Our masterclass mentors are well-known and respected leaders in their fields. They are interdisciplinary practitioners, lifelong learners, and have a heart for mentoring young people.
Depending on their schedule and availability, masterclass mentors can conduct workshops, one-off classes, webinars, and — if there is a good match with Launchpad members interested in his/her field — one-on-one or group mentoring/coaching sessions.
Joel is a visual artist and musician, who studied in an arts high school on a mythical mountain. He graduated from the UP College of Fine Arts as a Visual Communications major, and it was there that he watched a couple of The Dawn concerts and Parokya ni Edgar (when they were starting out). He’s played in a couple of underground alternative bands, rocking in the usual haunts: Mayric’s, Freedom Bar, Magnet and 70s Bistro.
Joel has worked for over 25 years in post-production as a digital effects editor and has digitally retouched everything from pimples to hair to armpits to waistlines to bad teeth. He likes the works of Brancusi, Calder, Van Gogh, Escher, Brom, Ang Kiukok and H.R. Ocampo, and considers U2, Sting, Red Hot Chili Peppers,and John Mayer as significant musical influences.
He has an almost unhealthy collection of mecha (Transformers, Gundam, Macross, Evangelion, etc.), guitars, Magic The Gathering cards and Nerf guns. He’s seen over 50 K-Dramas (and counting) and has been listening to IU, BTS, Jannabi and Blackpink lately. Joel recommends Staedtler 3B pencils for drawing as they are the perfect balance of softness and control.
Katherine is a dreamer, musician, piano teacher, missionary, mentor, mom, housewife, and possibly your favorite tita friend.
She’s also a Philippine High School for the Arts and UP alumni who champions Filipino talent in the field of classic music. After being awarded one of the Ten Outstanding Students of the Philippines in 2001, Katherine pursued her Master’s Degree in Piano Performance at Towson University, Maryland, and graduated with distinction, under renowned concert pianist and pedagogue Reynaldo Reyes. She then went back to the Philippines to continue studying the Suzuki Method under Prof. Arambulo, her lifelong mentor and inspiration.
Katherine and her husband Jehri have an advocacy program focusing on literacy, music, health, livelihood, and developing mature followers of Jesus among informal settlers. During this pandemic season, Katherine has been homeschooling 2 out of her 5 children, and has recently taken a step towards unschooling.
Mennen M. Aracid
Mennen is a human resource and training consultant who has addressed professionals here and abroad.
He conducts workshops in leadership and strategic. He has done several research studies around Engagement, Organizational Climate, Customer Satisfaction, and Net Promoter Scores. He has a combined 32-year national sales experience in pharmaceuticals, computer-aided learning solutions, telecommunications, and education.
He is currently a faculty member of the Ateneo Graduate School of Business, where he teaches Information Technology. As a faculty member of the Ateneo Center for Continuing Education, he facilitates courses in planning, strategic execution, process excellence, coaching, and instructional design.
He was the former Chief Business Development Officer of FranklinCovey in the Philippines. He was the past General Manager of Inspire Leadership Consultancy, Inc. He is currently the Principal Consultant for Element Consulting.
He is a People Acuity and Strengths Strategy Certified Coach. He helps leaders tap into and discover, apply, and be excellent in their leadership competencies.
Acel Bisa-van Ommen
Acel is a singer-songwriter and recording artist with one of the most resonant voices in the Philippine music industry. Her hit songs in the early 2000s include “One Love”, “Torete”, and “Pag-Ibig Kong Ito”.
She has been in the music industry for over 20 years, and released several albums, with her former bands and solo. Her solo hits include “Panyo” and “Pambihirang Pagkakataon”. Her book “Who Would Have Thought?” chronicles her journey in music, life and love.
From 2019 to early 2021, Acel was signed under the DNA label of Star Music and released her singles, “Pitik Bulag”, “Alaala”, “Lagi Na Lang”, and “Mula Ngayon”, all available worldwide on all digital platforms. Acel’s sweet and dreamy voice was also heard in “Your Universe”, the theme song of the movie Between Maybes, starring Julia Barreto and Gerald Anderson.
Acel is also co-founder of Right Start, an NGO that provides creative, caring spaces for children in underprivileged communities in the Philippines.Acel is also the proponent of Payong Musikero which provides music information, instruction, and inspiration to co-musicians and aspiring musicians online. She also is the host of the top-charted music podcast, Song In Focus.
Paul Alexander Burns
Paul is an airline transport pilot with over 2,600 hours of flight experience. He is currently a First Officer, flying the ATR 72-600 aircraft for a major airline in the Philippines.
Paul was a full-time flight attendant for 11 years before shifting careers and becoming a commercial pilot. He spent 2 out of those 11 years as a trainer, ensuring that the next generation of flight attendants had vital skills that would ensure public safety and comfort while flying.
Paul has been flying airplanes since 2009 and has been flying commercially for over 3 years, specializing in turbo propeller planes and landing on short runways. Paul also has invaluable experience landing on water, having been a seaplane pilot for 2 years. He has landed on remote locations for different missions, like charter flights or medical evacuation flights.
Paul is the son of an aeronautical engineer who is, likewise, a true aviator. Paul’s personal mission is to share the joys of flight to younger minds who dream of flying airplanes one day.
Paul is inspired daily by his wife Aubrey and their two sons, David and Daniel. In his free time, he listens to music, plays with his kids, watches movies and enjoys exploring different malls with his family.
Gina is a results-driven, first-rate executive with more than 20 years of professional experience in: business development and sales; in-depth program, campaign and events management experience from conception to implementation; media and government relations; strategic marketing and communications; and development communication.
Her engagements in recent years, up to today, are marked by extensive work as director of a Board and Chair for Community Development where she enhanced old programs and developed new ones in the following areas: HEALTH, through medical and dental missions and the design and implementation of continuous health campaigns; EDUCATION, through a scholarship program currently benefited from by students in both elementary and high school; CAPACITY BUILDING through livelihood training programs and establishing a “market day” for local cooperatives; and ENVIRONMENT through tree planting activities and the submersion of artificial fish habitats in our waters directly benefiting a fishing community.
As a certified NLP practitioner, Hank is the founder and CEO of HankCoach, an organization dedicated to empower individuals and corporate leaders to create success in all areas of their lives. As a coach and mentor, Hank has taught thousands of individuals and organizations to create effective results in areas such as human connection, self-realization and even bridging the gap between people in organizations.
Hank is also the co-founder and director of HANKidz, a kids leadership training centre that specializes in building a child’s leadership potential and character building. It has reached more than 20,000 children nationwide.
In addition to being constantly invited for special appearances on radio and TV, Hank has also been featured in The Star Newspaper, News Strait Times and more. To date, Hank has trained people from companies such as Shell, Baker Tilly, Samsung, Intel, Polis Di-Raja Malaysia, Lembaga Getah Malaysia, Bank Negara Malaysia, Maybank, CIMB Group, UOB, Sin Chew Newspaper, Pfizer Malaysia, Epson, Solisege Group, GSC, Public Bank, KFC, Pizza Hut and even the Police Force of Malaysia.
Cris is the Founder and Chief Inspiration Officer of TrainingEdge Incorporated. Aside from being a resource person to various organizations in the country — mostly Japanese-owned — Cris also has international exposure as Guest Lecturer in Singapore and Japan. She helps infuse joy and optimism in individuals, teams and organizations through the personal and professional effectiveness programs she herself designs and facilitates — onsite and online.
Cris is an Excellence Coach to leaders and individuals who are committed to transforming their results and their lives. She considers herself a relentless spiritual seeker. She regularly engages in spiritual practices such as meditation, yoga, mindfulness and lovingkindness.
Cris is a proud graduate of Saint Louis University, Baguio City: Bachelor of Science in Psychology, cum laude, and Master of Science in Psychology. She hosts the 8-year old inspiring seminar-on-radio, WINNER KA, PINOY! at DzXL 558 Manila every Sunday from 11 AM to 12 Noon. You may visit her YouTube Channel #BeFreewithCrisLorenzana to experience her brand of inspiration.
She is also the author of the book, REFUSE TO BE ORDINARY (2016) and REFUSE TO BE ORDINARY (2020 Pocket Inspirer Edition).
Lok Wah Kwong
Lok Wah is an experienced Life, Leadership and Business Coach. He coaches business owners, entrepreneurs, CEOs, and professional managers in developing leadership and business skills to help them overcome self-limiting beliefs, and adopt particular mindsets and behavioural skill sets that will enable them to grow and add value to their organisations and businesses.
Lok Wah is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England & Wales, a Member of the Malaysian Institute of Certified Public Accountants, and a Member of the Malaysian Institute of Accountants. He graduated with an Honours Degree from the University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur in 1966 in Economics and Linguistics.
He was Principal of the Consulting Division of Ernst and Whinney (now known as Ernst and Young) in Malaysia from 1984-1989. He now runs his own Management Consulting practice, and has been in the consulting profession for over 40 years.
His specialties include: turnaround workouts with financially distressed businesses, corporate and financial restructuring, mergers and acquisitions, due diligence reviews, share valuations, detailed reviews of internal control systems, project feasibility studies, the sourcing of private equity and venture capital for new ventures, advising on shareholder agreements and joint-venture set-ups.
Veronica Ester “Boots” Mendoza
Boots has 35 years of experience providing consultancy, technical support and training to non-profit organizations, donor organizations, and government agencies. Her areas of focus include organizational development, project design & management, strategic planning, capacity building, monitoring & evaluation, board governance, and resource mobilization, as well as nurturing learning, personal development and effectiveness amongst partners. She has done this for organizations like Leonard Cheshire International, Keystone AccountAbility UK, Handicap International Belgium and France, Liliane Fonds Netherlands, Resource Alliance Asia-Pacific, CBM International Germany, National Council for Social Development, Association of Child-Caring Agencies of the Philippines, Fundraisers’ Network for Development (FuND Philippines, Inc.), and the Inter-Country Adoption Board.
Since 1999, she has been an evaluator, mentor, and trainer for the Philippine Council for NGO Certification. Her current professional involvements include: external consultant for the Applied Learning Team of the International Institute of Rural Reconstruction; consultant-trainer for FuND Philippines, Inc.; technical adviser and trainer for the Philippine Institute of Certified Public Accountants, Inc.; consultant for NORFIL Foundation, Inc.; consultant for Liliane Fonds; and consultant for CBM International – Country Office Philippines.
She is on the Board of Trustees for SPECS Foundation, Inc., a non-profit working for the wellbeing and protection of urban poor families and children.
Ed is a retired global business executive with 33 years of experience. His experience includes consecutive assignments in the US, Singapore, China, India, Vietnam, and Caterpillar dealer tenures in the Philippines and Pakistan. He began as a technician and rose through the ranks, to sales and marketing, then business unit and general management. After a short stint with Caterpillar dealers, he was invited to join Caterpillar Inc. in its Asia Pacific regional office in Singapore.
He has assumed various regional and global roles, the most significant of which included end-to-end management for regional and global products, distribution and subsidiary directorship, and marketing management. His business interests are in real estate, stock and money market investments. He is a business consultant, part-time professor, and volunteers to outreach ministries.
He provides business consultancy on local and international business management, marketing and leadership, strategy development and strategic plan execution. He also provides coaching and leadership mentorship. Ed is a principled, inspiring and visionary leader.
A three-time ALIW Awardee for Best Female Classical Performer, Camille has sung in operas, operettas, oratorios, zarzuelas, concerts, and recitals. She is one of the founders of Viva Voce Voice Workshop, an intensive summer voice camp. She teaches at St. Scholastica’s College School of Music and the Philippine High School for the Arts. She has studied at the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts and the Conservatory of Vienna. The way things are done in Abot Tala is how she would have wanted her own education to be – something to be excited about every day.
Rommel dela Cruz
Bass player, songwriter, and book nerd, Rommel has been playing the bass and writing songs for the past 26 years. He has recorded close to 500 songs and played in almost 150 albums throughout his career. He also holds bass clinics and church workshops. He was the bass player for the band Freestyle for 13 years and before that with Barbie’s Cradle. He has played with artists such as Unique, Sarah Geronimo, Jett Pangan, Kitchie Nadal, Ebe Dancel, Nicole Asensio, Rico Blanco, Grace Nono, Wency Cornejo, Bayang Barrios, Lani Misalucha, Regine Velasquez and many more. He brings not only his musicality to Abot Tala but his passionate belief that this type of libertarian education is the way to go if we want to secure a better future for our children.