officer who was based at Lemoore Naval Base. It’s such a small world as this is where my daughter lives. My mind was a sponge as I asked questions and listened, soaking up many valuable lessons.

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AmCham also works closely with the American Embassy in Manila, particularly with the Foreign Commercial Service, the Economic Section, the Agricultural Office, USAID, and the Consular Section. I was pleased to learn last night that my Pulse senior mentor also had doors open thru AMCHAM on her foreign assignment in Romania.

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I uncovered forty seven new leads to further my fundraising campaign for Save. Today was spent following up with emails and setting up meetings. I actually even got a first meeting today. Doors really are opening now. I can call a company and get put straight thru to the CEO or his secretary to schedule time. Wow!

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I also rubbed elbows with three Philippine basketball players and their coach who is from Oregon.

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Greg Slaughter is a seven foot tall star. His stature is impressive in America, much less here where that height is unheard of. These lovely gentlemen introduced me to the team marketing director and a door was opened to possibly get our logo on the team jerseys. Now that’s how AMCHAM gets you connected.

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I continue to see how much I am growing in my Pulse assignment. I really felt guilty eating such fine cuisine last night. The food was plentiful and included sweet and sour prawns, a favorite of this seafood loving gal. It was hard to eat, however, as I thought back in those poor families I met at our GSK funded project. I am realizing what is important in life. As long as people, especially children, are suffering from hunger and poor medical care, I feel the world is not truly at peace.

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I encourage each of you to volunteer a day at a local charity. GSK allows its employees an Orange Day for this purpose. I think you will grasp a bit better what really matters in life. Change begins with just one voice. It could be yours!