(L-R) Moderator Marie Valmonte; Panelists Ron Sayco, James Mata, Jebo Lopez, and Amante Bustamante at the “Fil-Am Men in Business: Dreaming Big” panel discussion held at the Philippine Embassy Chancery Annex on 26 September 2019.


27 September 2019

WASHINGTON, D.C. –Following the success of “Filipinas in Business: Making Mindset Matter” in March 2019, the Philippine Embassy and the Philippine American Chamber of Commerce Metro DC (PACC-DC) collaborated once again for a similar event, this time featuring Filipino-American men who have ventured and succeeded in various fields of business.

“Fil-Am Men in Business: Dreaming Big” brought together four (4) outstanding Filipino-American men to talk about how they have empowered themselves to putting up successful businesses in the United States. They are Ron Sayco, CFO of cybersecurity solutions provider Merlin International; James Mata, President and Owner of Maryland Premier Exteriors and Ruuf Roofing and Co-Owner of Sunset Ridge Assisted Living; Jebo Lopez, CEO and Owner of local courier WHEELZ UP and dockless electric scooters business BOLTZ UP; and Amante Bustamante, CTO and part owner of Ashburn Consulting LLC.

The event, which was held at the Philippine Embassy Chancery Annex on 26 September 2019, was well received and well attended by the Filipino-American community of the DMV area.

“This is another opportunity to pick the brains of a different set of panelists, particularly in relation to the risks, responsibilities, and rewards that go with owning a business,” said Embassy Deputy Chief of Mission Patrick A. Chuasoto in his opening remarks.

“This evening, we will be treated to life lessons – lessons of failure and lessons of success – from the stories of four Filipino-American men who have gone through and are still going through the triumphs and travails of having their own businesses,” Minister Chuasoto further stated.

Cristina Sison, President of PACC-Metro DC likewise delivered a powerful message prior to the start of the panel discussion.

“As President of the PACC-DC, my vision is to strengthen Filipino-American entrepreneurship in the greater Metropolitan Washington DC area. Our mission is to be a relevant, meaningful and a dynamic force in pursuing business development activities for the Filipino-American community. PACC will continue to change and challenge the way its members do business and to help them find ways to contribute to their respective communities,” said Ms. Sison.

During the discussion, the panelists narrated their journey starting from their realization that they wanted to start their own business, to focusing on what they are good at, what inspires them, and how they developed and excelled in the type of industry they are currently in.

Jebo Lopez stressed the importance of “living life more”, working on your passion, and planning ahead, while James Mata underscored the impact of having faith in yourself, not forgetting where you came from, and looking at the needs of your clients.

“Don’t forget to give back, to charity, to the community. You also need to have the right attitude,” Amante Bustamante also reminded the audience. Ron Sayco likewise emphasized that keeping a positive attitude and remaining calm in times of challenging situations are essential in doing business.

Marie Valmonte, COO of KayaRoo, a professional learning program development, served as the moderator of the panel discussion, while lawyer-entrepreneur Olma Inocentes of OMLLI Group, LLC served as the host of the event.

An engaging Q&A session followed the panel discussion, and a simple reception featuring Filipino dishes courtesy of Enterprise Solutions, Inc. and PACC-DC concluded the program. ###

27 September 2019

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(L-R) Olma Inocentes, Cristina Sison, Amante Bustamante, Ron Sayco, James Mata, Embassy Deputy Chief of Mission Patrick Chuasoto, Jebo Lopez, and Marie Valmonte at the conclusion of “Fil-Am Men in Business: Dreaming Big” on 26 September 2019.


27 September 2019

IMG 4517PACC-DC President Cristina Sison delivers remarks prior to the start of the panel discussion, “Fil-Am Men in Business: Dreaming Big” on 26 September 2019.

27 September 2019

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Josie Ziman of Manila Mail asks an interesting question to the panelists during the Q&A session.