Glue Up, the leading all-in-one engagement software, announced the winners of the 4th annual APAC Chamber of Commerce Awards.
The awards recognize and honor individuals and chambers that have shown remarkable leadership and have built a strong culture of innovation in their organizations in the face of adversity during an extremely challenging year for the whole humankind.
"Chambers of Commerce work together guided by a common vision. They are committed to helping businesses prosper based on shared values," says Eric L. Schmidt, CEO and Co-Founder of Glue Up.
"We want to highlight the winners' immense impact on chamber success as they continuously contribute to the growth of communities across the Asia Pacific despite the regional and local impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. I am pleased to extend my congratulations for their positive contributions that are truly deserving to be held in high regard."
Throughout the years, the role of Chambers of Commerce has been a driving force that transforms the economy, businesses, and communities to their fullest potentials.
We are proud to announce the winners of the APAC Chamber of Commerce Awards 2020:
The American Chamber of Commerce in Singapore (AmCham Singapore) received an 80% engagement rate from member companies that paved the way to form a robust foundation of topic experts, business executives, and rising leaders. Moreover, it maintained a mix of 60% multinational corporations (MNCs) members and 40% small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) members to form a vibrant community that represented the Singapore economy. Using LinkedIn Member Mondays and Twitter were just some of AmCham’s initiatives that allowed member companies to share news and offers. With their strong and diverse partnerships in public health and industry, AmCham Singapore launched an ongoing series of webinars throughout the year that featured famous international leaders.
"It’s evident that AmCham Singapore adapted to the extraordinary circumstances and thrived in 2020." Sid Peimer, Executive Director, Cape Chamber of Commerce and Industry
Swedish Chamber of Commerce Singapore (SCCS) put forth its most significant effort to reach out to both Swedish and local business communities in Singapore. Its motivation drove it toward building a strong organization that focused on promoting and connecting the Swedish business community. This initiative has been successful as SCCS continues to create new and meaningful relationships with the local community, local authorities, Swedish MNCs, and SwedCham in general while providing value for them at the same time. When starting the project, it aimed to create a more positive narrative that focuses on recovery. Amid the crisis, it believes that through collaboration and communication, it can reach its goals faster.
"I like how the Swedish Chamber of Commerce Singapore used current circumstances to connect with local, new stakeholders to broaden their audience and impact." Michael Phillips, Executive Director, BritCham Colombia
Finnish Chamber Hong Kong came up with the new ways of serving their members and making a budget together. In 2020, its member retention and renewal rate continued to increase. Plus, it created various committees intended for education, sustainability, diversity & inclusiveness, and Greater Bay Area to better serve its members
The association in Hong Kong was also part of the Finnish Chamber’s initiative program that offered students from two different schools in Finland a paid internship in different FinnChams. Today, it has also established growing and more robust networks in Hong Kong and South China.
"The increase in its new members in 2020 and the Finnish community outreach were very impressive to me." Michael Phillips, Executive Director, BritCham Colombia
Ayr Chamber of Commerce’s primary focus is to support local movement. It actively encourages community members to utilize businesses, services, and shops locally.
It has reported a more significant interest within its customer base with its vision. Both members and non-members have also been attracted to the Burdekin Rewards program, which has resulted in increased membership. The entries continue to grow each month, showing an expanded level of participation from the Burdekin community.
"The rewards program and Ayr Chamber’s active support in local initiatives should be held in a high regard." Michael Phillips, Executive Director, BritCham Colombia
The Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCCI) joined the government's efforts, non-government organizations, and the society in the fight against COVID-19. It created the "COVID-19 Solidarity Fund & Initiatives" and provided 5 million PHP worth of PPE gowns, face shields, and medical supplies to frontliners and distributed relief goods for affected families. When cities in Cebu witnessed a rapid rise in COVID-19 cases, it overburdened the healthcare system and restricted business operations. For this reason, CCCI provided a well-coordinated multi-sectoral plan through the "Project Balik Buhay" that calibrated the opening of work based on risk and impact guidelines under General Community Quarantine while taking measures to help the health system cope as cases continued to rise.
The association encouraged other business membership organizations to create synergy with the church, medical society leaders, government, and civil society by implementing various plans and communication strategies. In less than two months, its success was evident when the curve flattened.
"Impressive leadership and proactivity shown during the pandemic by implementing relevant and practical solutions, positioning the Chamber as a valuable force for effective management." Sid Peimer, Executive Director, Cape Chamber of Commerce and Industry
AMCHAM Myanmar Executive Director, Tatum Albertine, successfully transitioned the Chamber’s events from in-person to online. In 2020, she conducted over 180 virtual events in the US and recruited at least 22 member companies to make up for membership losses at the start of COVID-19.
Albertine handled the Chamber’s day-to-day operations with passion and determination while also overseeing its digital activities. She did all of these while working remotely from the US and raising an infant. Her sacrifice and commitment to the association are nothing short of heroic and extraordinary. As a successful career mother, she has found ways to be efficient in both worlds—and that requires being nurturing to her family and committed to the Chamber she serves.
"The Chamber needs a leader who can seize opportunities, especially during difficult times. Albertine possesses leadership capabilities that involve being proactive in rising to the challenge and creating a progressive action culture." Eric Schmidt, CEO & Co-Founder, Glue Up
Dr. Hsien-Hsien Lei has been a member of The American Chamber of Commerce in Singapore since 2010. From being an Executive Director, she became the association's CEO for her experience and expertise in corporate multinational companies that match the role. Also, Dr. Lei has spent part of her career as an SME owner specializing in healthcare communications.
At the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, Dr. Lei embarked on a digital transformation journey to empower employees and increase engagement. Today, there's seamless collaboration in the association, equipped with the right tools and platforms for better workflow and messaging. By integrating digital technology, the Chamber overcame the challenges of pivoting from a purely in-person organization to a virtual-only. Additionally, Dr. Lei’s public health expertise and the established network made AmCham Singapore the go-to Chamber to help business leaders understand the impact of COVID-19 on business continuity planning. By connecting science and business, she also launched the Science and Business of COVID-19 and Living with COVID-19 series of webinars.
"Dr. Lei effectively used digital transformation as a key strategic initiative to empower and engage members, while delivering value to all." Eric Schmidt, CEO & Co-Founder, Glue Up
Adam Castillo, Managing Director of Atalian Global Services Myanmar, focused on health, cleanliness, and safety at the onset of the global pandemic. For this reason, he was intentional in pivoting their security and facilities services. Cleaning, disinfecting, and sanitizing procedures were also started to minimize harm due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Castillo also spearheaded advocacy with MOHS on proper chemical usage for disinfecting.
Castillo values and recognizes the importance of frontline workers fighting against the crisis, especially in Atalian’s workplace. Therefore, he ensured that both medical and critical facilities were safe. At least 700 employees were employed and retained under his leadership during the pandemic.
As a great leader, he made a personal sacrifice of foregoing his salary for four months. He wanted to ensure to direct cashflow toward frontline worker operation support and salaries during challenging times.
Castillo did all of this while serving on the Board of AMCHAM Myanmar, Steering Committee Member of OSAC, as well as completing his final year of reserve service obligation to the US Marine Corps.
"Exceptional all-rounder I’ve seen in years for showing the ability to sacrifice for his employees and support the business community." Sid Peimer, Executive Director, Cape Chamber of Commerce and Industry
The American Chamber of Commerce in Singapore (AmCham Singapore) embarked on a digital transformation during the start of 2020 and even before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. It involved the upgrading of hardware, software, and operations to improve its staff’s ability to get the work done more efficiently and effectively and increase members’ engagement with the Chamber.
The Chamber identified the software needed to execute events and other member services virtually. It set up different communications platforms to manage its workflow, event, and annual meeting management. AmCham Singapore transitioned to the Glue Up platform and immediately increased engagement in its virtual events when it comes to membership.
It also upgraded its equipment to make sure that the demands on the system could be effectively managed. Therefore, it replaced desktop computers and distributed laptops to all staff for optimal performance and convenience. The AmCham office in Singapore is currently being outfitted with a WiFi network set-up to meet staff expectations and members who require more bandwidth given live streaming, video calls, and other online media. The organization now uses cloud storage for better collaboration and easy access to data, content, and files in one location.
"A robust, pre-COVID-19 digital transformation puts AmCham Singapore in the lead for this award." Michael Phillips, Executive Director, BritCham Colombia
Crayfish Party is the Swedish Chamber of Commerce's biggest social annual event in Hong Kong. Unfortunately, it was canceled in 2019 due to demonstrations and unrest. But in 2020, the new team at SwedCham HK successfully launched the world's first-ever virtual Crayfish Party despite the COVID-19 crisis. The Chamber hosted a 20-minute event on Zoom for everyone to celebrate and connect with each other. Well-prepared Crayfish kits containing crayfish, schnapps, decorations, songbooks, and Spotify playlists were also sold to members. Through strong willpower and determination, it managed to put on a fun and memorable event and made more money.
"Truly unique and relevant event despite the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic." Liz Beneski, Executive Director, AmCham Abu Dhabi
Swedish Chamber of Commerce Singapore (SCCS) shifted its events to online and created the groundbreaking local outreach SESG Sweden Singapore in April 2020. This innovative business collaboration connected Swedish flagship MNCs with local SMEs and gathered local stakeholders in Singapore.
To kick off the initiative, SCCS launched the out-of-home advertising campaign SESG The Advocate in November. It paired at least 12 Swedish MNCs with 12 local micro-SMEs followed the theme: “In times of crisis, businesses should stand together.” The message was widely disseminated to the public through 13 buses and 500 billboards to support this effort. The Chamber’s goal was to show Swedish MNCs’ valuable role in the recovery process under challenging times. Furthermore, it celebrated local entrepreneurs’ success as they pushed through the lockdown and survived. The other two projects under SESG, Fika4Good, and Swedish Gig, offered mentorship for local SMEs and provided mentorship to the org’s member companies through new skill sets and careers.
"Excellent leverage of Swedish MNCs in Singapore to transfer their expertise to SMMEs." Sid Peimer, Executive Director, Cape Chamber of Commerce and Industry
Thank you and congratulations to all the participants and winners of the 2020 edition of the APAC Chamber of Commerce Awards!
We are grateful for the sheer number of entires we have received and we are very optimistic about the future of the Chambers of Commerce around the Asia Pacific. We are already working on the next year’s edition of the awards, as well as on more events and content to support your growth. If you haven’t checked out our free Chambers guide, be sure to get it now.