Anita Cameros Pena, Finance Manager
If there is one defining attribute, which sets Anita apart from everyone else, is her persevering tenacity, that sedulous spirit within that refuses to concede, that no matter the odds always finds a way to succeed. For her, excellence is the result of always aiming to achieve more, a statement best reflected in her struggles and eventual rise to prominence.
As an unplanned third child to an impoverished family of six, she experienced extreme poverty at an early age. While her parents sold deep fried bananas by day, they'd work extra doing laundry and tailoring outfits to compensate for the insufficient income. Still it would not be enough to support her family and they survived on a single meal daily. They were so poor she never knew the feeling of a newly purchased outfit, relying heavily on hand me downs from her elder siblings, her school uniforms were always mismatched and incomplete. The lack of basic essentials and being susceptible to malnutrition throughout her life made it highly probable that even at a young age she grew to adopt a matured outlook.
Drawing inspiration from her elder siblings, she followed in their steps and graduated high school with honors -much to her parents delight. It was also there her abilities started to take form, starting with her skill in conceptualizing art via the letters she created. It would not escape her teachers' notice, as she'd be constantly invited to design the school stages whenever an occasion arose. Those opportunities fueled her dreams to one day becoming an architect.
Yet it was not to be.
With both her sisters attending universities under scholarship programs didn't make it any easier for her. Financial difficulties aside, those institutions only allowed one sibling per family to participate, inhibiting her from realizing the career she desired. Resigned to her fate, a visit from friends encouraging her to try made all the difference. Roused by their stories her mother decided to seek assistance from a relative to finance her education. However, in exchange for her schooling the course would be relegated from architecture to accountancy.
By her second year, she had managed to qualify as a Grant in Aid Scholar, and was assigned as a working student under the basic education department. What would have been cause for celebration turned into a dilemma, her assigned work location was in an extension campus which required multiple rides and her educational fund did not cover transportation expenses. The stress on her work and school balance would eventually take its toll, she would miss the required percentile needed to continue the course.
Saddened by the impact it left on her parents, she went on overdrive to prove herself worthy once more, this she accomplished by saving her scholarship and graduating in Management Accounting with academic distinction as a Dean's Lister.
When she joined Accentline, the company was at its lowest. Widespread chaos and lack of professionalism in all departments offered clear signs for any level headed employee to abandon ship. Instead she dug her heels and began transforming the finance department into a power house, becoming an example for other departments to imitate. Her promotion as Head of Finance only emboldened her commitment to further raise the benchmark in all endeavours, this would take shape as well in the creation of the Philippine Call Center Credit Cooperative, a cooperative for Accentline employees that ensures savings and financial support for all members.
In 2019, she was awarded the "Exceptional Achievement Award" the highest recognition for individual achievement for her exemplary leadership and contributions to the company. She would also garner the coveted "Department of the Year Award" along with her team for their transparency, efficiency and commitment towards excellence.
True to the promise she once made to herself, Anita began assuming the mantle of responsibility by providing for the financial wellbeing of her parents and siblings, even extending that generosity to her in-laws by shouldering the cost of their education and medications. Never forgetting her humble beginnings, she continues to convert her hardships into seeds of hope for others, reminding all that whatever extra is shared can go a long way for those who have none.