SBMA chief cited ‘Woman of the Year’ in 2019 Asia Leaders Awards

SUBIC BAY FREEPORT – Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) Chairman and Administrator Wilma T. Eisma received a “Woman of the Year” award along with five other woman leaders during the 2019 Asia Leaders Awards ceremony held at the Shangri-La Hotel in Makati City on Tuesday, Nov. 19.


The SBMA chief was bestowed the award for excellence in governance by the American Association of the Philippines (AAP), a non-profit organization which helped organized this year’s awards to acknowledge leaders who promote the Philippines as the premier business hub in Asia and beyond.

The other “Woman of the year” awardees are: Fila President and CEO Cris Albert; Ayala Land Inc. Senior Manager Mariana Zobel De Ayala; GR Bank Senior Executive VP and COO Elizabeth Timbol; Richprime Global Inc. President and CEO Myrna Yao; and Asian Tigers Mobility VP and CEO Virginia Lane.

Manila Mayor Isko Moreno, on the other hand, was among the recipients of the “Man of the Year” award, along with former Senator Manny Villar and Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo.

In receiving the award for governance, Eisma expressed gratitude to be recognized for her role as head of the SBMA, which manages the Subic Bay Freeport Zone.


“It is certainly humbling to know that the movers and shakers in the Asian and Philippine business circles view the SBMA as one of the premier institutions significantly contributing to the country’s economic growth and stability,” Eisma said. “I am deeply honored and grateful.”

The award was the latest of several recognition that Eisma has received since becoming SBMA chairman and administrator in late 2017.

According to Engr. Grace Bondad-Nicolas, co-founder of the TAG Media Group that organized the event, the Asia Leaders Awards aims to honor various men and women who promote the Philippines as the premier business hub in Asia and beyond.“We award individuals who not only exemplify great leadership among their peers, but also offer solutions to the problems of the country and our nation. Above all, we award individuals who go beyond to demonstrate an outstanding achievement for the welfare of other,” she added.

AAP Chairman Rick Sobreviñas, who was a member of the awards committee this year, also said that it was “important to recognize the contributions of outstanding leaders who move society forward and find better ways to deliver value to their customers or stakeholders, as well as advance the economic development of our country.”


With this vision, this year’s Asia Leaders Awards focused on the theme “global excellence”, as the event gave distinction to achievers who exhibited the core values of a successful leader—grit, innovation, ingenuity, knowledge and vision.

Aside from the “Woman of the year” and “Man of the Year” awards, the major citations given included “Young CEO of the Year”, which was sponsored by the Embassy of Malaysia; “CEO of the Year”, which was given by the Embassy of Korea; “Businessman of the Year”, given by the Philippine Korean Council; and “Entrepreneur of the Year”, which was handed out by the Cagayan Economic Zone Authority.


Among those who composed the awards committee for this year were: Ambassador of the Republic of Korea to the Philippines Dong Man Han; American Association of the Philippines Chairman Rick Sobreviñas; Deputy Ambassador of Malaysia to the Philippines Rizany Irwan Muhamad Mazlan; Malaysia Chamber of Commerce and Industry Vice Chairman Eric Yam; and Commission on Elections Spokesman James Jimenez. 

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