Even though our beloved annual ball was cancelled, Prestige still honours our tradition of celebrating the finest and brightest from Singapore.
This year, we present four outstanding personalities who are inspiring leaders in their own right. Many congratulations to the following recipients of our Patron, Titan, Style and Vanguard 2020 accolades!
PATRON AWARD 2020
Mildred Tan, Chairman of the National Volunteer & Philanthropy Centre (NVPC)
For Mildred Tan, philanthropy is a way of life. But she never considered herself a philanthropist until she was told that the definition is not centred around monetary donations. “Rather, it refers to a person who gives their time and seeks to look after the welfare of others,” she says.
The former Managing Director of Ernst & Young Advisory has decades of experience in organisational development and restructuring work but has also dedicated much of her life to community work. A Nominated Member of Parliament from 2009 to 2011, and a current board member of the Community Foundation of Singapore, she was awarded the PBM (Public Service Medal) in 2007 and BBM (Public Service Star) in 2014 for her community service by the Singapore Government.
Together with her team at NVPC now, they are working towards making Singapore a City of Good. This ecosystem hinges on three pillars, where individuals, organisations and leaders work together to help one another. “It’s all about building a better world.”
TITAN AWARD 2020
Chan Soo Khian, Founder and Principal Architect of SCDA Architects
The man behind one of the most lauded design and architecture firms in Singapore, Chan Soo Khian (better known as Soo Chan) did not just steer his business towards local acclaim in the past 25 years, he also expanded his reach and reputation way beyond our shores.
After winning the inaugural President’s Design Award’s Designer of the Year honour in 2006, he led his firm in some of the finest projects in town – including the revamp of the National Design Centre and the design of SkyTerrace@Dawson in 2016, both of which won the President’s Design Award’s Design of the Year award. He also spearheaded some of our nation’s most beautiful ultra-luxury developments, such as The Marq and Leedon Residence.
Today, SCDA’s projects in Singapore only account for 10 per cent of its portfolio. Ninety per cent of it is in another 79 countries across six continents. The owner of Soori Bali recently expanded his portfolio to include Soori High Line in New York, and is in the midst of building more hotels in Asia. One of them is Soori Niseko in Hokkaido, and another is being developed on some of the unused space on the 10.4ha estate of Soori Bali. The latter is a passion initiative to revolutionise green accommodation, and involves a not-for-profit project called The Tenda, which turns shipping containers into lodging and will form the basis for this hotel’s accommodation. “I have a goal to put together low-key, sustainable accommodation, and I feel the time to act on it is now,” he says.
STYLE AWARD 2020
Grace Chng, socialite
Hailing from Hong Kong, Grace Chng was a former model, modelling trainer and fashion boutique owner before she relocated to Singapore upon getting married. Today, she is a mother of two teenagers and a very familiar figure in the local society scene. Popular and well-regarded for her sparkling personality and impeccable sense of style, Grace is widely known as a fashion chameleon and a discerning collector of high jewellery.
“I don’t really have a fixed style. Sometimes I have longer hair, sometimes short. Sometimes I feel like shorts and platform shoes, or an oversized pant suit with neon heels. I might want to dress up in a gown with tons of jewels for an evening gala or I might go in a sartorial tuxedo with minimal bling,” she says.
Grace’s fashion background and runway experience have certainly helped sharpened her style sensibilities. “When I am on the runway, I am transported to a different realm because every outfit meant I can become a different character!”
VANGUARD AWARD 2020
Ng Yi Ming, Co-founder and Managing Partner of Tribe Accelerator
The idea of blockchain technology is still foreign and intimidating to some, but 29-year-old technopreneur Ng Yi Ming is successfully changing that. He set up the Singapore-based blockchain accelerator in 2018 to help startups adopt blockchain technology to solve real-world problems like enabling tracking of food from farm to table and authenticating designer toys and collectibles to drive greater trust and transparency in transactions.
In just two years, Tribe Accelerator became Singapore’s first government supported blockchain accelerator, partnered with global corporations like BMW Group Asia, Citibank and Intel, as well as helped early-stage companies in its portfolio raise more than $40 million. “As long as there exist problems for people and businesses, should the role of tech continue to solve them,” he asserts. “Digital adoption will be at the centre of the new world order.”
Beyond enabling blockchain to solve real-world problems, Yi Ming is also working to build a wider ecosystem that helps propel Singapore as a collaborative nation. An ecosystem that has become a larger priority for him is enhancing tech education and employability. Investing in the next generation is a cause he strongly advocates. Currently, he holds a few mentorship roles including Entrepreneur in Residence at INSEAD, where he supports promising MBA students with their entrepreneurial pursuits. In response to a need for tech talent, Yi Ming launched Tribe Academy last year to offer courses in specialised tech such as blockchain, data science, cybersecurity and machine learning.