I am very pleased to welcome five new contributors to the PageUp Talent Lab community:
- Roddy Abaya, Vice President and Division HR Manager, San Miguel Foods Inc.
- Melanie Allibon, Executive General Manager People, Newcrest Mining
- Merril Hotchkin, General Manager People and Business Improvement, Metricon
- Rebelle Moriarty, General Manager People and Capability, Ventia
- Stephanie Nash, Chief People Officer, Redmart
These executives continue to add colour and depth to our research, and collectively provide us with HR perspectives from Australia, Singapore and the Philippines.
Keep reading to get to know them and look out for future Talent Lab posts that feature their insights and experiences:
Thirty years into his working life, Roddy Abaya holds the type of role he used to dream about with responsibility for the ‘A to Z’ of HR, a seat at the executive table and the opportunity to drive real change through the workforce at San Miguel Foods. Roddy’s background has positioned him well to deliver on his current mandate. He has specialised in each of the functions in HR, and held HR leadership roles with Procter & Gamble and IBM. Roddy also has extensive experience in global re-structures and business process outsourcing, from establishing internal shared service centres to facilitating a successful transition when Procter & Gamble acquired Gillette. Today, executives and employees at San Miguel Foods are embracing Roddy’s fresh approach and data-driven strategy to increase satisfaction across the workforce.
Greatest achievement in HR: Roddy’s current role with San Miguel Foods, re-establishing the credibility of the HR function and fostering a transparent, open culture.
Passionate about: Employee motivation; reward and recognition.
Melanie has significant HR leadership experience across industries and geographies, dating back to her debut in the field as a graduate with BHP Billiton. She quickly progressed through the ranks with the mining giant before moving on to Group General Management and Executive roles with Fosters, Amcor, Pacific Brands, Seven West Media and Seven Group Holdings. Melanie has recently returned to the mining and resources sector to lead the HR function with Newcrest Mining. In a career characterised by diversity, she says transformation has been a common denominator, “whether that be restructuring and stripping massive costs out of businesses, or rebuilding cultures and realigning high performing teams to really drive positive business outcomes.”
Greatest achievement in HR: Managing the highly sensitive closure of Pacific Brands’ Australian manufacturing sites. Melanie worked closely with the government and the Board to provide access to retraining for 1,800 affected people and turn this into a positive experience for them. From a commercial viewpoint, there were no safety issues or unfair dismissal claims and productivity actually increased.
Passionate about: Developing talent; remuneration; safety and reducing risk.
Merril has enjoyed a diverse portfolio career, including change management consultancy, running her own successful performing arts business, and financial and corporate services roles in the IT and construction industries. Add to this tertiary qualifications in accounting, HR and marketing, rounded out with an MBA, and she is well-equipped to bring an integrated and strategic business perspective to her work. Merril’s early experience with Anderson Consulting (now Accenture) gave her the opportunity to work on major system execution and change projects in a diverse range of companies, and an appreciation that “you’re only as good as your last job.” Today her achievement focus is applied leading the people and business improvement function with Metricon and overseeing the roll-out of the strategic plan.
Greatest achievement in HR: The upskilling and professionalisation of staff at Metricon. Today over 500 employees have formal national qualifications, and Metricon was recognised as a Finalist in the 2016 National Australian Training Awards.
Passionate about: Hiring and developing the right people; introducing efficient systems to give people an advantage and free them up to focus on high value work.
Rebelle describes the early part of her working life as a “meandering experience” through industrial relations and generalist HR roles with mining giant, BHP Billiton. As we discuss her career, centred around major transformations in tough industries, it’s hard to imagine Rebelle lacking of focus. Highlights with BHP Billiton included working in the U.S and implementing shared services centres in Australia and globally. From there, Rebelle took a role with Bluescope Steel and found her niche as a generalist HR leader and strategist. She has since held HR leadership roles of increasing magnitude, most recently with infrastructure service provider, Ventia. She says, “Now I just love working across large, diverse businesses for a CEO and working out how to take business strategy into HR strategy into action.”
Greatest achievement in HR: The creation of a global learning infrastructure at Bluescope Steel 10 years ago, which is still in place today, and in her time in Asia, supporting the placement of local Asian talent in leadership roles. “It’s just good return, if you can make things stick,” says Rebelle.
Passionate about: Strategy formulation and execution.
Stephanie describes her career in a nutshell: “I’ve always been in HR; I’ve held generalist and specialist roles but I would say I’m a generalist at heart. I’ve had single country responsibility, multi-country responsibility, worked on corporate projects and in a variety of businesses.” Through our discussion, it becomes evident that her experience has also extended across diverse geographies and industries, from her home country of the United States to Santiago, Chile, Australia and now Singapore; from the mining sector to technology and pharmaceuticals. Stephanie commenced her working life with BHP Billiton and held a range of roles with the global mining giant before accepting a senior HR position with Microsoft. She has called Singapore home for the past eight and a half years and moved into her current role with online grocer, Redmart, in August 2015. Stephanie also volunteers her time as an Executive Committee Member of the American Association of Singapore and she is Co-Chair of the Human Capital Committee of the American Chamber of Commerce in Singapore.
Greatest achievement in HR: Stephanie says that the corporate project role she held with BHP Billiton was pivotal for her, leading a global HR transformation journey. This was forward-thinking at the time and gave her the opportunity to interface with executives around the world and learn a lot about project management, business process re-engineering, continuous improvement and change management.
Passionate about: Culture.