Island Pacific Supermarket Announces New CEO, Maite Defensor

LOS ANGELES, Feb. 2, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — Island Pacific Supermarket, a leading grocery chain specializing in Filipino and Asian products, today announced the appointment of Maite Defensor as its new Chief Executive Officer.

Maite Defensor, a seasoned business leader with over two decades of diverse experience, brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to Island Pacific Supermarket. Her illustrious career spans several industries, including marketing, construction, mining, finance, and public service. Her leadership is further highlighted by her establishment of Island Pacific Global, Inc., a strategic initiative that provided considerable labor cost savings by offering back-office support to U.S.-based Island Pacific Supermarkets. This strategic move not only bolstered the company’s financial performance but also supported local industries in the Philippines.

Her tenure as President & CEO of the Philippine National Construction Corporation (PNCC) positioned her as a key figure in one of the Philippines’ largest construction industry employers. Defensor’s commitment to public service is equally notable, exemplified during her time as the Representative for the Third District of Quezon City in the House of Representatives. Here, she was instrumental in filing bills on anti-discrimination at work, focusing on eliminating discriminatory actions based on sex, sexual orientation, age, personality, and looks to promote a society based on fairness and respect for all. Additionally, she championed anti-trust legislation to encourage fair business competition and prohibit unfair business practices. Her decision not to seek reelection, driven by a personal commitment to care for her special needs child, speaks volumes about her dedication to family and community.

Defensor’s academic background is impressive, having studied Economics at both the University of the Philippines and Harvard University. Her roles as Assistant Secretary and Director of the Harvard-Kennedy School of Government Alumni Foundation of the Philippines, along with memberships in prestigious organizations like the Harvard Club of the Philippines and the Financial Executives of the Philippines, further underscore her diverse skills and network.

Niño Jefferson Lim, the Founder of Island Pacific, who served as the company’s CEO until last year expressed his profound gratitude to the over a thousand team members of Island Pacific for their unwavering support and dedication during his tenure. “I am deeply thankful for the opportunity to have led such a remarkable team. My hope is that the same level of support and collaboration will be extended to Maite Defensor and the new leadership,” said Lim. He also highlighted the most significant accomplishment of Island Pacific. “In the Year 2000, there was only one dominant Filipino Supermarket chain, which led to the closure of many small family-owned grocery stores. Against all odds, Island Pacific survived and now our presence has been vital to our community, ensuring competitive prices and better product choices. This impact is particularly evident in areas where our stores are located, often resulting in lower food prices compared to communities without our presence. Our inclusion in Fortune Magazine’s prestigious list of Top 20 Best Large Workplaces in Retail is a testament to our core values, affirming our belief that our team members are our most important assets.”

“We are incredibly fortunate to have someone of Maite Defensor’s caliber and experience, whom I have also known for many years, step up to lead Island Pacific Supermarket,” said Matt Ranillo, Chairman of the Board of Island Pacific. “Her visionary leadership, evident in her successful management of large-scale projects and her innovative approach in various industries, has demonstrated a proven track record of execution. Maite’s unique qualifications, combining her extensive business acumen with her commitment to operational excellence, position her perfectly to drive strategic prioritization within our company. We are confident that under Maite’s guidance, Island Pacific will ascend to new heights of success, continuing to innovate and excel in serving our community.”

As Island Pacific Supermarket embarks on this new chapter, the company remains committed to its mission of bringing a taste of home to the Filipino community abroad and fostering a sense of connection through its products and services.

About Island Pacific

Island Pacific is a Filipino supermarket chain in the United States that offers a wide range of Filipino goods, including groceries, baked goods, and ready-to-eat meals. The company prides itself on its dedication to serving the Filipino community and promoting Filipino culture through its products and services.

SOURCE Island Pacific Market

(PRNewsfoto/Island Pacific Market)

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