Orly Peña: Associatio­n leader extraordin­aire

- Octavio Peralta

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 for more details on AS8.

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