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Forward To The Future

It was a milestone in many ways. Held in the twin venues of Bukidnon and Cagayan de Oro, the National Sales Conference (NSC) “soared” with the twin themes of a Homecoming (going back to our roots) and moving forward to becoming a global consumer food company, complete with an action-packed Air Force flavor.

Del Monte Pacific CEO and Managing Director Joselito Campos, Jr. and Del Monte Philippines GM and COO Luis Alejandro jointly met for the first time our combined team of 18 new trade partners and Del Monte's own sales and marketing teams.

Records Made to be Broken. At the Plenary session, Customer Development Group Head Philip Macahilig cited record sales as the team's launch pad to move forward (FWD) - Fight, Win, Dominate - and transform the company to a global food industry leader. Del Monte's newest bestseller - the Fit 'n Right juice in plastic bottle - sold half a million cases on its first quarter on the market, outselling an entire year's sales of 202 in cans. New contracts were inked with two of the country's hottest food chains - Jollibee and McDonald's - and Del Monte fruit cups are now served in-flight on Philippine Airlines and other international airlines.

COO Alejandro stressed that growing beyond borders and further pushing the limits of our business would require efforts across the organization. Everyone's contribution is vital to achieving endless innovation, creating new product pipelines, building a responsive supply chain and fortifying organizational capabilities. Programs on quality management, productivity and cost effectiveness must be built into our processes as well.

Marketing Group Head Angie Flaminiano and her team further encouraged the sales team with new ways to ride the crest of market opportunities and consumer interest - from identifying growth platforms for health and wellness to setting priorities in developing new products.

Zoom In, Zoom Out. The NSC was a fitting homecoming for Del Monte's team of over 200 men and women from Customer Development, Marketing, other business divisions and trade partners. Upon arrival at the Lodge in Cawayanon, they walked through a photo-wall depicting Del Monte's story - from a small farm in Libona, Bukidnon in the 1920's to the turn-of-the-millennium market boom.

On the second night, in Cagayan de Oro's Pryce Hotel, the photo wall came to life with a nostalgic homecoming show - a combo of live performances and video - taking everyone through 80 years of Del Monte's glorious past. At the finale, everyone was promptly zoomed back with an invitation to be part of Del Monte's future.

Tradition of Excellence. One of the traditions upheld by the national sales conference over the years is the awards program for top-performing sales executives. The focus of is on how team members “grow beyond their borders by growing beyond themselves” and their past accomplishments.

Amazing Race: Balikbukid Edition. Important lessons in corporate history were etched out in every pit stop of this Amazing Race, bringing home the point that knowledge of the “family history” is an all-important part of mastering the future. It was a heavily-drenched pilgrim's trek back home (it rained all day), but full of opportunities to get up close with colleagues and enhance teamwork. Through dirt roads, villages (camps) and pineapple fields, each of the eight participating teams sweated their way through different pit stops across the plantation.

Moving Forward. Capping the 3-day conference was a colorful Closing Night that highlighted a splash of video rewinds of the past three days. Amazing Race winners received their hard earned trophies from Group Head Philip Macahilig and the organizing committees.

The night culminated in a flurry of acknowledgments - done with charm and with flowers - to teams and individuals behind the phenomenal success of the National Sales Conference.

Through the fun and the action, everyone didn't miss the NSC's hard driving message: to Fight, Win and Dominate for Del Monte's business in the future. Stepping out of the venue's doors, every participant brought home high hopes for the best years ahead for their careers as well as for Del Monte.

Fighters, winners, dominators, The General and the Supreme Commander in a last-minute briefing before the start of plenary; 100% smiles and applause for the Homecoming Show; Awards Night emcees Edric Mendoza and Giselle Sanchez set the mood for a night to remember; Amazing Race participants “move forward together”; DMPI History 101 syllabus for OpCom early birds Armin Narcisco, Cesar Canlas David Escarda and Bella Javier; Marketing Group Head Angie Flaminiano with her “perfect salute” shares a light moment with DMPI distributors; Laughter and limelight for Food Service Category Manager George Syyap at the Awards Night.

Power Of The Human Spirit

Dr. Josette Biyo, with LFAlejandro a science teacher in Iloilo and the first Asian to win the Intel Excellence in Teaching Award in the United States, delivers an inspiring message and shares her insights on the Filipino potential for world-class performance. Scientists from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology named Planet Biyo - a minor planet rotating around the sun between Mars and Jupiter - in her honor. What better way to visualize Dr. Biyo's message than with images from the NSC's teambuilding activities?

“What made me win in an international competition? That's 23 years of improving my craft: study, learn new skills, improve. The measure of one's success is clientele satisfaction.”

“I started teaching in a rural school. Materials, equipment and facilities for the type of effective teaching I had in mind were absent. Challenges did not dampen my enthusiasm. I became more creative and innovative. The joy of discovering something new made it worth all those sleepless nights, disappointments, physical and mental exhaustion.”

“Filipinos can be world-class if they choose to be. Being world-class is passion and commitment for your job. Believe in what you do. Believe that you can make a difference. Don't stop at where you are now. Develop the will to win. Believe in the power of the human spirit.”

“As a company committed to enriching the lives of today's family, you can flavor the industry with your passion for excellence, commitment to serve, and belief in your dreams for a better tomorrow.”

“Your capable hands can paint a true image of the Filipino as a people: intelligent, innovative, hardworking, passionate, creative, fun-loving, magaling.”

Surpassing Our Own selves

Ten sales executives were honored during the Del Monte Brand Awards Night of the NSC. Each posted the highest percent sales growth performance in the five major brand groups of DMPI within the three key business segments: Modern Trade (supermarkets, warehouse dubs), General Trade (regional distributor network) and Food Service (food outlets, hotels, restaurants).

The Brand Awards were given in lieu of the traditional Shield of Excellence Award. Because of the. organizational restructuring that happened last year in the Customer Development Group (formerly Sales Division), and because of existing Shield of Excellence criteria, no one qualified for the Shield award.

This year, the Customer Dev't Group is rehashing the Shield of Excellence Award mechanics by incorporating new measures attuned to the new set of standards in a continuously evolving market landscape. The new criteria will highlight individual creativity and superior achievement that Management expects from its new breed of sales executives.

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