The last SJ Conversation led by Group CEO Wong Heang Fine attracted over 2,400 people to watch in-person and online.
Employees from around the world bade Surbana Jurong Group CEO Wong Heang Fine farewell on his retirement. They sent moving video tributes which were aired at his final town hall for the global consultancy on 16 September. These videos captured his sense of humour and the exciting and diverse talent he has met with over the years as he led the group.
Mr. Wong, who has been the Group CEO of the Surbana Jurong Group since 2016, retires at the end of September, as he had announced earlier in the year. The town hall began as usual, as he shared updates on the SJ Group, focusing on sthe recent in-person client event which was attended by over 300 C-suite guests from the industry. Called Building the Business of Sustainability, it was headlined by Mr. Patrick Bellew, the founding director of Atelier Ten, the Group’s newest member. The event was held at the Gardens by the Bay, where Atelier Ten was involved as the environmental designer.
Mr. Wong said, “If we had not invited Patrick to share stories of how termites and their homes inspired him to create environmental designs to keep buildings cool, a lot of these stories would not have been told. And that’s the nature of our business.”
Well wishes for Mr. Wong from (from top) leaders and Robert Bird Group in Brisbane, Singapore headquarters at Connection One, South Africa, and more.
He said that many unsung heroes are working quietly behind the scenes, delivering transformative work most people would not know about, referring to a video from Britain Got Talent. The video featured Loren Allred, an American singer who had lent her voice to the song “Never Enough” from the movie, The Greatest Showman.
“Each one of us is like Loren [an unsung heroine in the video],” he stressed as he paid tribute to all employees. “We are doing great things for our clients but most often we are not mentioned. But I hope, nonetheless, that we continue to do our best for our clients, or their visions and dreams will not be fulfilled.”
Mr. Wong was visibly touched as he sat in his front row seat, watching a video montage of colleagues from all over the world – Singapore, New York, China, Hong Kong, Australia, and South Africa – all wishing him a happy retirement.
(Above) The customised Lego gifts for Mr. Wong were a structure comprising the built environment and a mosaic portrait made from Lego tiles. (Below) Mr. Wong with his personal assistant, Ms. Anne Chan, presented him with a bouquet.
He was also presented with two customised Lego sets. The first is a Lego structure, representing our multidisciplinary businesses across the sectors from the built environment. The 10 figurines represent our 10-member companies and signify that we are now a collective of 10 specialist brands.
The second is a Lego mosaic portrait of himself, made up of over 13,000 Lego pieces, to express the Group’s deep appreciation for his extraordinary leadership. Ms. Anne Chan, Mr. Wong’s personal assistant of 20 years, also presented a bouquet to him and said quietly, “Thank you for everything!”
Expressing his thanks to the Group, Mr. Wong wished all a happy and fruitful journey ahead, saying he hopes to see SJ Group scale greater heights, so to speak.
“It has been an exhilarating journey and I believe what we have created as a group is very unique,” he said. “I have just returned from B+H offices in Seattle, Vancouver, and Toronto and I saw so many creative and innovative people at work. They are all like our brands which are so creative and dedicated. I believe we have the leadership in all our entities that will guide us well in the years to come.”
Colleagues from SAA Architects, a member of the Surbana Jurong Group, taking a photo with Mr. Wong after the town hall.