Summit keynote speakers
Ambassador Petronila P. Garcia
Philippine Ambassador to Canada
Ambassador Petronila P. Garcia is the Philippine Ambassador to Canada—the first woman to be appointed to this Foreign Service Post (FSP). She is a seasoned career diplomat who is the first female Philippine Ambassador to an Arab country. She began her tour of duty as the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to the Arab Republic of Egypt with concurrent jurisdiction over Sudan.
Prior to her nearly four-year stint in Egypt, she represented the Philippines in various capacities through her foreign postings in Singapore, Australia, South Africa, and South Korea. Ambassador Garcia served as the Philippine Ambassador to Israel from 2009-2011.
At the home front, she took on various roles as the Assistant Secretary for the Office of Middle East and African Affairs, the Executive Director of the Office of the Undersecretary for Migrant Workers’ Affairs, and the Executive Director of the Office of the United Nations and Other International Organizations. Ambassador Garcia is a member of the exclusive Mensa Club, a international group of individuals whose IQs belong to the top 2 percentile.
Sheila Lirio Marcelo
Founder, Chairwoman & CEO, Care.com
Sheila Lirio Marcelo's inspiration to found Care.com stemmed from both her personal and professional experiences. A young mother with two small children who also became part of the "sandwich generation" caring for her parents at an early age, Sheila was challenged to find quality care solutions. She knew this problem was not unique to her family and that there had to be a better solution than the yellow pages. Her career firmly rooted in technology, she knew that was the answer and founded Care.com in 2006. Today, the company is the world’s largest online destination for finding and managing family care, with more than 25.2 million members across 20 countries.
Sheila's passion for technology developed during her time as a management consultant and a teaching fellow at Harvard Business School. Her growing appreciation for the power of technology to help solve real problems for people led her to Upromise, where she was VP of Product Management and Marketing for the service that helped families save for college, and then to executive search engine TheLadders.com, where she was VP and General Manager. Following TheLadders.com, she was an Entrepreneur in Residence at Matrix Partners where she developed the plan for Care.com.
As Care.com has grown and scaled, Sheila has been honored with numerous accolades, including one of the "Top 10 Women Entrepreneurs" at Fortune's Most Powerful Women Summit (2009) and Fortune Magazine (2014), the youngest recipient of the lifetime award by HBS – the Harvard Business School Alumni Achievement Award (2014), and bestowed one of the highest honors for Filipinos, the Filipino Heritage Award or Pamana ng Pilipino from President Benigno Aquino III of the Philippines.
Sheila is also a Henry Crown Fellow with the Aspen Institute (Class of 2012), was awarded a Marshall Memorial Fellowship (Class of 2011), and named a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum (Class of 2011).
Sheila is a Board Trustee of the Philippine Development Foundation, a non-profit organization that works with the Philippine government on education, innovation and entrepreneurship initiatives. In addition, she sits on the Advisory Board for the Harvard Business School Rock 100 Entrepreneurs Summit, and is an advisor to several start-up companies.
Sheila founded WomenUp.org in 2010 to increase women's roles in the global economy by providing leadership training, mentorship and support to girls and women through every stage of their lives and careers. A frequent speaker on women in technology and female entrepreneurship and leadership, Sheila has spoken alongside President Obama at the White House Summit on Working Families (2014), with global political and business leaders at The World Economic Forum (2013, 2015), and to emerging female leaders at Harvard University (2013) and CEOs at Northeastern University (2013).
Sheila graduated magna cum laude from Mount Holyoke College with a degree in Economics and received her J.D. and M.B.A. degrees, with honors and the Dean's Award from Harvard University.
Chair, AirAsia Zest
Chief Executive Officer, Philippines AirAsia, Inc.
Maan Hontiveros has been a student and youth travel pioneer, a television producer and host, journalist, publishing executive, multi-media production leader, staunch advocate for the conservation and protection of the environment, music industry managing director, and a passionate promoter and supporter of Filipino arts, film, dance, music and culture before she assumed responsibility as Chief Executive Officer of Philippines’ AirAsia, Inc. She is concurrently the Chair of AirAsia Zest.
An English major graduate of St. Scholastica’s College, Maan is also a Candidate for Bachelor of Music, Major in Guitar Performance at the same college. Her passion for music led her to set up Warner Music Philippines as Managing Director. At Warner Music she worked closely with Warner Music Malaysia MD and ASEAN Regional Head, Tony Fernandes, who later went on to shake up the aviation industry by establishing Malaysia and ASEAN’s first budget no-frills airline which is now known as AirAsia.
Her current business and civic affiliations are: Grassroots Marketing and Film Production, Inc., Board Member; Ms. Ellaneous Productions, Inc., Chairman; Bamacom, Inc., Board Member; Calatagan Golf and Country Club, Director; Ballet Philippines Foundation, Trustee and Vice-Chair; Manila Symphony Orchestra Foundation, Trustee and President; Public Trust Media Group Inc. / Newsbreak Publishing, Member, Board of Advisers; Cinemalaya Foundation Inc., Board Member; Maximo T. Kalaw Institute for Sustainable Development, Trustee and Treasurer; Guitar Friends Inc, Board Member; Reef Check Conservation Program, Inc., Board Member & Chair; Spirit of Edsa Foundation, Trustee; Children’s Orchestra Society, International Advisory Board Member.
Nora K. Terrado
Undersecretary, Trade and Investments, Philippines Department of Trade & Industry
Nora K. Terrado took on the TIPG Portfolio of the DTI in January 2016. As TIPG Undersecretary, she oversees the Foreign Trade Service Corps (FTSC), Export Marketing Bureau (EMB), Bureau of Domestic Trade Promotions (BDTP), Center for International Trade Expositions and Missions (CITEM), Philippine Trade Training Center (PTTC), and Design Center of the Philippines. As Governor of the Board of Investments (BOI), she provides strategic direction on investment promotions and assistance.
Prior to her appointment as the TIPG Undersecretary, she was the executive leader for DTI’s Management Services Group (MSG). Among her key initiatives are the Ease of Doing Business (EODB), the APEC Women and the Economy (APEC WE) and the DTI-wide roll out of the Performance Governance System resulting in DTI attaining Level 4 (highest) with the Gold Trailblazer Award and as among the 12 Islands of Good Governance (IGG) conferred by the Institute for Solidarity in Asia (ISA).
Before heeding the call of public service, Nora was an accomplished business executive in the Information Technology and Business Process Management (IT-BPM) Industry, with proven track record of running successful business transformations and change programs enabled by process and technology for global corporations. She was the Country Manager of Headstrong Philippines (a GENPACT Company) for over 10 years and the Site Leader for IT Services for global customers engaged in Capital Markets, Financial Services, Healthcare and Technology.
As a finance executive, she was the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) for the APAC Region of Headstrong, Inc. (the erstwhile James Martin & Co). She also served as the Financial Controller for the Southeast Asia operations of Circle Freight International/Harper Group, a US publicly-party company engaged in third-party logistics for the global movement of goods and information. She trained and practiced in public accountancy at SGV & Co/Arthur Andersen.
Nora was the President of the Philippine Software Industry Association (PSIA) from 2011 to 2013. She served for many years as Director/Trustee of PSIA and the IT-Business Processing Association of the Philippines (IBPAP) and was an active member of the American Chamber of Commerce.
She completed the Executive Graduates Program in Strategic Economics at the University of Asia and the Pacific (UA&P) in Pasig City, Philippines. As a State Scholar, she earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Commerce and Associate Studies in Liberal Arts at the University of St. La Salle, Bacolod City, Philippines. She is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) and a member of the Philippine Institute of CPAs (PICPA).
A high-energy person, with a bias for action to deliver value and results for her stakeholders, Nora is a staunch advocate and believer of the philosophy that healthy companies make a strong industry and contribute to better societies.
She continues to mentor start-up companies in technology and coaches fresh graduates as they start their careers in IT and Business Process. As pay-forward initiative, she selectively provides executive coaching for future business leaders.
U.S. White House Executive Chef
Born in Manila, Philippines, Cristeta “Cris” Comerford now works in the most famous house in the United States of America. Mrs. Comerford became the first woman to become the executive chef at the White House since the Kennedys appointed the position to a high- profile statement of personal style. She is also the first minority, a Filipino-American to hold the position. Serving as an assistant chef during the Clinton Administration, her consummate passion and talents proved worthy. Mrs. Laura Bush appointed her in August, 2005.
She continues to serve the President and First Lady Michelle Obama. Her many responsibilities include designing and executing menus for state dinners, social events, holiday functions, receptions and official luncheons. The First Lady’s Food Initiatives have encouraged her White House culinary team to adopt an elementary school in DC, the Harriet Tubman Elementary School as a part of the Let’s Move Campaign. Her team of chefs have continually embraced healthy cooking and eating as a passion and lifestyle choice.
Chef Comerford attended the University of the Philippines to pursue a Bachelor of Science in Food Technology. Her 26 years of culinary experience include fine dining restaurants in Washington DC, Chicago, Austria, Napa Valley and France. As a member of the Club Chefs du Chef, an association of chefs of heads of states, she had continually pursued her growth in techniques, abilities and food trends.
Because of her strong belief in family and community, she had faithfully served as a church deacon and currently leading a home study group with her husband, John. They have both volunteered on humanitarian trips to an impoverished town in Brazil.
Her daughter Danielle had shown her culinary interest by writing their New Year’s Eve Dinner menu and family events. They live in Columbia, Maryland in between visiting families in Seattle and Chicago.