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After my father and uncle’s celebration comes another one; this time Concepcion Industries, Inc. (CII) celebrates its 50th year. CII was started by my grandfather Jose Concepcion, Sr., and also happens to be the baby of my Uncle Raul, the twin of my father. My cousins have taken over the day-to-day management while we sit on the board to provide guidance and work towards the vision our grandfather and my Uncle Raul have set. This vision has also been upheld by the management team: Renna, Jojo, Raffy and Ton, who are my cousins.
Turning 50 is such a milestone, especially for family-run companies managed by third through fourth generations. Many family businesses don’t survive because of family fights, or just because the old business model has somehow lost its edge or has been beaten down by tough and rising competition. Concepcion Industries continues to be dominant in the airconditioner and refrigeration business.
What is remarkable is the refrigeration business, which has been losing money for many years since its inception, saw a turnaround when Ton Concepcion decided to focus on Condura and introduced the negosyo ref, inspired from Go Negosyo’s advocacy. And this is an advocacy they continue to support. His brother Jojo manages the airconditioner business with cousin Raffy, while Renna, daughter of my aunt Mely Hechanova, has established great relationships with appliance dealers.
During the 50th anniversary celebration of CII, which also happens to be the birth anniversary of my Lolo, the founder of CII, all cousins and the next gen were present to see the beautiful program prepared. But my father wanted to cut the program short and told his twin brother and his sister. Luckily, we kids were able to pacify my dad and made him sit down. My Uncle also suddenly gave his speech midway, and then the program went on after his speech. As our parents get older, we just have to extend our patience. In the end, everything went smoothly with quite a good production number done by Douglas Nieras.
The 50th year mark has since been quite popular as many friends and family are also growing into their 50s. Speaking of friends, Kevin Belmonte also celebrated his 50th birthday in their ancestral home in Quezon City. I didn’t realize that their family tradition of jumping through the fire wall will be the main event of the party. This tradition was done to ward off evil spirits. We were required to come in sneakers, while the women had to wear flats. As usual, my wife didn’t follow instructions, especially because wearing flats isn’t quite her. Well, when the flames started to blow, we all had to jump through the fire wall. Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima and DTI Secretary Greg Domingo kept jumping through the flames, I guess to ensure that all the evil spirits get burned as they bring change to the government. I did it a couple of times, and my wife jumped in high heels. Fortunately, she landed safely. Even House Speaker Sonny Belmonte was still quite agile jumping through the fire despite his age.
I do hope the Belmonte formula works in warding off evil. No one got burned and we hope that the evil spirits were all extinguished that night so we can look forward to a safe, happy, healthy, and prosperous 2012. Thank you Kevin and Isaac for introducing us to the firedance; this is something we may do in our own family events.
Go Negosyo’s 4th Women Entrepreneurship Summit with the theme Babae, Kapuso Ka ng Bayan will happen on March 2, in time for women’s month. GMA7 is our big partner in mounting this event while The Philippine Star is our partner in the search for the 2012 Women Starpreneurs.
People ask me why focus on women; my answer is simply because most micro and small entrepreneurs are women, and we want them to succeed and become medium and large entrepreneurs one day. The following are the women who have been nominated by various organizations and entrepreneurs and have made it to our shortlist so far. The winners will be declared at the 4th Women Entrepreneurship Summit.
Lilia Ronquillo-Bautista of PSD Corporation, Carmelita Barrera’s of Carm’s Food Enterprise, Dalareich Polot of HCIERD Web & IT Solutions, designer Michi Calica,
Desiree Duran, Bulacan’s Seed Lady, Lourdes Ragas of Carolina’s Lace Shop, Putlih Kumalah Sug Elardo of People’s Alliance for Progress Multi-Purpose Cooperative, Reia Ayunan of Meidolls Café, Bianca Santos of Bianca’s Nail Art, Antuza Refalda of Kalinga Brew, Susan Guerrero of Cravings, Olive Aw of Destilleria Limtuaco, Velia J. Cruz of Tentay Patis, Penk Ching of The Pastry Bin, Maria Teresa Dula-Laurel of Gotoking, Christina Trillana of Go Nuts Donuts, Francia Flores of Nitz Furniture and Piano Center, Maricar Tuason of meg*, Rowena Mendoza of Rowena’s, Tagaytay, Pin Antonio of Salon de Manila, Suzanne Morales of Soyami Soya Chips, Edna Sutter of DDC Land, Ann Pamintuan of Jeweller, Mindanao, Pinky Sebastian of Heartstrings,
Charisse Tinio of Nice Print Photography, Rubby Sy of Forever Flawless, Evelyn Ibaya of Ibay’s Silver, Marife Zamora of Convergys Philippines, Rowena Matti of Galileo Enrichment Learning Program, and Elma Alboleras for the iBUS concept.
These are just some of the nominations sent in for the 2012 Women Starpreneurs. We’ll be featuring some more of these brilliant women as the 4th Women Entrepreneurship Summit nears. Get to know the winners as well as other successful women entrepreneurs at the summit, which will be open to all.