About Seamus Phan 潘俊嘉

What I do, briefly

I am a field-proven motivator, professional speaker, keynote presenter, meeting and workshop facilitator, adjunct professor, with nearly 30 years of industry, training and development experience since the 1980s.

I have consulted and presented throughout Asia Pacific and worldwide, for audience groups from a few to thousands. My sessions are known to be  thought-provoking, with deep industry and technology experience and case stories, as well as good humor and captivating analogies, anecdotes, stories, and historical perspectives. I am a raconteur.

I am also a technologist and strategist, having consulted for companies looking for leadership and recommendations on how best to leverage information technology (IT) for business, performance, and efficiency. I consult in areas such as Web 2.0, Social Media, mobile and web apps, Internet publicity, content management systems (CMS – public), knowledge management systems (KMS – intranet/internal), etc. My foray into computer programming was in the 1970s, with my Sinclair ZX and the Radio Shack TRS-80 writing BASIC programs. Then I moved on to learning FORTRAN, COBOL, the alphabet soup of HTML/Java/Javascript, and then into Perl and PHP.

I am a prolific writer and journalist, having published books on business leadership, Internet, service quality, total quality management (TQM), spirituality, etc. I have spent quite many years as contributing editor, foreign correspondent, independent journalist, commentator and analyst, to business and technology publications, daily newspapers, magazines, radio and TV, and online media.

Earlier years

X-ray of my spine showing pronounced scoliosis

I was born in a hospital in Taipei, when the attending surgeon told my grandparents and my parents, that I might not make it. I was very premature in birth.

My physical challenges did not stop there. I did not die from birth, perhaps there was a fighting spirit hidden beneath that frail shell at that time. I grew up, still frail looking, and developed structural left lumbar scoliosis (with a 50% chance of disability), severe myopia, asthma, and allergies. However, I don’t believe life is meant to be wasted even if challenges come your way, and you can fight your way through. There is a reason behind every event in life.

Circa 2002 during a men's magazine shoot

Circa 2002 during a men’s magazine shoot

Despite these challenges, I kept up with physical sports, and took up karate, 100 meter sprinting, muay thai, and bodybuilding. My severe case of scoliosis, which used to give me hours of pain everyday, is now under control with bodybuilding, proper diets, and contemplation. Through all these life challenges and experience, I have found great joy in sharing my optimism and journey as a motivational speaker, especially to the younger generation.

My work today

Today, I spend my time as a thinker and practitioner in business leadership, Internet, marketing, branding, and Asian philosophy. For like minds among clients, I have been happily sharing my experience in life’s many meandering turns, to inspire and educate people in my own unique and simple way.

McGallen & Bolden - making ideas work®, a small and innovative Public Relations (PR), social media, training and video agency in SingaporeCurrently I am helping McGallen & Bolden Group manage information technology implementations, as well as providing consulting and creative direction for the group’s clients in using technology and interactive media for publicity, branding and marketing. I am also helping to build a hobbyist video blog – microwire.tv. I also try to pursue pro-bono work, book writing, photography, filmmaking (short videos), and rekindling my lapsed Chinese brush painting (otherwise known as Sumi-e in Japan).

Memberships & Mentions

I have been privileged to be inducted in the 500 Profiles in Excellence, humbly amongst the likes of Nobel Peace laureate President Kim Dae-Jung (Korea), artist Peter Gabriel, “Seven Years in Tibet” movie director Jean-Jacques Annaud, Cardinal Jan Peer Schotte (Sec-Gen of the World Synod of Bishops), and futurist Sir Arthur C Clarke. I was also a Barons 500 Leaders of the New Century inductee, humbly alongside the likes of leading futurist and visionary Sir Arthur C Clarke and Bill Gates of Microsoft. Earlier, I have been inducted into the Marquis (USA)’s Who’s Who in the World, Who’s Who in Science & Engineering, IBC UK’s Men and Women of Distinction.

Here’s an interview of Sir Arthur C Clarke (memory eternal) with the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) in 1974, where he very specifically predicted the personal computer and the Internet in the year 2001. Very cool.

I have been a member of National Speakers Association (NSA-USA, 10+ years), Public Relations Society of America (PRSA), American Society of Training & Development (ASTD), Association of Image Consultants International (AICI), and has been a member of many other professional associations, including the American Society of Business Publication Editors (ASBPE), National Writers Union (NWU, Accredited Journalist), American College of Heraldry (Life member), International Chaplains Association (ICA), Spiritual Directors International (SDI), and Trade, Association & Business Publication International (TABPI, editorial judge of Tabbies Awards). I am also a Lifetime Member of the United Nations Association of USA and the Society for the Physically Disabled (SPD, where I was briefly a board member).

Lifelong student

PC150022sWhen I was in junior college, I spent way too much time on biochemistry research (on food lipids and autoxidation) and managed to drop out of junior college with no university to go to. I served my national service in the army and came out of the army confronted by the worst economic crisis then in the 1980s.

But I went on to night school, and then distance learning while struggling to make ends meet. Many of my mentors and bosses in leading organizations advised me that learning is really for expanding one’s mind and nothing more. I found great personal gratification in learning about many things in life, and is a student of life.

I learned via distance learning at non-traditional institutions, simply for fulfilling my intellectual interest while I tried to stay afloat working to support my family, with post-graduate programs in Business (Greenwich U, 1994 to 2002, 8 years in total), through a modular study program, and a doctoral dissertation project that detailed an automated Internet-based business analysis software for small companies running on a Perl script (advisors were Dr Menden and Dr Pearson who also presided at the defense, and previously mentored by Dr Niedrauer). I also studied and earned a ThD (Newburgh Theological Seminary, GPA 4.0, December 2007, mentors were Dr Wilhite and Dr Mollette), with my dissertation on seeking faith in the East, through a study of examples such as Jesuit priest Matteo Ricci and Catholic monastic Thomas Merton. I also did some post-seminary research in pre-Nicene liturgy, early Christian thought, and sacraments. Later on, I revisited my original research in total quality management and defended my revised dissertation (under Dr Premkumar and Dr Menden) and was awarded a doctoral degree in business administration with the twinned San Juan de la Cruz program. In my junior college days, I spent a great deal of time testing and researching food lipds and autoxidation, and an antioxidant against autoxidation in lipids, which was tested for short-term toxicity. I have always maintained interest in biochemistry, food sciences, health and fitness.

My short Airbus A320 flight simulator experience

Trivia

I was born in Taipei, Taiwan R.O.C. and spent my early childhood there. My maternal grandfather is a retired brigadier general, renowned economics professor and author, and my maternal grandmother a prominent member of parliament in Taiwan. My parents relocated to Singapore later. I served national service here. I read everything from science, medicine, technology, theology, religion, marketing, photography, etc, and is a regular resistance training enthusiast. I have been a photographer since my youth, and used to carry around a Mamiyaflex C220 in my twenties, before the age of digital photography. Today I dabble with HD videography and still photography when I have time. If I find more time or if my work life slows down, I would like to pick up my Akai EWI 4000 wind instrument (or electronic saxophone) and Chinese brush painting again.

Faith journey

Eastern Orthodox Christian Cross - ICXC NIKAFaith is important to me. You may understand why if you have walked in my shoes as a kid who had loads of health problems and faced many challenges. I was brought up a Buddhist, and went on to study most of the cannon of Buddhist scriptures, including the Theraveda, the Mahayana, and then the Vajrayana volumes. Some of my most read works include the Diamond Sutra, the Lotus Sutra, and the Surangama Sutra (and I chanted the Surangama in the wee hours at 4am every morning then). Before I was about to enlist in the army, one Tibetan rinpoche (lineage holder or head of Tibetan Buddhist traditions) told my parents that I should join the monastery and become a monk. I thought so too, although my parents felt otherwise. I am a contemplative and meditation helped me a great deal in managing body pains due in part to my scoliosis.

By 2004, when I was facing a great personal challenge, through Divine Will, I discovered the kindness of some Christian clergy, and I served as a volunteer diplomat for some humanitarian missions for a while. Eventually, I started studying the Holy Scripture, and through it, journeyed first from the evangelical fields to Rome, and eventually, finding my spiritual home in Orthodoxy. There in the vast apostolic history of the ancient Church, I found the healing through not just the Holy Scripture, but the saints memorial and saints closer to our timeline. Some of my “favorite” saints include our Theotokos, St Antony of Egypt, St Seraphim of Sarov, St John of Kronstadt, etc, and my “favorite” works include writings of the Desert Fathers, the Philokalia, The Way of a Pilgrim, etc. If you like to chat with me on this and other philosophies, including Asian thoughts like Confucianism, Taoism, and others, I will be more than happy to chat as a friend. Don’t worry, I am respectful of anyone and their beliefs.

Timeline

Here are some significant and personal milestones which I believe shaped some of my journey in life in a visual timeline format:

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Copyright 1987-2014 Seamus Phan. KCKY4SWAWCX4. Use, capture, or republication of any content on this site is prohibited unless there is express written permission from us.

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