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.”

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.”