30 July 2008

Mary Jane Alvero: Lone Pinoy EBWA Winner

Photo of Mary Jane Alvero Al Mahdi courtesy of pinoydigeratiLast 27 May 2008, Lily B. Libo-on, a staff reporter of Khaleej Times Online, reported that a Filipina chemist, who went on to become an engineer and now chief executive officer of Geoscience Testing Laboratory in Dubai, was among the eight winners of the Emirates Business Women Award (EBWA) 2008. The event was held during a gala dinner on 20 May 2008 at the Grand Hyatt Dubai.

The professional and business awards were handed over to the winners by Shaikh Saeed bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum.

The Filipino awardee, Mary Jane Alvero Al Mahdi, bagged the first runner-up in the Professional Category, which made her the first Filipino to receive such a prestigious honour in the UAE.

Married to an Emirati, Al Mahdi is a holder of Masters in Quality Management degree from the University of Wollongong in Dubai and Masters in Engineering Systems Management from the American University of Sharjah.

She is also a certified ISO lead auditor, a dedicated certified trainer and one of the founders of the Filipino Digerati Association that assists Philippine emissaries in Dubai to train Filipinos in computer applications for free in the UAE.

On her involvement in the free computer training, she said, 'Lifting the morale and lives of my kababayans (fellow countrymen) has always been embedded in my heart, and I will never fail them as I strongly believe that Filipinos have world-class talents and intelligence and the highest degree of professionalism.'

She started in the Emirates as a chemist but today, she is the CEO of Geoscience, a multi-disciplined testing laboratory owned by business tycoon Abdul Lateef Abdullah Ali Al Gargawi, which is now located in four emirates, including Dubai and Abu Dhabi.

Little did she know that all the things she had been professionally doing all these years with zeal, determination and perfection in the Emirates would one day bring her distinction and honour.

The recognition she received from the EBWA has fanned her desire to study further for a doctorate and, professionally, widen her vision to give her company a regional presence.

"With my strong will, faith in our creator, determination and strength, I've achieved a lot of wonderful things and I am very much successful," she said.

The lone Filipino EBWA winner added, ‘The main reason for the success is my leadership and vision, plus the highest degree of integrity and professionalism. To me, emotional quotient (EQ) is working hand-in-hand with intelligence quotient (IQ).’

The EBWA is the most prestigious award being given to both professionals and business owners for expatriates and the valiant women in the United Arab Emirates, under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman, Emirates Group and President, Dubai Department of Civil Aviation. EBWA is also supported by United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Emirates Businesswomen's Council.

The criteria for the awards include leadership; future goals and financial performance; business, professional and career achievements; community contributions; and participation and innovation. This year, EBWA aims to recognize and reward the exemplary contributions of women in the business and professional sectors of the UAE. The original 84 women contenders were from various government and blue chip companies embracing managerial positions to chief operating officers to business owners.