When Typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda pounded the Philippines in 2013, I was 54, unemployed, out of money with a family to feed and had a 14 year old daughter to educate and bring up. The typhoon passed about 100 km north of where we live and we saw no adverse effect from it, unlike the many, many unfortunate people who suffered.
I was in quite a state of depression about my circumstances, so, with my families support and agreement, I jumped on my motor bike, taking a large portion of the remaining cash that we had and headed up to Panay (Central Philippines) to help those even less fortunate that we were. I was a stroke of fortune to meet a small group of Expatriates who were spending their own resources getting out to the people and offering help with shelter and assistance. This group was called PRAY. WOW, what an experience! People far worse off than I were were smiling and happy to see us! It was a tremendous boost to me personally and help me redefine my view of what needed to be done in the world. The basics in life are what is important, not the luxury’s we are all so used to.
I learnt very quickly, especially when digging a 10 Ton truck out of the mud because you “thought” you were going in the right direction, the value of up to date maps for a disaster area and I started looking around for options and stumbled upon HOT. What a surprise for me. WOW, again, I fell in love with the concept on the spot.
Fast forward until the present time frame, I am, what I consider to be, a very active part of the HOT community. I have actively contributed in Activation Coordination, HOT Mail List Management, multiple Working Groups as well as ongoing software Development.
I became a HOT Voting member very recently. I considered seeking nomination in 2014, but thought that I was quite “young” in the HOT community and wanted to gain more experience in the community ideals and operation before taking that step..
My background is very diverse, I originally studied Surveying in 1977, am a PADI Master Instructor, Commercial Pilot and have had a lot of experience at the CEO and General Manager Levels. I have been the President of a very large Chamber of Commerce, COO of an airport, COO of Hotel Chains and was, most recently, the General Manager of a company that manufactured aircraft with over 200 employees at its peak.
I have lived and worked in the Philippines for over 20 years. There are a many unique challenges in being a long term expatriate which require an understanding of different cultures. Meeting these challenges requires a willingness to be creative and flexible in approaching people and issues and, of course, always maintaining a nice warm smile, what ever the circumstances.
I see that no dramatic changes in mission or vision are needed, rather a consolidation of direction, and provision of stability are needed to capitalize on the previous fantastic efforts of the HOT Board
The key areas I would like to focus on are as follows:
I would like to build a more effective means of communication to all Voting Members and the Volunteer Community. Effective, two way information flow is the key to good decision making at all levels
HOT is a technology based organization. I want to oversee the implementation of a set of standards for the future tools we develop. I want to develop tools that make the work HOT does more effective
I wish to find a way to encourage more active participation in Working Groups, especially with the time zone issues that apply to a world wide organization trying to meet and make decisions.
I want to empower Working Groups to make decisions and formalize a simple process for implementation and approvals using technology.
I want to expand HOT’S involvement with Field Projects and support of communities undertaking this work. Provision of inexpensive GPS units on a borrowed or loan/buyout basis for mapping communities will improve HOT’s ability to provide preparedness mapping in communities where it is badly needed.
I want to formalize the Activation Process with Partners and the HOT Community. I also want to improve the ability of Partners and the Community to see the status of mapping efforts and solicit input directly to the people coordinating an Activation.
I also want to structure the training and development of new Activation Coordinators with Mentor based approach, with a formalized “career path” based on Coordination experience.
I also want to find a way to support the existing few coordinators in their work and contributions and help keep that knowledge and experience available to new coordinators as they are trained.
I am seeking your Nomination to the HOT board. I originally had not considered the idea, but seeing the exponential growth of HOT as an NGO and Volunteer Community I believe that, with my business experience and my passion for HOT’s goals, I can make a very real contribution to the strategic positioning of HOT, not only as an organization and world wide community or volunteers but in the Humanitarian Community as a whole. When I see the caliber of the nominees so far, I believe that the capabilities and skills available will directly contribute to HOT’s continued success and growth.
Thank you for your time in reading this and your consideration.