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26/04/2012: Prominent Filipinos in Government and Business to Speak in Memphis Forums

To speak at various forums during the Memphis in May Festival are, clockwise from upper left, Ambassador Jose Cuisia, Tourism Secretary Ramon Jimenez, Mr. Guillermo Luz, Architect Augusto Villalon, Dr. Jaime C. Montoya, and Mr. Aurelio Montinola III.


26 April 2012, Washington DC. A number of distinguished guests from the Philippines, experts in their respective fields, will share their professional experiences with the audiences in Memphis throughout the month of May during the Memphis in May International Festival (MIMIF).

The series of events will begin on May 8 with Architect Augusto Villalon as the featured speaker during the Architects of the World Luncheon at the University Club. Mr. Villalon is an expert in heritage conservation, recently serving as the Philippine Representative to the UNESCO World Heritage Committee in Paris, among other posts.

In the same day, Mr. Guillermo Luz, co-Chair of the National Competitiveness Council (NCC) for the Philippine private sector, will make a presentation to the business community at the luncheon meeting of the Memphis Rotary Club. He will also conduct the “Doing Business in the Philippines” seminar at the Hilton Hotel on May 10. The seminar will feature panelists from private-sector business and the U.S. Commercial Services and will also discuss the economic advantages available to companies with trade relations with the Philippines.

On May 9, Mr. Aurelio Montinola III, president and CEO of Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI) and former president of the Bankers Association of the Philippines (BAP), will speak at the Economic Club of Memphis (Clark Tower) on major Philippine economic developments and the global economic perspectives.

This will be followed by the International Business Council Luncheon on May 10 at the Hilton Hotel, which will have Philippine Ambassador to the United States Jose L. Cuisia, Jr. as the keynote speaker. The Ambassador will talk about stratregic trade and investment opportunities in the Philippines, given the challenges of a globalized economy and the emerging ASEAN Economic Community (AEC). Prior to assuming his position as the Philippines’ top diplomat in the U.S., Ambassador Cuisia served as president and CEO of the Philippine American Life and General Insurance Company, the largest life insurance company in the Philippines. He also served as Central Bank governor from 1990 to 1993, among other high-level positions in the private and public sectors.

Philippine Tourism Secretary Ramon R. Jimenez, Jr. will take part in a luncheon forum on May 11 to be co-hosted by the Memphis Convention and Visitors Bureau and Memphis Hotel Association. Secretary Jimenez was picked by President Aquino to be the country’s tourism chief in September 2011. He was formerly the senior consultant and joint chief executive officer of WOO (Winning Over Obstacles) Consultants, joint CEO of JimenezBasic Advertising from 1989 to 2008, as well as the vice-president and executive creative director at Ace-Saatchi & Saatchi Advertising from 1988 to 1989. Secretary Jimenez will also introduce the Philippines’ tourism marketing campaign dubbed, “It’s More Fun in the Philippines!” in other key events at the festival.

On May 17, Dr. Jaime C. Montoya, Executive Director of the Philippine Council for Health Research and Development (PCHRD), will address a luncheon forum with the members of the Memphis Bioworks Business Association and the Greater Memphis Chamber Life Science Council – both organizations represent and promote health, medical and biomedical companies in the Memphis region.

Top MIMIF and Memphis City officials and corporate executives had a productive visit to the Philippines (Manila and Cebu) last March 17 to 24 to explore business opportunities and visit the country’s cultural amenities and tourist destinations.

The award-winning festival has chosen the Philippines as the 2012 honored country and will celebrate its culture, customs, cuisine and commerce during the entire month of May. For more information, interested parties may visit the official website of the MIMIF at www.memphisinmay.org. END