GMA Network Chairman Atty. Felipe L. Gozon was honored by the International Association of Business Communicators (IABC) Asia Pacific as 2024 Communicator of the Year (COTY) in the Executive Leader category.

The award recognizes his outstanding contributions to the field of communication and underscores his pivotal role in transforming GMA into the powerhouse it is today and in changing the landscape of Philippine broadcast media.

"This award is meaningful as it recognizes the crucial role of communication in business. Communication—strategic, inclusive, and rooted in truth—is a cornerstone of a successful enterprise. Well-crafted and inspiring, it has the power to move minds and hearts," said Gozon.

As one of Asia's top broadcast CEOs, Gozon's leadership led to the phenomenal rise of GMA Network to the multi-billion peso, dominant industry force it is today that leads in ratings, revenues, and reach. The visionary Gozon transformed GMA into one of the largest, most trusted, and most profitable media conglomerates today, all while keeping his reputation pristine in an industry that walks the tightrope of economic, political, and social issues.

A seasoned blue-chip lawyer and formidable courtroom gladiator, Gozon had an extensive list of professional achievements and distinctions prior to his career in media. But his success began early on: he finished in the top ten of the University of the Philippines Law Class of 1962, and took the bar examination in the same year, placing 13th overall. Thereafter he pursued his Master of Laws at Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut, USA.

Gozon's passion for excellence continued in GMA Network, where his stewardship also led to pioneering new narratives that resonated with Kapuso audiences. Driven by his belief in television's profound impact on educating, mobilizing, and impacting change in society, GMA Network has become even more dedicated to providing significant talent and airtime to broadcast vital information for free.

GMA Network Vice President for Corporate Affairs and Communications Angela Javier-Cruz, who nominated Gozon for the IABC 2024 COTY Award, reflects on Gozon's unique and personal communication style that goes beyond ethical practices.

"Having worked closely with Atty. Gozon, I witnessed firsthand his genuine communication style," she shares. "As a GMA Network executive, he maintains an open line with stakeholders, consistently listening and responding to their feedback, which underscores his commitment to integrity and fairness. These values have shaped GMA Network into a pillar of responsible and impartial journalism, earning trust nationwide."

"Atty. Gozon's dedication to communication is also evident in his personal reading of employee letters, which used to come from suggestion boxes at the GMA Network Center and later through an online portal during the pandemic," she continues. "So when we speak of communication as a two-way system, Atty. Gozon embodies it, and leads by example. He gives his full attention to issues raised by executives, stakeholders, and employees alike, and responds to ensure all voices are heard and valued."

In an interview with IABC, Gozon gave this advice to young and tenured communications professionals: "Always stick to the truth in communicating information and reporting news. Report the news in a strictly objective and unbiased manner, and try to be at the forefront and the leader in the ever-changing and ever-evolving communication landscape. And study the operations of your enterprise. This will enable you to craft communication that is rooted in the context of your organization."

In the same interview, he also spoke about his inspiration: "Having the great privilege of touching the lives of more than 70 million Filipinos humbles and energizes me, reminding me of the transformative power we hold. We rely on our Lord to help us and attribute to Him whatever success we achieve."

Gozon is the third consecutive winner from the Philippines to win the IABC Asia Pacific COTY Award in the Executive Leader Category. He joins the esteemed group of previous IABC Asia Pacific COTY Executive Leader awardees that include President and CEO of Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI) Jose Teodoro K. Limcaoco, Chairman and CEO of Grupo Agatep Charlie A. Agatep, and former Chief Minister, Australian Capital Territory Kate Carnell.

As GMA sets out to reach more audiences globally and provide world-class entertainment and trusted news and information across multiple platforms, Gozon promises that "GMA Network will continue to uphold its dedication to integrity and public service, continuously crafting programs that showcase and bring the best of the Filipino

spirit to the world."

The IABC Asia Pacific Communicator of the Year Award celebrates exceptional communication excellence. Unlike most communication awards programs, the COTY Award honors the individual who has demonstrated leadership in strategic communication. It comes in two categories: Executive Leader for presidents, CEOs, or heads of private firms, organizations, or government agencies, and Senior Communication Professionals, for communicators with at least ten years of work experience in the profession and have implemented programs to support their company's or organizations goals.