(Susan Joven was the PR manager of Rustan’s for 19 years until her retirement. She works as a consultant for Rustan’s. This was her speech at the tribute for Gliceria Tantoco.)
Good morning everyone, good morning Ambassador Tantoco and the rest of the Tantoco family, and my co-Rustanites.
To call her a visionary in the retail industry is an understatement. Those who worked with GRT, as I had for many years, can attest to her unyielding ways.
To her, “normal” got you nowhere. Good was never good enough, especially because great was doable and achievable. She lived by that, and so that was likewise the standard we were all trained to abide by.
It was unnerving back then, to say the least. Being called to her office was like being summoned to the principal’s office. But in retrospect, how can I not be thankful for that?
Going to the warehouse to personally select the best merchandise to be featured in the ads, being given hundreds of magazine clippings, catalogs, or foreign ads for inspiration, getting long, detailed notes on how I can execute certain promotions better … In those encounters I took valuable nuggets of wisdom that have emboldened me to become the professional I am today.
Elegant. Generous. Familial. Yes, she was a stalwart, a larger-than-life figure of style, grace and taste. But in my years of working with her, there were also countless touching and heartwarming moments when I witnessed her amazing kindness, her altruism and compassion; her generosity, in the form of gifts and praises for a job well done; and humility. Above all, she always spoke of the importance of family—and how she hoped that we would be to her children and children’s children as we were to her.
Her memories live, and she is sorely missed. Thank you, GRT. —CONTRIBUTED