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 T1 Team Heads: Laurenz Santa Cruz, Design & Build

T1’s Design & Build service is a testament to their commitment to providing a full-service experience to its clients. From interior design, project management, and construction proper, the team is headed by Laurenz Santa Cruz. 

As a licensed architect with extensive field experiencein vertical construction and fit-out projects. She has previously worked on architectural design, quantity surveying, quality assurance and quality control, procurement management, and project management.  
 
Leading one of the core services team within the company, Laurenz finds the challenges she encounters at work exciting.  

“We often face the challenge of delivering a project within a timeline and a set budget,” she shares. “We focus on interior design principles and engineering efficiencies to align our client’s budget with their business requirements, and then we go all in to deliver their project successfully.” 

Laurenz draws inspiration from her client’s individual characteristics and brand identity when leading a project at hand. “We strive to have an understanding of our client’s business,” she said. “This is why meeting with them and hearing their story is very crucial in delivering a design and build project that is specific for them, and reflects our client’s identity.” 

Overseeing client meetings, design, costing, and construction, Laurenz takes pride in her team. T1 is made up of professionals who give emphasis on collaborative and collective work and take action to achieve a goal and successfully finish a project. 

“One of the most exciting parts of the work for me involved the whole team. I distinctly remember our PM team joined together for a PC installation for one of our clients,” she shares. “We all gathered, unboxed, and set up the computers. It was a simple moment, yet it was very unique and memorable for me as it definitely helped strengthen the bond within our T1 team.” 

The T1 Blueprint 

Laurenz shares what makes T1 different from the others: “T1 believes in the ‘Best Practice and Commitment- Based Approach’. We at T1 hold this principle close to our minds and hearts. We believe that delivering what you had committed to our clients will reflect our understanding of what they value and how we take good care of them.” 

Laurenz reiterates the importance of aligning with the client’s goals and needs. “We are responsible and driven to achieve the same goal with the client as translated to our output,”Laurenz said. “Our work doesn’t end once we have delivered the project,” she added. “We build relationships with our clients because we give them importance. We look to extend our relationship with clients further than what is detailed in our contracts and this reflects T1’s commitment to project excellence that delivers.”