About Me

RENE “BUTCH” MEILY

 

Butch has lived his life caught between two cultures and countries, the United States where he has lived off and on for 33 years mostly working in PR, and the Philippines where he was born and presently works in the nonprofit sector. He shuttles between Stamford, CT and Manila.

Butch is the author of an upcoming memoir, From Manila to Wall Street – An Immigrant’s Journey with the First Black Billion Dollar Dealmaker. He has written articles for Wall Street Journal, Chicago Tribune, New York Daily News, Black Enterprise magazine and the Philippine Star newspaper. He has done two book tours promoting his former boss’s biography, Why Should White Guys Have All The Fun?

Butch’s current job is President of the Philippine Disaster Resilience Foundation (PDRF), a private sector disaster management organization that includes the major business groups in the country.  He helped found PDRF, turning it into a global role model for private sector involvement in calamities. The organization operates the world’s only national private sector Emergency Operations Center. Philippine Long Distance Telephone (PLDT), his parent company, received the 2016 Prince of Wales Business in Community UPS International Disaster Relief Prize for its work in organizing PDRF after Typhoon Ketsana in 2009 and mobilizing it during Super Typhoon Haiyan in 2013.

Butch has worked in conflict situations in the southern Philippines including a terrorist siege in 2013 and an ISIS-inspired rebellion in 2017.

Butch wears several hats. He heads IdeaSpace Foundation, a technology accelerator for early-stage startups, and QBO Innovation Hub, a public private partnership launched to mentor startups. Until December 2020, he served as president of Pacific Global One, an aviation firm affiliated with PLDT.

Previously, Butch was First Vice President and Special Assistant to the chairman of PLDT and president of PLDT Smart Foundation.  Prior to joining PLDT, he served as Vice President, Communications for TLC Beatrice International, a food company in New York and Paris and the main subject of his book.  He has worked with several New York public relations firms and a financial startup there.

Butch graduated from the Ateneo de Manila University and earned an MA in Journalism and Communications from the University of Florida (UF), becoming the first honors graduate of the program. He returned to UF as a Freedom Forum Distinguished Professor and received a Distinguished Alumnus award from the school. He started but did not finish his MBA at Northwestern University. He has taken writing classes at Grub Street and at New York University’s Continuing Education Program, a long time ago.

In 1997, he established a permanent scholarship in his father Joe Meily’s name, at the Ateneo. That same year, he made a small donation to the College of Journalism and Communications at the University of Florida.


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