“To make a positive impact”
That’s the purpose statement Terence wrote for himself to live his life by. He was in his twenties when he wrote the statement, but for more than two decades, he chose to live by it. He became aware of every decision he made, word he spoke, the action he took, intending for each to align to his purpose statement. Even to this day, he would ask of himself: “Would doing this make a positive impact?” If yes, proceed. If no, think again.
It was with this attitude that he served out his contract of 13 years with the Navy, seizing each moment to give of his best. Upon completion of service, Terence co-founded Caelan & Sage, a strategic communications consultancy, so he could make a positive impact through the use of strategic thinking and communication, something he was and is still passionate about. With a maxim of “Under-promise, Over-deliver”, Terence and his team worked hard to give their best for every project, and was soon able to beat incumbents to win high-profile projects. The variety of projects gave Terence the experience he needed to hone his expertise in the fields of public and media relations, branding and design, corporate event management, and corporate training.
Over a span of five years, Terence led numerous projects. He was editor for an alumni e-newsletter which reached out to more than 45,000 graduates; the lead event planner for Maria Sharapova Live in Singapore in 2007; project director for media relations for Team Singapore at three major international and regional sporting events; and director for player liaison and event management at the Royal Trophy Golf Championships held in Thailand, Brunei and China. For the inaugural Singapore Youth Olympic Games in 2010, he designed the volunteer training programme and co-trained some 4,500 volunteers to man 18 competition venues. For the People’s Association, he developed the first-ever training programme for the People’s Association’s Family Life Champions, and also led the design and production of a Wellness Centre starter-kit launched by then Emeritus Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong and distributed islandwide to all Community Clubs.
Terence and his team steadily grew the company from zero-investment to over a million in revenue. In 2012, he led the company to a merger with Emergenetics Asia to form Emergenetics Caelan & Sage, thereupon pivoting the business to leverage Emergenetics International’s proprietary psychometric instrument to focus on people and organisation development so they could scale and expand overseas. As CEO of Emergenetics Asia Pacific and Master Trainer for Emergenetics, Terence oversaw the expansion of the Emergenetics business across the Asia Pacific region. As of 2018, there are now representation offices in China, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Thailand, and Vietnam.
While making a positive impact on clients excites him, Terence is just as passionate about making a positive impact on the community. He volunteers as District Councillor of South West Community Development Council and at SAFRA, oversaw the development of the latest SAFRA Punggol Clubhouse from concept through development to now, being Chairman of its Executive Committee. He is the Vice President of Lions Club of Singapore Centennial, and has sat or is sitting on various committees including the Alumni Board of SMU Lee Kong Chian School of Business, NACLI Board, and Outram Secondary School Advisory Committee. He is also a founding member of Project Happy Feet, a volunteer-run non-profit organisation which has raised in excess of one million dollars for the education of underprivileged children across the region.
Grateful to the Navy for giving him numerous opportunities including two awards – one to train at the prestigious Britannia Royal Naval College in Dartmouth, UK and another to pursue a Bachelor of Science in Psychology (with Honours) degree at the University of Sheffield, UK, and grateful to Singapore Management University (SMU) for a scholarship to pursue Master of Science in Communication Management (MCM), Terence continues to give back to the Navy as an NSman and SMU as an Alumni Ambassador and President of the SMU MCM Alumni Group respectively. In 2015, he was one of the first navy NSmen selected to attend the SAF Command & Staff Course (NS) at the prestigious Goh Keng Swee Command & Staff College, where he graduated as Top Graduate. He also volunteered to be part of the Singapore navy team commanding CTF151, an international coalition to combat and deter sea piracy in the Gulf of Aden.
For his active contributions to National Service, Terence was awarded the Overseas Service Medal in 2016, and SAF NSman of the Year in 2018. For making a positive impact on the community, he was awarded JCI TOYP Honoree for Humanitarian and/or Voluntary Leadership in 2009 and in 2014, he received the Public Service Medal from the then President of Singapore Dr Tony Tan.
Terence is continuously looking for ways to further make a positive impact, whether it’s through his work, volunteering for a national initiative, supporting a humanitarian cause, or coaching and mentoring young people. With youths that he mentors, Terence always encourages them to know themselves, to discover their strengths and blind spots, to gain clarity of their purpose, to figure out who they are and what they stand for. He would ask that they keep an open mind, be adaptable to change, to learn, unlearn and relearn. He believes that everyone must strive to stay relevant, current, and be of value, or be prepared to be left behind. Terence asks of his mentees to be grateful, appreciative, and humble. He believes that everyone can make a positive impact – and it starts with making a choice and commit to making a difference. For there is no greater meaning to life than one in service and contribution for the betterment of the world.