Gina Romero, The Athena Network Singapore
Inspiring entrepreneur, master networker, and visionary business leader, Gina Romero embraces every opportunity with boundless energy and contagious enthusiasm. Plunged into the commercial world at just 15, when she took over the family business in the Philippines, Gina’s unique blend of logical common sense and technical creativity has seen her grow several successful businesses, as well firmly establishing herself on the Singapore entrepreneur mentor scene.
Gina’s pragmatic attitude, unwavering standards for client service, and calm under pressure approach were skills she refined during her 10 year career with British Airways as a long-haul stewardess. Being surrounded by a dynamic and evolving team of people from a variety of backgrounds and cultures established Gina’s strong team ethic and intuitive leadership; attributes that would later prove essential for her business endeavours.
In 2001, Gina’s ‘big picture’ thinking, and talent for spotting new trends, enabled her, along with her tech-savvy business partner, to establish a unique and innovative IT solutions company in the UK, providing the first ever wireless technology to a residential property firm in London.
Their humble garage workshop quickly transformed into a boutique technical solutions company based in Mayfair, which serviced small, high revenue clients, including investment banks, oil and gas, and climate change mitigation companies and included a diverse database of over 250 customers worldwide.
Gina was primarily responsible for the project management and execution of all operational aspects of the business as well as the overall business strategy. The ethos of the business was simple - optimal productivity and efficiency was delivered to their clients coupled with a people oriented approach.
“My love for technology is not about the hardware and software but the potential to connect people. For me, technology is all about creativity and productivity – and the freedom to do the things that we do best and the things that we enjoy most.”
This unique business step up was mirrored by their innovative marketing efforts, which relied solely on Gina’s strategic connections made through membership of The Athena Network, the UK’s premier women’s networking association. As a founder member of The Athena Network in London, which now boasts over 2600 members, attending monthly business-focussed meetings, Gina was able to swiftly leverage this powerful and diverse group of professionals.
“Joining the Athena Network as a founding UK member in 2005 was one of the best business decisions I ever made. As a member of Athena I was very passionate about sharing my success at generating larger contracts and a quality client base, through my networking activities. I was determined to dispel the myth that business networking is just for small businesses to generate small contracts from other small businesses.”
This tenacious approach led their boutique IT firm to win larger contracts, reach a turnover of $1m and ultimately to a lucrative business opportunity.
Such phenomenal business success within their IT firm meant that Gina was able to channel her drive and enthusiasm in new ways and she readily accepted the next challenge as Athena Operations Director, reporting directly to the CEO and founder.
Immediately embedding herself into her new role, Gina liaised with and supported 30+ Regional Directors and their Regional teams. Her instinctive business strategies combined with her balanced approach enabled Gina to take The Athena Network to new heights. She defined and implemented new systems and processes for the UK and international franchise operation as well leading UK Head Office functions, improving and developing IT infrastructure and data management procedures.
In addition, Gina held the Regional Director position for the Athena North London area; facilitating monthly professional networking meetings and events for local businesswomen.
In 2010, when the exciting offer arose to relocate to Singapore, Gina took this in her stride and immediately saw the move as a new opportunity to launch herself into Singapore’s business and networking arena. Spearheading the launch of the Athena Network brand in Singapore in 2011 was an inevitable success for Gina who is poised to further stretch the boundaries for female business owners, executives and entrepreneurs.
“Singapore has a thriving community of small businesses and entrepreneurs. I am very excited about the opportunity to bring the Athena brand here to APAC. My vision is to create a dynamic community of inspired women who come together for personal and professional development, fun and of course to open the door to bigger and better business opportunities for all. I believe the key to success in business is collaboration and Athena is a wonderful platform for women to learn, grow and connect.”
“I was privileged to have had the opportunity to join the UK head office team as operations director and work alongside our CEO, Jacqueline Rogers, and many other outstanding business women. As head of The Athena Network Singapore, I am proud to be a leader and ambassador for the Athena Brand in Asia Pacific.”
Gina’s passion for helping small businesses to achieve their goals is infectious and her ability to incorporate both the logical and creative elements needed for brand evolution and business development has enabled Gina to firmly establish herself within the Singapore entrepreneur scene. Having already being featured in Her World, SG Entrepreneurs and on 938LIVE ‘They are Making a Difference’ series, Gina has quickly become known for her ultra business networking and brand ambassador skills.
Dubbed ‘rock chick entrepreneur’ for her unconventional and slightly rebellious slant on business Gina brings her own flavour of networking to Singapore with Business Rocks, an informal monthly business networking event for male and female business owners and entrepreneurs over music and drinks with a motto ‘never go to a boring business event again’.
Passionate businesswoman and entrepreneur, mentor and networking strategist, Gina’s straightforward, pragmatic leadership style, together with her ability to take reasoned decisions, has led to her successes within her own and other people’s businesses. Gina is honoured to form part of the Women’s Register team to bring her down-to-earth approach to aspiring female entrepreneurs and business owners.