We all have our story and, all the time, it’s inspiring. For Industrial Engr. Grace Bondad Nicolas, who keeps on breaking the glass ceiling for her various activities not just for her business but also as a civic leader, it’s not easy but with consistency, you’ll achieve all.
“One of the organizations I’m with is Kiwanis International under Philippines Luzon District, one of my business mentors, Hotelier, Dr. Elton See Tan of The E Hotels & Resorts recruited me to be part of the Makati club and I joined because of my trust to him. Also, for me, it’s human nature to give, I grew up in a loving and giving family, being with the organization will only amplify the things I can do to help the indigent children,” shared the gorgeous serial entrepreneur.
As a business leader specially of the newest and most distributed business and leadership magazine right now in National Bookstores, Rising Tigers, Engr. Grace is the founder who conceptualized the concept of the magazine together with the help of the CEO of TAG Media Group, the publisher of the magazine and her husband, Andrew Troy Nicolas. When she’s little, she loves to write and contribute to publications. At one time, her writeup was published in her high-school publication in Canossa College, San Pablo City, Laguna. So having the magazine is a dream come true and more.
Brian Poe Llamanzares, a serial entrepreneur and the CEO of Pantheon Holdings, is now the coowner of Rising Tigers, according to him, “the team is very confident that it will top the market with its innovations and quality of content. The magazine has already perfected its marketing strategy even though it’s still new and will celebrate its first anniversary this March 2023. A lot of big names in the business industry have already confirmed and committed their support. While I’m looking forward to helping the company grow.”
“Imagine that when everything is going digital, where printing hard copies. Everything is a challenge but with the support of my family and partners, we achieved it. While others are stopping, we’re starting. Now, Rising Tigers is the go-to magazine if you like to be inspired by the stories of these industry leaders, we’re making sure that it will make an impact and we did. We’re overwhelmed,” explained Grace Bondad Nicolas.
Grace actually is the COO of their company, TAG Media Group, the umbrella holding company of AAA Cosmetics, AG Builders, Rising Tigers Trading, and Tag Media and Public Relations. As the Chief Operations Officers, she’s the one communicating with everyone, from the suppliers, clients, the organizing team and partners.
Her eldest daughter is now the Chief Marketing Officer, Andria Terese Nicolas overseeing the emerging & featured leaders for the magazine and handling a portion of suppliers to make sure that the branding is handled well. According to Grace, Andria is more feisty, direct and she knows what’s best for the younger generation in terms of campaigns for the magazine and Tag Media and Public Relations.
As being the first woman and Filipina president of American Association of the Philippines after 73 years, Grace is overwhelmed. The organization is composed of Americans, Filipino Americans and Filipino leaders who likes to improve and help everyone though the mandate is to focus on Americans in the Philippines after the war, the organization widens its mandate to help everyone within its capacity. Grace left the organization already but Andria is a member and curving her own path.
“Being elected is already a success, as a woman, it gives me more confidence. They trusted me. Being the first Filipina made me feel that I can do more bigger things, we’re not just the one assisting, we’re leading and that inspires me to mentor more emerging leaders to contour what’s standard,” mused Grace Bondad Nicolas.
Grace is the president of Los Baños Chamber of Commerce and Industry for 2023 to 2025 and spearheading the business leaders in the area to promote the special city and to entice investors in Laguna. Her popularity as the woman who can do made her the head of the organization with the first project of a business forum last year with the two grandsons of the former Philippine presidents as speakers; Paco Magsaysay and Robert Laurel Yupangco who bought came to Laguna from Manila to shared their business expertise.
During Pandemic, she establishes two companies and according to her, grew the company for 300%. For her, taking risk is part of the challenge to success. Her late father who was an entrepreneur trained her and made sure that she can do what her heart desires by supporting her in all means possible. For Grace, there must be no stopping, the recent pandemic will only prove who are the real leaders who can adapt and can pivot.
“My parents asked me to help them in the hardware store that supplies construction materials in Laguna when I was in Grade 6, I counted the concrete hallow blocks, weight the common wire nails and counted cements, I loved it, I told myself that I’m helping them in my capacity, little did I know that they were already training me for what’s to come. As for my father, he told me that school will only trained us about problem solving but the real deal is after the graduation. I envied my parents buisness acumen, they keep on winning, there’s challenges as part of life but still, comparing with my age right now, haven’t achieve yet what they had. Everything I have now is from the discipline and hard work, as much as I wanted to work 24/7, I can’t but putting my best every-time as if it’s the end of the world,” recalled Grace Bondad Nicolas.
For Grace, she’s not yet done but just starting. She believes that all the things she’s doing is just a speck of what’s needs to be done. It’s about building legacy according to her, making a difference in the life’s of many and for the next generation to be emulated. For her, it’s always about the future, but to achieve that, that’s saying “No” also to many.
“We’re not here to please everyone, if that’s your goal, you’re not going to be happy and at peace to yourself. It’s about integrity, true to your values and saying no is the first thing to achieve success. There might be detractors but it’s usual, you just need to focus on a higher goal and that’s to do great things to many not just for the selected few who don’t believe in you. There’re always challenges, they’re part of life and if you overcome those, that’s real success,” Grace Bondad Nicolas elucidated.
Right now, Grace is busy as the Queen of Events, as tagged by the media in promoting the Philippines as the premier business hub in Asia and destination through her multiple activities nationwide. She’s the Vice President of Makati Tourism Foundation, where she met tourism and industry leaders and learned so much from them.
For Grace, it’s all about consistency, she grew up doing what she’s doing and now, harvesting what her parents instilled to her. To do great things from the hardest work she can put her hands into. For her, if there’s option, always choose the one that’s hard to fulfill, if overcome, that’s the start of your own story to tell.
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