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By Tonette T. Orejas


CITY OF SAN FERNANDO—Countryside development is Lisset Laus-Velasco’s (MBM 2000) vision. And she helps make that happen.

Her main platform is the Pampanga-based conglomerate Laus Group of Companies (LGC) where she is chair and chief executive officer. She also works with various business groups, including the Pampanga Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PamCham).

Laus-Velasco learned the importance of her advocacy to economic growth and democracy-building straight from her father, Liberato “Levy” Laus, one of the PamCham founders and a pillar in the rebuilding of Pampanga from the 1991 eruption of Mt. Pinatubo. The elder Laus died in a helicopter crash in Bulacan on April 25, 2019.

“I have really high hopes for the province [because] I’ve seen it before. I grew up here, and I knew how big the difference [it made] in our province. So what we do now is to continue it and to ensure that we’ll be able to fulfill the vision of our founders,” she says in an Inquirer interview with business leaders.

According to Laus-Velasco, the key to countryside development is the partnership of local governments and the private sector. In this, she considers herself a part of the second generation of leaders who are continuing the legacy of their elders.



“I feel that we are lucky enough to have local governments that are really working together with the private sector. We can only do so much as a private sector, [just as] the government can only do so much. It has to be a partnership between both,” she says.

“I’m actually very optimistic about the future because we know what we need, we are in the same direction,” she adds.

Laus-Velasco is confident in her capabilities. Before heading the 46-year-old LGC, she served as its chief operating officer for five years. She finished her Bachelor of Arts major in human resource management degree at De La Salle University-College of Saint Benilde, and earned a master’s degree in business management from the Asian Institute of Management.

Under her, LGC has 75 automotive dealerships in Central and northern Luzon. Aside from automotive (including motorbikes, trucks and buses), LGC is also into nonlife insurance, financing, food, media, hospitality and real estate.

“Have courage and be kind” is a quote she lives by in her leadership roles. “It’s one from a Disney film, but it reminds me not to be scared and to trust the Lord. We are all stewards on Earth, and we should be good stewards of His creation,” she says.

Laus-Velasco has reaped awards for her work. She was named one of the 10 leading women entrepreneurs from the Philippines by the Asean Women Entrepreneurs Network in 2023 in Jakarta, Indonesia.

Ernst & Young also named her Woman Entrepreneur of the Year Philippines in 2022, while she became an honoree and the only woman recipient of the 2021 Salute to Dealer award given by Ford Motor Co. globally, and the only representative in the International Markets Group.

Laus-Velasco is a member of the board of NLEx Corp. as an independent director. She serves as a trustee of the Philippine Business for Social Progress, the largest business-led nongovernmental organization in the country.

She has joined various board positions in the Entrepreneurs Organization of the Philippines (EO) where she served as president in 2021-2022, and as area director for EO APAC covering five countries in Southeast Asia. She is also active in the Philippine Automotive Dealers Association as corporate secretary.