ROGER “SUNDAY” FONTELERA: DEVELOPING HUMAN TALENT

Armed with a degree on Consular and Diplomatic Affairs from De La Salle University-CSB, he initially wanted to work overseas as a Foreign Service officer or in the field of international relations because he has always been interested in dealing with people and handling issues and conflicts.

But as fate intervened, Roger Fontelera or more popularly known as Sunday decided to forego this opportunity and instead focused on the family business.

“Ever since I was a child, my parents and grandparents would always tell us how important REX is to our lives and to the lives of everyone working for REX,” he says. “My dad would talk to me and share to me how the 1st and 2nd generations have been working very hard to provide for us. He would always tell us that if one day the company would need us, we should be ready to give back and serve REX.”

With a gentle push from his parents and guidance from his cousin Don Timothy Buhain who is the REX Chief Operations Officer, he created a one year program that would allow him to understand how the business works and the entire process. According to Sunday, this program was very important and it really helped him in his first few years in the company.

Utilizing Human Capital

Now as REX Managing Director for Corporate Finance and Administration, he works with different kinds of people – from accountants to recruitment officers, to collection agents to employee relations people.

“This shows the diversity of the groups that I handle, and this involves a lot of people management skills,” he says. “I like the opportunity of being able to interact with different people. I am inspired whenever I listen to their stories and their personal struggles with work, what motivates them, what drives them, their dreams and aspirations and how they see themselves five, ten years with Rex. My work gives me the opportunity to understand people, and this for me is  important for the success of the company.”

There are, of course, challenges to his line of work – one of them is in utilizing the human capital which is often under used or under developed. “I believe that the most important asset of a company is its people – the human capital,” he says. “And any plans to move your business forward has to start there. Given the fast paced day to day demands of the business today, our human capital – which is the single most important asset of any organization – has to move in the same pace to be able to take the next steps in growth and innovation.”

To do this, he needs to develop the company’s human talent, recognizing the importance of human capital as a critical first step in tapping into unrecognized potential. He says that by doing this, what the company gets in return are better leaders, better decisions, more effective managers and a greater return on investment – maximizing their talent and recognizing their potential areas for improvement can bring their company to its desired state.

Because a company’s assets are its people, he indeed enjoys having conversations with people he encounters every day.

“This is one of the things I look forward to whenever I go to work – whether I bump into them in the canteen while having lunch, in the elevator on my way up to another meeting or walking to the parking lot going to the car,” he says. “No matter how long or short the chat may be, I make it a point to listen and understand their stories. I value connection with people.”

The Value of Humility and Continued Learning

In his years of working for the company, he has learned the value of humility and respect for individual. Being given the chance to work every day with different kinds of people, coming from different industries, with different beliefs and motivations, all coming together and believing in their company’s advocacy for the child, in a way, gives him a sense of pride that they are one in their aspirations.

For his future plans, he wants to continue learning. “We are in education,” he says. “We must continue to evolve. We must continue to push ourselves and explore what is out there. We must stay out of our comfort zone. Every day is an opportunity to be the best version of ourselves.”

As for his personal plans, he wants to be able to show to his kids the value of hard work and resilience – the ability to recover from difficulties and challenges that life may bring. He credits his grandfather, his father and everyone in the 1st and 2nd generation for his continued success, quoting COO Don Timothy Buhain – to be able to pass it on to the next generation, hopefully in a better state.

“My high at work is often highlighted not only in the achievement of the targets and goals, but more importantly, it’s the journey that one goes through in achieving it,” says Sunday. “The minutes, hours, days, months and even years that you clock in every day and the hard work and dedication that comes with it is the best combination for success. For me that’s the real victory.”

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