Meet the Team Heads: Dovie Ancheta, Licensed Architect and Head of Iloilo Office and Operations

“Construction, project, and people management have always been my passion since I was little,” T1’s Iloilo Team Head Dovie Ancheta shares. “Earning people’s trust and respect, by advocating and sharing professionalism and passion to a high standard work quality is a small but satisfying return that I will never get tired of.”

Being assigned to spearhead a team away from the head office is a balance of excitement, opportunity, and struggle for Dovie who is a licensed architect. Iloilo is known as one of the top tourist destinations in the Philippines and one of the emerging next wave cities in the country. She spearheads a remote team in the province which primarily handles corporate and hospitality projects for firms, multinational companies, hotels, and resorts in Visayas.

“It’s like an all-expense-paid vacation! Accommodation, transportation, and food are all included,” Dovie joked when asked about the best part of her work. “But kidding aside, it is always a good experience to be assigned elsewhere, meeting and managing new people we end up being friends with who are potential assets to myself and the company.”

Dovie acknowledges that it takes a lot of responsibility, dedication, and skills to lead a remote team. Representing T1 in Iloilo, she shares that more than creating connections, she aims to “establish mutual trust and respect between the team and people we work with.”

“Not only within the T1 team, but also to the people we mingle with daily – from our clients, vendors, and contractors to our drivers, guards, and local construction workers,” Dovie said. “For me, our field is not only delivering the project in a quality and timely manner, but it is also keeping our peers/network intact with mutual trust and good relationship upon each and every closeout.”

In contrast with the competitive, fast-paced, almost 24/7 working time in Manila and Metro Cebu, Dovie shared that their approach is ‘gentler’, adapting to the local cultureof their clients in Iloilo. “Locals are very ‘malambing’ (sweet) and ‘matampuhin’ (sensitive)’,” she shared. “Language barrier can be difficult as well, but it is always good to expand our vocabulary skills.”

However, this change in leadership style and work culture does not diminish T1’s commitment to delivering quality projects and builds. “We maintain the company’s standards in delivering quality work harmoniously.” Working amid the pandemic opened a greater challenge for Dovie and the team. “It was like a bomb, but we dared to continue working with extreme caution,” she shared. “Despite the pandemic, the team agreed to report on-site to set an example and display the sense of urgency and continuity to the project overall—strictly following health protocol and measures.”

Dovie takes pride in practicing a standard throughout every work or task she is assigned to. “I am proud of managing people and earning respect and trust, not only from the team internally but most especially from our clients.” She also feels most proud of starting up a project and setting up a standard system.

“I personally am grateful to learn something new in the process, including understanding how to deal with different types of people we work with,” she shared. “While I am an architect by profession, my passion is inclined to project and people management.”

T1’s ideals and company values inspire Dovie to be a great leader and example to her team. “T1 will always stand out by maintaining and meeting our network’s crucial expectations with utmost importance.”

For Dovie, the best reward in her line of work is the satisfaction of delivering beyond the client’s requirements and standards. “I literally got a random “tight hug” from our client’s CEO after a high-level meeting. Everyone had an “awe” face after that. It sounds funny, but her way of showing appreciation (in front of her company’s directors and chairman), made it unexpected and very memorable to me.”

Aside from delivering quality results, T1 inspires their people to do what they love and enjoy what they do. “I’ll share what I recall from our company chairman, who used to ask us one by one in the office before: “Are you happy? Because that’s also very important”. This same question made me realize that our team values and ethics are not only about delivering quality output and meeting demands, it is also about ensuring our people are well managed. It’s never the quantity, but always the quality of our work.”