DANIEL A. ONGCHOCO
Founder & Executive Chairman
Boone, as he is more fondly called, once dreamed of playing professional basketball and winning the Philippines’ first Olympic gold medal. Today, however, he is better known as an innovation leader in the fields of education and information technology—breaking new grounds and barriers, and transforming lives along the way.
In the field of education, he pioneered the first blended-learning international MBA program in the Philippines under the Gates Professional Schools umbrella—offering what he calls “the ultimate value for money MBA program.” He is also the founder of Gardner College, aptly called the “Global School of Innovation,” where he launched a first-of-its-kind holistic dual international degree program. Previously, he operated the largest mall-based I.T. school in the Philippines for 20 years under the Informatics brand name at the SM City North EDSA.
With a keen eye for value investing, Boone rode the business process outsourcing wave at the turn of the millennium as the lead local investor in Alorica Philippines, one of the first successful call center start-ups in the country. After successfully exiting his investment in Alorica, he correctly bet on the BPO industry’s move upward the value chain when he took over then I.T. services start-up Synermaxx Corporation in 2006. Today, Synermaxx is a leading niche software developer and the largest A2P enterprise messaging provider in the Philippines. Sensing a new opportunity, he founded iBazaar, a PCIDSS-certified company and already a leading online payment gateway provider in the country.
In recognition of his pioneering spirit, Boone has received various accolades through the years, including the Philippine Marketing Excellence Award, PFA Franchisee of the Year Award, Philippine Quality Award for Education, and the Mario R. Nery Vocational Excellence Award in Information Technology.
With a desire to pay it forward and share his blessings, Boone has granted hundreds of full college scholarships through his schools, and is actively engaged in civic work as a high ranking officer or director in Rotary International and Red Cross, and in sports/youth development as a board member in World Archery Philippines, the archery NSA in the Philippines.
During his scholastic years, Boone was a champion debater and a fixture in the varsity basketball team. He graduated class valedictorian from De La Salle University-Manila with two summa cum laude degrees in Economics and Financial Management. A recipient of the Sixto K. Roxas Gold Medal for Excellence in Economics, he also holds a post-graduate certificate in e-Business from the University of California-Berkeley. In between graduation and embarking on the entrepreneurial path, he worked in the laundry and foods categories under the vaunted brand management group of Procter & Gamble Philippines.
ENGR. INES M. BASAEN, Ph.D.
President & Academics Director
Fondly known as “Ines from the City of Pines” (or Baguio City, located in the northern Philippine province of Benguet), she is a chemical engineer by profession, a life-long learner, and despite approaching her golden years, is still working on her nth academic degree.
Concurrently holding the position of executive vice president in Gardner College, Engr. Ines has grown both Gates Professional Schools and Gardner College into respected academic powerhouses known for quality and innovative education specializing in the areas of information technology, engineering, real estate management and entrepreneurship. She is also the President of leading education consulting firm Global Quality Education Providers.
Engr. Ines is a strategic planning and research and evaluation expert with past work and consulting experience in United Nations agencies like UNICEF, ILO, UNDP, UNESCAP and the UNESCO. True to her environmental and humanitarian advocacies, Engr. Ines previously held the positions of country manager of the UNDP Capacity 21 for Sustainable Development Project, Asia-Pacific Coordinator for the Center for International Rehabilitation, Asia-Pacific manager of the International Disability Rights Monitoring Program, Asia-Pacific Manager of the Earth Council, and National Coordinator of the Community-Based Environmental Impact Assessment with Indigenous Peoples.
Engr. Ines was the first female instructor in the Philippine Military Academy, and whereas she found herself travelling the globe and helping solve humanity’s problems for much of her adult life, she still looks at education as her first love and as her way of giving back. Prior to her current assignments, she was former chief of the Department of Education Technical Panel for Engineering Education, Plans and Programs Officer of the Catholic Educational Association of the Philippines (CEAP), and Vice President for Territory Corporate Operations and Academics of Informatics Holdings Philippines, Inc.
No stranger to academic awards, Engr. Ines was a consistent achiever and scholar. She was bestowed the Academic Excellence Award in 1986 by the University of the Philippines Diliman for her Doctor of Philosophy in Education, major in Research & Evaluation. She was also an Asian Development Bank scholar and University Scholar while working on multiple master’s degrees from the University of the Philippines Diliman, namely Master of Engineering, major in Chemical Engineering, and Master in Engineering Education. She likewise holds a Master of Science in Management Engineering from Saint Louis University Baguio City, where she also earned her B.S. in Chemical Engineering.