Member of The Year - Monica Portillo

Name: Monica Portillo, Events & Marketing Manager at the NZ Chamber Singapore

When did you commence? June 2014, to fill-up the position 8 weeks before my first Aotearoa Ball!

How many ED’s have you shared the office with? Teena Jelsma, Christine Sharp, Nancy Lagunowitsch, Danica Burke, Rachel Boyle and Tahsha Pratt; along with extraordinary Presidents such as Martin Aitchison, Vivienne Hunt, Nick Vanderkolk, Nick Lee and Kellie.

What have you loved about the role? The people and friends I met along the way, always feeling welcomed, embraced and part of the community. I learnt that Kiwis and Mexicans share common values such as family and friendship ties, the Whanau is the Familia.

I was also very lucky to get the chance to rub shoulders and shake hands with former PM’s John Key, Helen Clark and Jacinda Ardern (twice!), took selfies with the almighty AllBlacks, and hosted spectacular guests of honour at our office such as Dame Sophie Pascoe and Portia Woodman, among many more. 

Favourite 3 events? In this order: The Grand Aotearoa Ball, Waitangi Day and Breakfast of Champions! Which I plan to continue attending!

How do you measure the success of an event? Reading the room during events. Also, the feedback is always a great way to know firsthand that we have achieved our goal, and of course through the P&L.

When did you move to Singapore? Where from? Moved with my family in 2009 from Mexico with a short stay in Kolkata, India before making the final move to Singapore.

Where were you born? What country do you call home? I was born in Mexico City, and Mexico will be always home.

What do you like most about Singapore? It’s always evolving greenery, the continuous sense of order, structure, and safety which I value a lot.

What do you do to relax? Read! I love reading, I have a particular fascination with WWII stories and novels, I have a big collection that I hope to finish one day, tend to take my time and like to highlight the books to re-read them at the end. Family knows that if I have book in my hands, they must approach with caution.

What's top of your bucket list? Visiting the Uyuni Salt Flat in Bolivia, walking the Camino de Santiago in Spain and retiring in a beach in Costa Rica.

Tips for the incoming Event Manager? Loving what you do it is the top tip! Something that has always worked for me is to be practical and don’t sweat the small stuff.

Any last words? A huge thanks to every attendee and member that joined our events throughout the years, the Chamber exists because of its community.  Join the Chamber if you haven’t!