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Awardees are selected and determined by averaging scores assigned by the Selection Committee on the criteria described on the nomination form for activities and projects nominee may have initiated or have been involved in her country of residence:

  1. Impact
  2. Innovation
  3. Involvement
  4. Femtorship (mentorship)
  5. Professionalism
  6. Sustainability (of activity or project she may have started or have been involved)

The following scoring has been set up to be consistent across the award categories and the Selection Committee will provide numerical scores for each of the following final selection scoring:


The degree to which the nominee led the initiative, project or activity, demonstrated by behaviors such as setting clear goals, providing guidance, coaching and support, working through obstacles and/or celebrating success.


The scope, difficulty and size of the initiative, project or activity.


The degree to which the nominee took ownership of the challenges she faced for the initiative, project or activity, demonstrated by behaviors such as helping define outcomes, setting clear goals, providing guidance, working through obstacles and communicating challenges and successes.


  • Primary Economic Sector = includes industries that produce or extract raw materials
    Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing, Farming, Hunting, Mining, Extraction


  • Secondary Economic Sector = includes the manufacturing of natural resources
    Construction, Processing, Auto Production, Textiles, Engineering,  Energy Utilities


  • Tertiary Economic Sector = service industry
    CommunicationCommunication Services, Government Workers (military, law enforcement, politics, public transit), Healthcare, Finance, Education, Entertainment (special events, publishing, motion picture, video & TV, sound & music), Legal, Non-profit/non-governmental, Restaurants, Retail, Travel/Tourism, Transportation, Wholesale


  • Quaternary Economic Sector = knowledge-based and production of information
    Consulting Services (interior design), Information Technology, Financial Planning, Media (journalism), Research & Development



  • Binondo
  • Davao City
  • Makati
  • Manila
  • Olongapo
  • Quezon City
  • Taguig

United Arab Emirates

  • Dubai
  • Ras Al Khaimah

United Kingdom

  • Hertfordshire
  • London

United States

  • California
  • Michigan
  • New Jersey
  • New York


Global FWN100™ 2017 Awardees at the Intercontinental Toronto Centre, October 27, 2017

Global FWN100™ 2017 Awardees at the Intercontinental Toronto Centre, October 27, 2017



This award category recognizes Filipina women who may not have the big title or corner office, but is a driving force behind the success of a social cause or life issue, a community organization's project or initiative; or her employer's organizational business unit or department. Someone who has gone beyond the call of duty to devote time, energy, and resources to advocate for those who need a voice, or support the organization she represents or works for. 

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Ann Mariza Nepomuceno Sanchez-Bensurto,  President, League of San Francisco Consular Corps (LSFCC), California, USA                     
As President of the League of San Francisco Consular Corps (LSFCC), Mariza initiate projects that complement the Philippine Consulate’s advocacy to spark, connect and empower the Filipino community in the Bay Area.

Editha Tijamo Winterhalter, Ed.D., Director of Administrative Services, California State University, California, USA
Edith is focused on paying forward all the opportunities that were given to her throughout her career by helping others succeed, primarily as the Director of Administrative Services at California State University, Northridge (CSUN) and as Chair of the National Executive Board of the International Society of Filipinos in Finance and Accounting (ISFFA). 

Cristina Calaguian, Managing Director and Career Management Consultant, Dagaz HR Consultancy and Recruitment Company FZ LLC,  Dubai, United Arab Emirates
After 11 years of making a name for herself as a Licensed Stockbroker, Cristina  founded Dagaz HR Consultancy and Recruitment Company, a social enterprise that helps people with disability find work.

Engr. Lilian Maria Soriano Bautista, Senior Design and Application Engineer, Daikin Middle East and Africa FZE, Dubai, UAE
Engr. Bautista is a Senior Design and Application Engineer - the only woman in a team of men - and co-founder of the Filipino Digerati Association (FDA), which offers computer-related, personal development and livelihood training courses.

Rosary Escaño, Marketing and Community Relations Head, ABS-CBN Canada, Ontario, Canada
Rosary promotes Philippine culture and identity in Canada by developing key partners with Filipino organizations, media institutions and government agencies that strengthen ABS-CBN Canada's brand through heightened community engagement.



Builders have demonstrated exceptional business impact at a large workplace environment; displaying deep passion for a cause through collaborative initiatives or alliances with corporations or nonprofit organizations on behalf of her own organization; demonstrates high potential and skill with measurable results at a government agency, nonprofit or organization in the public and private sectors. “Buildership” is about building better organizations, leading broken organizations to adjust, repair, and re-align. 

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 Isabelita "Lita" M. Abele, President and CEO, US Lumber, Inc., New Jersey, USA
As President and CEO of U.S. Lumber, Inc., Lita Abele has successfully “gone against the grain” and positioned her certified woman and minority-owned lumber and building materials company as a regional leader in industry sales.

Jacqueline D. Yu, Esq., Estate Attorney, Valensi Rose PLC, California, USA
Jacqueline is an experienced attorney in trusts and estates, tax, and business law, and is also active in non-profit and civic organizations that advocate for human rights and environmental preservation through sustainability-driven innovation and diversity policies.

Leah L. Laxamana, Program Manager, Public Policy, Twitter, Inc., California, USA
Leah is dedicated to promoting equity and empowering global communities. She has the ultimate interdisciplinary background and deep cross-sector experience having worked for prominent institutions in business, such as Twitter and Korn/Ferry, and social sectors, such as the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Peace Corps. 

Lou Olvido Parroco, Human Resources Director, Canadian Energy Equipment Manufacturing FZE, Ras Al Khaimah, UAE
Lou's skills and HR management expertise has led her to take on a Global Human Resources Manager role at LMKR Holdings, where she instituted several HR frameworks that increased employee efficiency and improved working environments in all their offices around the globe. 

Mary Ann Gamboa, Director of Sales & Marketing, Intercontinental Toronto Centre, Ontario, Canada
As Director of Sales and Marketing of the Intercontinental Toronto Centre, Mary Ann is the highest ranking Filipina in Intercontinental Hotels in Canada, and was nominated for the Intercontinental Hotel Group 2016 Best of the Best Award.

Myrna P. Young, Nursing Education Specialist, Robert Wood Johnson Hospital, New Jersey, USA
A seasoned leader involved four different professional nursing associations, Myrna has shared her vision, her innovative knowledge and expertise through presentations at national and international conferences, co-authored and published articles in nursing journals and participated in research initiatives. 

Rebecca Santos Murry, Math Coach, Manhattan & Queens Campuses, United Nations International School, New York, USA
An architect for 20 years, Rebecca shifted to teaching Mathematics, where she helps eliminate math anxiety by implementing STEAM problem-based courses and innovative math curriculum design. 

Rowena Romulo, Owner, Romulo Restaurant Group UK Limited, London, UK
Rowena can be credited in putting Philippine cuisine on the gastronomic map of London in less than a year from opening the first foreign outpost of Romulo Café, a family-owned food business first established in Manila. 

Roxane Negrillo Magbanua, Senior Media Director - Planning, PHD (an Omnicom Media Group company), Dubai, UAE
Roxane is the only Filipina woman in a senior role in the media sector in a field of 400 media agencies in the United Arab Emirates. Her leadership and expertise have garnered several awards and recognitions.

Wilma “Amy” T. Eisma, Esq., Chair & Administrator, Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA), Olongapo, Philippines
Action-oriented and forward-looking, Amy is a strategist and catalyst for change. After a successful 15 year stint in the private sector, Amy returned to the public sector and now serves as Chair and Administrator of the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority.



This award category recognizes Filipina women below age 35 who are making their mark in a leadership role, are on the pathway to principalship and building capacity across an organizational system in the public and private sectors.. Emerging Leaders have powerful mindsets and skill sets that drive achievement for their organizations.

Emerging Leaders 2017

Claire Aquino Quito, Sponsorship Director, HRN Europe Ltd., Budapest, Hungary
Claire has lived and worked in six different countries across Europe, Middle East and Africa, building global sales teams, developing pipelines of future leaders and creating new country offices.   

Joanne Michelle Fernandez Ocampo, Advisor, The Norwegian Institute of Public Health, Oslo, Norway
Joanne currently works as an Advisor at the Norwegian Institute of Public Health, and has published articles and reports in both English and Norwegian, worked in government and academic laboratories, with public health institutions in both the United States and Europe, and has volunteer experience in West Africa.

Kristina Laranjo Alabado, President, Partners Group Prime Services  (Phils.), Inc., Taguig, Philippines
Kristina has taken on the challenge of leading the build-up of Partners Group’s new services hub in Manila. She convinced Switzerland HQ that Filipino talent is a success factor in business operations so the Finance back office was moved from Singapore to the Philippines.



This award honors Filipina women in their capacities as the chief executive, president, executive director or founder of a company, community organization, non-profit, or business venture that they helped start, build or significantly grow. This award category is for the trailblazers who have marshaled resources and applied innovative practices, processes and/or technologies in a new and groundbreaking way to address significant business or organizational opportunity. 

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Cherry Pua Africa, Managing Director, World Stage International Network, Makati, Philippines
A thought leader in the field of Neuro Linguistic Programming, leadership, sales, personal empowerment and communication, Cherry is one of the most widely followed transformation coaches in Asia, having helped over 300,000 individuals & businesses up the ante on their performance.

Claire Navarro Espina, Esq., President and CEO, Edelberg & Espina, APLC, California, USA
Claire was a deported alien mother of four who overcame great odds, pursued her legal education while raising four children, fought her own deportation and won, and is now the principal of Edelberg & Espina, a full service litigation firm in Los Angeles.

Cora dela Cruz, Senior Advisor, National Activities, Canadian Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines (CanCham), Manila, Philippines
Cora has over 30 years of government management experience in business regulation and in the administration of consumer protection statutes in Ontario. She is a seasoned entrepreneur and was the National Executive Director (COO) of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines (CanCham) for almost five years.

Dina Dela Paz-Stalder, President and CEO, BCP Dermatological Corp., Dermaline Inc., Stalder Laboratories Inc., Manila, Philippines
Dina has modernized the skin care and retail industry in the Philippines with the latest skin care technology and skin care products. Her name and reputation is now a by-word in the industry, synonymous with quality and professionalism.

Edna Consing Concepcion, Owner and Certified Financial Advisor Heritage Investments & Retirement Planning, Inc., California, USA
From being the first Filipino American mortgage banker in San Diego and the first Filipina American to serve as a city commissioner in Chula Vista, to chartering a chamber of commerce, starting "Filipino Night" as a baseball league tradition, and initiating a prestigious community service awards gala, Edna is a trailblazer.

Joji Ilagan-Bian, Chairman, Joji Ilagan International Schools, Joji Ilagan Career Center Foundation, Inc., Davao City, Philippines
Joji Ilagan-Bian is a business leader and an educator. Through her various initiatives she has helped create a favorable business and investment climate in Davao City since 1988, which resulted to higher employment in the countryside. 

Kalika Nacion Yap, Founder and CEO, Citrus Studios Inc., Luxe Link LLC, The Waxing Co. and Orange and Bergamot, California, USA
Kalika embodies what it means to be a female serial entrepreneur, having established the award-winning interactive design agency Citrus Studios, based in sunny Santa Monica, CA., Luxe Link, the ultimate handbag accessory responsible for keeping women’s purses off the floor, The Waxing Co., Honolulu’s first waxing only salon, and Orange and Bergamot, agency quality website built at an affordable membership cost.

Mercedes Muldong Calderon, Founder, Owner and Managing Director Xavier International School, Maputo City, Mozambique
Mercedes founded the Xavier International School, one of the only few kindergartens in Maputo with English as the language of instruction, has become one of the major contacts of the Philippine Embassy in South Africa and serves as adviser to Filipino community leaders.

Nikki Tang, CEO, DMARK Corporation and Derm Asia Corporation, Metro Manila, Philippines
Nikki Tang is a Beautypreneur - one who, aside from being an entrepreneur in the beauty industry, also gives importance in helping people achieve their beauty goals by working hand in hand with medical professionals.



This award recognizes women who have broken new ground in the global workplace, have delivered new and unique applications of emerging technology transforming the way people think, in the fields of sports, literature, the arts and pop culture; or have improved the lives of others by helping develop a product or service in the fields of science, technology, engineering, sports, arts, or mathematics. This award category is also for someone who have either launched a new enterprise, a learning function, or completely overhauled an existing process, development or community initiative that has sparked a following.

Innovators & Thought Leaders 2017_1
Innovators & Thought Leaders 2017_2

Anna-Karina Tabuñar, Director, Communications Strategy, Diversity and Inclusion, Sodexo, Ontario, Canada
Anna-Karina Tabuñar calls herself a recovering journalist, trying to make a difference in the world. Her own journey with disability gives her a unique vantage point and new way of working, making her a vocal advocate for accessibility and inclusion in the workplace. 

Catherine Sia Cheng Teh, M.D.,Chief, Hepatobiliary Pancreatic Section, Department of Surgery, Makati Medical Center, Makati, Philippines
Dr. Teh performs highly advanced and complex hepatopancreatociliary surgeries, helping one patient at a time and training younger surgeons in the field of HPB surgery.

Fidelina "Faye" Adan Corcuera,  Executive Director (Ret.), BPI Foundation, Chief Sustainability Officer (Ret.), BPI, Makati, Philippines
Faye's career is a showcase of a complete professional with a solid track record of 35 years of international and local work experience in Human Resources, capped in the past three years focusing her energy in doing good for a larger audience as the Executive Director of BPI Foundation.

Georgitta Pimentel Puyat, Chairman, Philippine Orchard Corporation, Makati City, Philippines
Georgitta Puyat is a serious, goals and results oriented businesswoman whose life experiences shaped and directed her purpose to serve and to be a staunch advocate for women’s issues.  

Geri Alumit Zeldes, Ph.D., Associate Professor and Director of Journalism Graduate Studies, Michigan State University, Michigan, USA
Geri Alumit Zeldes, Ph.D., a tenured Professor in Michigan State University’s School of Journalism, has seven best paper awards from international communication associations and 100+ honors and screenings for her documentary films and other creative scholarships.

Gizelle Covarrubias Robinson, IT Managing Director, Schwab Technology Services, California, USA
Gizelle is an award-winning transformative information technology leader who delivers solutions and innovative services that enable firms and the business to improve their clients’ ability to achieve their financial goals.

Jennifer Bernardo Jose, M.D., Urogynecologist and Pelvic Reconstructive Surgeon, Minimally Invasive & Robotic Gynecologic Surgeon, Aesthetic Gynecologist, Makati Medical Center and St . Luke's Medical Center, Metro Manila, Philippines
Dr. Jose is the first Filipino to be performing robotic gynecologic surgery and has continued to place the Philippines on the map by pursuing new frontiers of medicine and pushing the boundaries of standards of care through innovative and pioneering work in the management of patients.



This award recognizes Filipina women leaders who have demonstrated exceptional acumen combined with a forward-looking vision in the development or influencing of policies, campaigns or laws that impact business, industry, and society. Leaders who enrich the lives, careers and businesses of others; someone who shares the benefits of their wealth, experience, and knowledge; actions that significantly change how we think and live.

Policymaker and Visionary 2017_ 1

HON Cynthia Alcantara Barker, Town Councillor, Brookmeadow, Elstree & Borehamwood Town Council, Borough Councillor, Hertsmere Borough, Hertfordshire, UK
Hon. Cynthia Barker is the first Filipina to serve in British local government, having been elected to Brookmeadow, Elstree and Borehamwood Town Council and Hertsmere Borough Council.

Jerrilyn Malana, Esq., Chief Deputy District Attorney, Human Resources, San Diego County District Attorney’s Office, California, USA
Prior to her current position as Chief Deputy District Attorney for Human Resources at the San Diego County District Attorney’s Office, Jerri was a shareholder at a prestigious employment law firm for over 10 years.

HE Junever Melchor Mahilum-West, Philippine Ambassador to Jordan with concurrent jurisdiction in Palestine, Embassy of the Republic of the Philippines in Jordan, Jordan and Philippines
As Philippine Ambassador to Jordan with concurrent jurisdiction over Palestine, Ambassador Mahilum-West is actively espousing Gender and Development (GAD) goals to empower women workers, simultaneously with intensive cultural diplomacy to instill pride in Philippine identity and culture. 

Lily Torres-Samoranos, Esq., Immigration Attorney Asian Pacific Islander Legal Outreach (APILO), California, USA
From the beginning of her career as a public defender, Lily has overcome a number of adversities and broken barriers, being the first Filipina public defender hired in Alameda County in a white-male dominated profession.

Ma. Nieves R. Confesor, Associate Professor, Leadership and People Management, Asian Institute of Management, Manila, Philippines
As educator, public servant, a “mover and shaker”, Nieves is co-creating the Philippines, ASEAN’s, global “compelling future.” She served as the very first Secretary of Labor and Employment of the Philippines in 1991, and is the first Filipino to be elected as Chairperson of the International Labor Organization.

Justice Milagros Eustaquio Syme, Her Worship Justice of the Peace, Ontario Court of Justice, Ontario, Canada
Since the 1980s, Justice Syme has been advocating for the issues that affect immigrants and women minorities. She served as the first Chair of the Women’s Committee of the Canadian Ethnocultural Council, where she played a vital role in ensuring their voices were heard and understood.

HE Petronila P. Garcia, Philippine Ambassador to Canada, Embassy of the Republic of the Philippines in Ottawa, Canada and Philippines
Ambassador Garcia is the first Filipina woman to become Ambassador to Canada and first woman Ambassador to an Arab country. As Ambassador, she engages the Canadian government in positive and constructive ways, in order to strengthen bilateral relations and enhance cooperation in the multilateral field.

HON Rosalinda V. Canlas, Board Trustee and President, New Haven Unified School District, California, USA
Linda is an educator, elected public servant, and community volunteer who has devoted her career to promoting student success and to enhancing the quality of life in her community. She was instrumental in renaming the Itliong-Vera Cruz Middle School, after Filipino-American farm workers.



The Most Influential Filipina Women in the World™ Award may be received up to three times. Remarkable women were selected for the second time for continuing to be influential in their field, workplace and community. When selected for the third time in the future, awardee will then be inducted into the FWN “Always Influential” Hall of Fame.

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Mary Jane Alvero-Al Mahdi
FOUNDER & PIONEER                                                                                                                                                                                            Group Chief Executive Officer, Prime Group UAE (Geoscience Testing Laboratory, Prime Certification and Inspection LLC, Prime Alpha Consultancy, Prime Innova Training Center), Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Not only a key figure in the Middle East business community and a global force for women empowerment, Mary Jane has gained acclaim through 25 years of experience in quality assurance, certification and analytical laboratory services.



Sustaining Pinay Power 2020 is quite daunting. As the excitement dies down and the reality of executing FWN's 2020 game plan sets in, many will drop out and others will pick up the torch. The Keepers of the Flame are the caretakers to ensure that the Vision 2020 is kept alive: A Filipina Woman Leader in every sector of the global economy.


Amar Bornkamp, Charles Schwab (Ret.), San Francisco, California, USA (Global FWN100™ '15)

Bambi Lorica, MD, FAAP, Holistic Pediatrician, Maryland, USA (US FWN100™ '07)

Elizabeth Bautista, Operations Technology Group Lead, Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory, California, USA (Global FWN100™ '15)

Gloria T. Caoile, National Political Director, Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance, Henderson, Nevada, USA (US FWN100 '07, Global FWN100™ '13)

Leonor Vintervoll, Founder, Philippine Women's Organization (PWO) Resource Center, Board Director & Country Representative for Norway, European Network of Filipino Diaspora (ENFiD), Norway (Global FWN100™ '15)

Maan Hontiveros, Chair, Air Asia Inc., Chair Philippines AirAsia, Philippines (Global FWN100™ '14, Global FWN100™ '16)

Maria Beebe, Ph.D., President, Global Networks, Hawaii and Oregon, USA (US FWN100 '11 and Global FWN100™ '13)

Maria Roseni "Nini" M. Alvero, Assistant Secretary, Department of Trade and Industry, Philippines; Senior Trade Representative, Philippine Trade and Investment Centre, Toronto, Canada (US FWN100™ '07, Global FWN100™ '16)

Maria Santos Greaves, President, Surrey Hearing Care Inc., Surrey, British Columbia, Canada (Global FWN100™ '15)

HON Marily Mondejar, Founder & CEO, Filipina Women's Network, San Francisco, California; Chair and President, Commission on Community Investment and Infrastructure, the Successor Agency of the San Francisco Redevelopment Commission, San Francisco, California USA

Rosario Cajucom-Bradbury, Country Manager, Authentix, Philippines and USA (Global FWN100™ '16)

Colonel Shirley S. Raguindin, Chief Diversity Officer, Air National Guard; Chief of Diversity, National Guard Bureau, Washington DC, USA (US FWN100 '07, Global FWN100™ '13)

Susie Quesada, President, Ramar Foods International, Pittsburg, California, USA (US FWN100™ '07, Global FWN100™ '13)

HON Thelma Boac, Board of Trustees and former President, Berryessa Union School District, San Jose, California, USA (US FWN100™ '07, Global FWN100™ '13)