Orly Peña: Association leader extraordinaire
The first time I wrote a eulogy here was in my March 8, 2019, column entitled, “BSP Gov. espenilla and the Association Community,” a tribute to the late Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Governor Nestor espenilla for his contribution to the association community as chairman of the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC) whose sole shareholder is the BSP.
This time I thought I would pay homage to the person who showed me the ropes of managing an association and his many contributions to the association community.
Orlando P. Peña, or Orly to family and friends, was my boss and mentor at the Association of Development Financing Institutions in Asia and the Pacific (Adfiap). he was the founding secretary general of Adfiap, which was established in 1976, and served the association for 27 years. he expanded ADFIAP’S reach from a 31-member, 17-country association in 1976 to triple that number when he retired in 2004. he built the professional development program of Adfiap because of his passion and expertise in training and people management.
Before and during his work in Adfiap, he was, among others, chairman of the World Trainers in Development and the Council of employer Organizations, and president of the Personnel Management Association of the Philippines and the Philippine Council of Management. These institutions have bestowed him the highest accolades for his long and volunteer leadership contributions.
In his 255-page autobiography, “My Rainbow Run: From the Boondocks to the World,” published less than a year before his death, there is a section on managing associations and I am sharing a few excerpts below, confident that these will resonate to association executives here and elsewhere:
Associations are purpose-driven and service-oriented organizations.
Their biggest challenge is how to attract and retain members. The key to success in managing associations is good leadership and credibility.
The important value of association management is its advocacy, which is the soul of an association.
Associations can be sources of strengths but they can also be wasteful endeavours. It is important that associations are clear about their purpose and advocacy.
Volunteerism is the foundation of successful associations so motivating volunteers is essential.
Fundraising is a major activity to support the programs and activities of an association.
To be successful in managing an international association, one has to be like an ambassador.
These nuggets of wisdom on associations and association management can only come from the insights and experience of an association leader extraordinaire: Orlando “orly” peña. The association community here and abroad will surely miss you!
The column contributor, Octavio “Bobby” Peralta, is concurrently the secretary-general of the Association of Development Financing Institutions in Asia and the Pacific and the Founder & CEO of the Philippine Council of Associations and Association Executives. PCAAE is holding the Associations Summit 8 on November 25 and 26, 2020 with the theme, “Leading with Agility.” The two-day virtual event is supported by Adfiap, the Tourism Promotions Board and the PICC. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org for more details on AS8.