T1 welcomes the newest head of the Design & Build Team, Ara Lao

As a seasoned engineer in the industry, Ara is excited to lead a team of skilled architects and engineers as the new head of T1’s Design and Build department. Focusing on corporate and commercial fit outs, Ara is looking forward to working with a team of like-minded and passionate people.

Joining T1 has been a very positive experience so far for Ara. Guided by her vision and goal to complete and deliver projects through a more design driven, economical and sustainable approach, she and her team want to add value for their clients by promoting T1’s capabilities and standards.

“T1’s ‘goal of conceptualizing tailor-fitted projects to our client’s specific requirement’ is exciting and inspiring for me. I want to lead the team well and raise more awareness about the company’s standards, the expertise of each team member, and the quality of service we consistently deliver,” she expressed. “I joined T1 because I can see myself growing with great mentors guiding me, impressive team members, and a company vision that is inspiring in the industry.”

With her impressive resume, skills, and knowledge acquired through her years of delivering projects, Ara shared that her values and ideals are aligned with the company. “I always strive to find the best solutions for my clients. Having been in the construction industry for 11 years, I know the ins and outs of each stage – whether it be project management, design, quantity surveying, or construction. I know what goes into making projects a success for our clients.”

Ara shared that the knowledge and experience she has gathered through the years are what helped her relate to her teammates and bring out the best in them.

“My leadership style is focused in bringing out the strengths and adapting to the weaknesses of my team members. As a leader, I want to mentor them so that one day they too can be leaders in their field.”

“The team has given me a very warm welcome. Working with them and seeing the passion that they have for what they do tells me our team wants to “get the job done and done well!”

Meet the Team Heads: Jen Panganiban, Office Manager

For years, Jen’s work routine has revolved around putting everything in place for T1 Project Management. Handling the day-to-day operations of a dynamic company like T1 is as exciting as it is challenging. Coming from a different walk of life, she admits that doing something you are not familiar with can be scary at first, but with the right people, motivation, and training, you’ll get there.

“It was not smooth at first,” Jen shared. “But T1 has become a home and learning institution for me. They train you how to think. They challenge you to be better. They provide a role model for you,” she added.

Being one of the pioneer employees when T1 started in 2016, Jen describes her relationship with the company as mutually beneficial – she watched the company grow and the company molded the person she is today in return. Being the “fixer” and the “go-to” person of everyone in the team made Jen realize how essential her role is in the company. However, she admits at times, the pressure can get to her.

“I had doubtsabout coming to the construction sector, as I came from a different industry, and I had heard construction can be fast paced and high pressure, but as I strived to learn and familiarized myself with how things work, I found my place within the company.”

For Jen, getting her work done is not only about completing operational tasks or overseeing processes, it is building a connection with each of her team members to gain their trust and confidence. “I have gotten to know each individual that comprises the team and learned how they would help in making a project successful. I have learned to adapt to all sorts of people. I try my very best to connect with each of them, thankfully, the management is supportive enough to provide us a good working atmosphere by having our team lunches, seminars, team building, and virtual parties.”

Office Manager and Home Maker

More than just a company, T1 serves as family for Jen. “We created a strong bond which was paramount for me. Through the years the management has made me feel that I am a trusted to represent the company and make decisions, and I am very much thankful for that.” To her, the whole team and the management is a whole support system that will always have her back.

Moreover, the company is Jen’s home – a happy place where she works, laughs, and learns. “It’s somewhere where you are valued, respected, and cared for. Most importantly, I believe that home means a secure, cheerful place where you are respected and loved.”

“I help fix almost all of the issues in the office from simple attendance glitch to basically project closing. I can say that I’m the go-to person of everyone who needs advice or directions on their current professional and sometimes personal matters.” She compares her role as the office manager and as a home maker and realize it’s essentially the same. “As a mom of 2 boys with different personalities and preferences, you can only imagine how I am able to handle dealing with lots of different persons in one go. It’s initially challenging but eventually satisfying seeing them overcome their problems.”

What makes her stay

It’s the little things that matter to Jen, and not surprisingly, with the company that has been her home for the past years. “They value the smallest view or opinion you contribute to the team. It breaks down the wall that makes people hesitate to share what they know because of fear of being judged,” she shared. What makes it more rewarding are the benefits and perks T1 offers its people – from wellness programs to activities that foster collaboration and team bond. “They will let you see that you must have a work-life balance by providing activities that would let us have fun and enjoy work at the same time. Who would not stay for that?

Meet the Team Heads: John Fiel Almosara, General Manager

John’s day typically starts with his teammates in mind. As the General Manager of T1, his role within the team is more crucial than ever as the world adapts to the far-reaching effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. As the main overseer of the tasks, projects, deliverables, and the overall day-to-day operations of the whole company, he admits that he makes it a point to manage each workday properly by touching base as much as he could.

“I’ve always made it a point to catch up with the team on the projects they are handling. Given the pandemic, my day typically starts with conference calls for each project, which goes throughout the day. In between, I go through my emails, check our financials, HR matters, and other project deliverables,” he shared.

T1’s General Manager believes that how a company treats its people reflects on the company’s reputation, and directly translated to the quality of its output. Aiming to always be on top of everything, John shares he always goes back to one of the main principles of the company. He focuses on prioritizing what to do first by keeping its employees in mind. “The welfare of our staff comes first. As we are a manpower-based company, we must make sure that our people have all the tools they need to perform their tasks,” he added.

More than keeping all the projects in line and successfully delivered, John said that the challenge is making sure T1 employees feel happy with their work. “I have been with T1 from the very beginning, and for the past several years I have witnessed how far we have come,” he shared. “The most challenging part of being a General Manager is keeping everyone in the company happy and keeping employee morale high especially during the pandemic.”

John noted that the COVID-19 pandemic and its consequent lockdowns and quarantines are something nobody has foreseen and prepared for, but he is grateful to have a team that is very supportive and thinks of the company’s benefit as a whole. “There have been some sacrifices that needed to be taken, and I am just glad that the team has been supportive and understanding. Thanks to them we have kept everyone and have avoided retrenchment of our employees. , ”

Transitioning into the new normal has been quite the adjustment to everyone, including the construction industry.. “We hold virtual meetings, implement adaptive ways of conducting inspections, ensure stricter implementation of safety protocols, and extend programs of work, among others,” John said. “We also had to modify some of our systems to make sure we are practicing the protocols set by the government for the safety of the project team while ensuring our client’s expectations are well managed. ” For John, the pandemic has opened other opportunities in the industry, and sees a bright future ahead for the business “We still have a long journey ahead of us, but I see T1 being one of the top construction consultancy firms in the country with the help of our dedicated staff and the values we live by as a company.”

On the subject of managing projects, John adds, “The most exciting part of the job is when we get through a major hurdle on the project. This is mainly because the team has come together, and each made every effort to resolve the issue. This boosts the morale of everyone and inspires us to be better.”

As a General Manager, he always ensures that the team members of T1 get the support that they need, especially given the current work set up. “The staff is our top priority. They are the reason T1 Project Management is where it is today.”