We wish to thank the judges for their dedication to human resources and we wish them luck in deciding the winners!
Annella Heytens is Vice President and Head of Human Resources for Asia Pacific, Japan and China (APJC) at Cisco Systems, based in Singapore. She has over 20 years’ experience in human resources and business management experience with increasing levels of responsibility in human capital management, financial analysis, and compensation and benefits. Annella holds Master’s degrees from Tufts University and Cornell University.
As part of the APJC Senior Leadership Team, Annella is responsible for over 21,000 Cisco people across 18 locations. She provides overall vision and supports the execution of business strategies and plans through the implementation of people strategies and solutions that support short- and long-term business objectives. She drives organizational performance and business results by optimizing and expanding the capabilities of the workforce as well as designs and implements programs to ensure a high level of employee engagement.
Prior to this role at Cisco, Annella was the Global Services and APJC Compensation and Benefits (C&B) leader based in Bangalore, India. Her past experiences include working at consulting firm Watson Wyatt as the Global Head of Research and Innovation Development, located within Global Research and Innovation Services. At Watson Wyatt, she also served as International Practice Leader based in San Francisco, California; Asia Pacific Director of Data Services based in Jakarta, Indonesia; Managing Consultant, Shared Services Center based in Manila, Philippines; and Managing Consultant in Beijing, China. In addition to managing profit and loss statements (P&L) and consultants, she advised on a wide range of C&B issues, including sales and broad-based compensation, executive and stock-based compensation, benefits and retirement, human resources, performance management and human resources technologies. Prior to working for Watson Wyatt, Annella worked in the areas of finance and IT in the Greater Washington, DC area. She also had a career in Nutrition and Dietetics.
Freddie has more than 20 years’ experience in human resource management and 24 years with the Sanofi Group. He has extensive HR management experience, holding various leadership HR positions in manufacturing, commercial and the region. Freddie moved to Shanghai in 2001 as Head of HR for the China operations. During his 13 years of China assignment, Freddie has made significant contributions including Sanofi-Aventis merger, started Sanofi University, China Talent Center and large scale up of sales force.
In 2003, Freddie was named China “HR Director of the Year” and in 2012, Freddie was named “15 People of 15 Years” in the China Staff Awards by CCH. He has a Masters in Human Resource Management from Rutgers University. Freddie is a Certified Compensation Professional with WorldatWork and is currently a teaching faculty member in China and Singapore.
Sylvia will oversee the full spectrum in planning and implementing people strategies for the CrimsonLogic Group globally. She brings more than 20 years of HR (Human Resources) experience and will be leading the Group HR to develop workforce strategies, drive Organizational & Talent Development, and succession planning across the various CrimsonLogic offices and business groups.
Prior to joining CrimsonLogic, Sylvia was working with Jardine Lloyd Thompson Limited in Hong Kong as the Regional Director of Human Resources for Asia for close to three years. Before Jardine Lloyd Thompson, she was the Business Services Director for Royal & Sun Alliance Insurance in China overseeing Human Resources, IT, Business Operations and the Global Business Network across Beijing, Shanghai and Nanjing.
Her other professional experience includes three years working with Convergys and seven years in HP-EDS. Sylvia holds a Bacheor of Science, Pharmacy, from the National University of Singapore.
Newly settled in Singapore in summer 2014, Franck Gourlaouen is the Vice President for Asia Human Resources in Gemalto covering both Greater China & Korea and South Asia & Japan organizations.
An ardent believer in the philosophy of “promotion from within”, Franck encourages people to think long term and develop themselves by taking risks and to be the actor of their career.
As a HR practitioner for over 20 years covering HRIS, manufacturing, R&D, marketing and now Asia teams Franck has always been working closely with his operational managers, positioning himself and his team as business partners
Franck’s contribution to the development of the technical community and his active involvement in the design & deployment of the Technical Ladder is considered as the pinnacle of his HR career, allowing a world-wide recognition among Gemalto technical community.
He also initiated the development of an online knowledge sharing tool allowing the quick identification of technical experts on the different branches of the competencies tree.
Franck has a Masters degree in Law from the University of Caen (Normandy). He is married with 2 children and likes swimming, running, and cycling. Franck, being French, undeniably enjoys good food & wine.
Heather Lim is the Director & Chief Operations Officer for ZEISS SEA Group and is based in Singapore. In addition she also holds office as Chief Officer for Human Resources for the group. She has over 20 years’ experience in the HR arenas of Strategic HR Business Partnership, Learning and Development, Policy Development, HR Marketing , Performance & Talent Management, Employee Relations, Compensation and Benefits, HR Systems, Talent Acquisition and Group Compliance. The company achieved several public awards including Best Employer Brand, Training Excellence and Marketing. Prior to joining ZEISS, Heather held an administrative management position at PricewaterhouseCoopers, where she was a member of the team responsible for the company’s merger in APAC.
Heather worked across corporate functions in Hong Kong and London before settling down in Singapore. She is also a Certified Assessor for business excellence with European Foundation of Quality Management (EFQM).
Susana Garcia Bernal is a creative and dynamic senior HR professional with over 20 years of experience in multiple industries and geographical regions around the World. She moved over to Singapore in 2013 with her husband and daughter in her role as the Vice President of Human Resources, NBC Universal Asia Pacific. Prior to her career in NBC Universal, Susana was with GE, in multiple businesses.
She is Spanish and have lived and worked in Spain, The Netherlands, Italy and the United Kingdom.
Benjamin has 20 years experience, with 15 years in a direct HR capacity. He spent the last 6 years in Business Partnering roles, working at International level and coordinating the HR activities of numerous subsidiaries in Asia, Europe, Africa, Middle East and North America.
His experience covers a number of industry sectors: Pharmaceutical and medical device, Energy, Automation, Electronic and Software, the Steel Industry and the Oil & Gas industry. Over the past years, he has been specializing in transformational change in HR and finding ways to simplify HR processes to respond to the new challenges within business.
As Chief People Officer, Stephanie is building a team which encompasses all aspects of human resources such as talent acquisition, HRIS, compensation & benefits, learning & organizational development, HR operations and business partnership. In this role, she partners with the Founders and Executive Leadership team to accelerate growth and accomplish aggressive business goals.
Stephanie has more than two decades of HR experience. Prior to RedMart, Stephanie served in various HR leadership capacities at Allergan, Microsoft, and BHP Billiton. She has worked in multiple roles across industries, business units, functional areas, and geographies in local, multi-country, and global capacities based in North America, South America, and Asia Pacific.
Stephanie graduated from Syracuse University with a Bachelor Degree in Management and holds a Diploma in Human Resources from University of California, Berkeley.
Additionally, Stephanie complements to her passion for the human resources profession by volunteering time as an Executive Committee Member of the American Association of Singapore, General Committee Member of the American Club, and Co-Chair of the Human Capital Committee of the American Chamber of Commerce in Singapore.
Outside of the profession, Stephanie enjoys time with her husband and two daughters, and their exploration of the diversity of cultures in Asia Pacific.
Roshni Wadhwa has over 18 years of experience in various roles within Human Resources across diverse organizations.
In her current role as HR Director her key responsibility is to build HR strategy for the company and drive culture of excellence. She has been been L’Oreal for last 3 years, started in India and now in Singapore for last 4 months. Her overall responsibilities include to be strategic business partner and transform the business strategy into HR strategy and prepare organization achieve its aspirational business goals.
Before L’Oreal, Roshni had experience with various local and MNCs companies and has handled various roles in high impact areas.
Through her various roles, Roshni holds expertise in HR Strategy formulation, Building the high performance culture, People Planning, Talent acquisition strategy, engagement and Motivation, Rewards and Recognition, People efficiency and productivity, Career and development planning and execution. Leadership effectiveness and build robust talent pipeline.
Roshni is of strong believe that organizations are not made of walls and machines but ‘PEOPLE, PEOPLE and PEOPLE’. She likes to be called as CEOs’ Enabler in capitalizing the biggest assets of the organization – PEOPLE.
Roshni is Masters in Business Administration (MBA) from the University of Pune.
Leigh Stewart joined Amcor Flexibles Asia Pacific as Vice President Human Resources in April 2015. With several thousand employees supporting 40 plants in 8 countries and revenues in excess of USD$1.4B, Amcor Flexibles Asia Pacific is the leading manufacturer of flexible packaging in the region. As a member of the executive team Leigh is responsible for the Human Resources and Communication functions of the business.
Leigh joined Amcor from the global construction and mining group Leighton where he was the Executive General Manager, People, Safety and Environment for their Asia, India and Offshore businesses based in Hong Kong. Leigh was a member of Leighton’s Asian executive team responsible for the Human Resources, Safety, Environment, Security, Sustainability and Communications for Asian operations and played a key role in shaping business direction and operational performance strategy.
Prior to joining Leighton, Leigh had a successful career leading the human resources function for one of Australia’s largest privately owned companies. Prior to that, as a registered lawyer, Leigh has worked in legal practice and as a consultant specialising in Labour Law and Industrial Relations. Previously Leigh sat on the Board of the Australian Chamber of Commerce for Hong Kong and Macau and was Chairman of the Board’s HR Advisory Committee. Leigh holds a Masters in International Human Resources and a Bachelor of Law.
An HR professional with 15 years of experience specializing in Talent Management, Learning and Leadership Development, Cindy Dermawan is currently the Head of Talent and Learning Management, Diversity and Inclusion for Citi Singapore. In this role, Cindy provides leadership and strategy in the Talent and Learning space and leads the Diversity and Inclusion effort. More specifically, Cindy is responsible for talent management and succession planning at the country leadership level, professional and leadership development programs for employees across levels and country agenda for Diversity and Inclusion.
Cindy joined Citi in 2005 as Instructional Designer for the Operational and Technology unit and moved up to a Learning and Development leadership role in 2007. In this role, she was responsible for designing and implementing learning solutions for the global consumer banking system and eventually expanded to managing employee learning and career development. She took a Group Learning and Development Program Manager role in Standard Chartered Bank in 2010, where she was responsible for managing the Consumer Banking – Branch Manager Programs. Cindy returned to Citi in 2011 and has held various leadership roles in Learning Development and Talent Management.
Cindy started her career in United States as Performance Development Consultant at Walgreens and eventually Instructional Designer for R.R. Donelley and Sons in Chicago, USA. She holds a Master of Arts in Organizational Communications and Bachelor of Arts degree in Business Administration from the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point.
Lip Gee is an experienced HR and Industrial/Organisational practitioner with over 20 years of human resources experience spanned across different industries. Before joining Watsons, she held leadership positions in Grand Hyatt and Sentosa Leisure Group. She is passionate about organisational development and building up people to support business growth and challenges.
She graduated from Nanyang Technological University with a Bachelor in Business (Hons), majoring in HR. She also has a Masters in Industrial/ Organisation Psychology and HR Management from City University of New York and is a member of the Beta Gamma Sigma Honor Society. In addition, she is a certified Hogan user and a certified administrator for Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI), and Strong Interest Inventory.
Archana is an enthusiastic HR professional with 25 years of experience across industries, geographies and companies.
She graduated from Delhi University with Psychology & Maths as her subjects and followed it up with an MBA at the Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore.
She worked a few years in HR consulting for large Indian corporations on professionalising their HR policies and practices. She joined Unilever in India thereafter and worked through a range of local roles, followed by European regional & Global roles in HR based at the Unilever Headquarters in the Netherlands. She joined Shell 8 years ago and is currently based in Singapore as the Global head of Talent & Development for Shell’s Downstream businesses.
Archana believes HR can make a real difference to business outcomes. She is passionate about helping people become better professionals and especially in seeing women succeed at workplaces.
Peter was appointed as Regional Head, Human Resources, ASEAN and South Asia in November 2015 following 3 years as Head, Human Resources, Singapore and ASEAN. Prior to moving to Singapore in 2012, Peter spent 4 years in South Korea as Head of HR, SCB Korea.
During his 13 years with the Bank, Peter has worked in both generalist and specialist HR roles at a Global and Country level including Head of Diversity & Inclusion between 2005 to 2007.
Before joining the Bank, Peter spent 3 years in HR Consulting in the UK working at Arthur Andersen and Deloitte.
Peter holds a BA Honours in Business Studies at Sheffield University, a Diploma in Financial Management, ACCA and is a Chartered Fellow, CIPD.
Peter was a board member of the British Chamber of Commerce in Singapore between 2012 to 2015 and currently sits on the HCLI CHRO Advisory Panel.
Outside work, Peter’s interests includes golf, tennis, cycling and running.
Makarand Tare is a seasoned Human Resources professional with extensive experience across a range of industries including Consulting, Pharmaceuticals/Healthcare, FMCG; Financial & Services and Paints/Chemicals. He has held roles that were both hands on as well as created value at a strategic and corporate level. He has managed the HR function during business mergers, closures, downsizing, restructuring and change management and is experienced in organisational development and aligning employees under global HR policies/processes. Mak also has a Phd in Human Resources and is an accredited coach, trainer and facilitator in organisational development as a change agent. He is accredited in psychometric tests and an advisor to management leadership. Mak is Indian born Australian, working currently in Singapore and has interest in Fengshui, yoga and the study of the human mind.
Ken works closely with the rest of Airbnb’s APAC management team and with the global Employee Experience team, lead out of San Francisco, in an effort to make Airbnb the “Most Loved Place to Work in the World.” This entails driving Airbnb’s talent programs at both a local & regional level and more explicitly fostering its fantastic culture across Asia Pacific. He’s responsible for creating the systems to help talent grow their career rapidly and successfully in an environment that encourages learning and gives opportunities for individuals to challenge themselves.
Prior to joining Airbnb, Ken lead talent in the region for two advertising industry leaders as Chief Talent Officer, APAC for McCann Worldgroup based in Singapore and Regional Talent Director for Ogilvy based out of Hong Kong. Ken has extensive experience in Human Resources and Talent Management, especially across the marketing and communications industry. His specific expertise is in talent development and retention planning; recruitment and training; compensation and benefit strategies; global mobility; employee related legal matters and salary budget management.
Ken came to Asia 17 years ago, originally working in Japan and working his way through Hong Kong and now to Singapore. He’s an avid traveler and explorer of cultures; having visited 50+ countries.
Grace Wong is the Vice President and Regional Head of HR, Samsung covering South East Asia, Oceania and Taiwan. She has extensive experience leading a team of HR professionals in the area of Talent Management, Talent Acquisition and Total Rewards. Prior to Samsung, she was with Thomson Reuters. Grace has worked for MNCs in similar regional capacity in the Information and Technology sectors.
Managing Director, Singapore Head of Human Resources and Head of Business HR for Consumer Banking and Wealth Management (CBG)
Theresa Phua is Singapore Head of Human Resources at DBS Bank. She drives the people agenda in Singapore focusing on developing talent and leadership needed for the organisation’s sustainable growth. She is also Head of Business HR for Consumer Banking and Wealth Management (CBG) where she is responsible for managing the HR function for the CBG Business.
Since joining DBS in 2012, she has held a wide range of roles. Prior to assuming her current position, she was Group HR Chief Operating Officer, Head of Talent Acquisition and HR Communications. Earlier in her career before joining DBS, Theresa was Director, HR, Leadership and Talent, Compensation & Benefits and Global Mobility at Citibank Singapore. She has also worked at HSBC and Sentosa Leisure Group, covering various areas in HR. Learning and growing through her different roles keeps her motivated and she relishes the challenge of working in a fast-paced and ever-changing environment.
Theresa graduated from the National University of Singapore with a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in Political Science, History, and Economics. She also holds a Masters in Human Resource Management from Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey.
Jonathan Tan is the Vice President of Regional Human Resources for NEC APAC. He is responsible for the company’s HR corporate strategy, and advising on human resources and implementations of strategic directions for the APAC region. Prior to joining NEC , he was with Samsung, Kerry Ingredients and Agilent Technologies.