Generations of Growth: The Story of Nelia and Marinel at RDF | In the heart of the Philippines’ thriving agri-food sector lies a story of resilience, dedication, and familial bonds. RDF Feed, Livestock & Foods, Inc., an enterprise symbolic of innovation and quality, not only provides the nation with fresh quality meats and value-added meat products but also nourishes the lives of those within its fold.

The essence of RDF’s success lies not in its state-of-the-art facilities or even its high-quality products, but in its people. This is the tale of Nelia and Marinel, a mother and daughter duo whose love for RDF transcends the professional realm, weaving into the very fabric of their personal lives.

Nelia and Marinel personify the heart and soul of the company—a heart that beats with the passion of its employees and a soul that thrives on their growth and happiness. Their stories are a celebration of the company’s values.

nelia Adol
Nelia Adol

Nelia Adol: The Matriarch of Persistence

Nelia’s journey began in 1992. She was invited by her employer in a garment business, Ma’am Betty, to help her brother’s contract growing endeavor in Pampanga.  Nelia’s hiatus to care for her children in 1994 was short-lived, as the pull of professional life brought her back to the workforce in 1996.

In 2000, at the age of 33, Nelia officially joined RDF, embarking on a path that would challenge and shape her in ways unimaginable. From sales lady to a liaison officer, Nelia’s multitasking skills were put to the test. Despite having no prior computer skills and even facing workplace bullying, she remained undeterred.

Her mantra, “Kapag nahihirapan ako iniisip ko lang talaga ‘kaya ko to, basta para sa mga anak ko, walang mahirap dito,’” (“For my children, there is nothing difficult here,“) became her driving force.

With Ma’am Betty’s encouragement, Nelia transformed challenges into stepping stones. Her initial temporary role soon solidified into a permanent position as she chose to remain in Pampanga to support Dr. Robert H. Lo, Founder and CEO of RDF, nurturing her dream to provide for her children’s education.

Si RDF, ito yung bigay ni God para mapag-tapos ko yung mga anak ko sa pag-aaral” (“RDF is God’s gift to help me support my kids in completing their studies“)

As the company evolved into a corporation, so did Nelia’s career. Despite initial trepidations, she conquered the Purchasing Department. She became a testament to the power of trust and opportunity, managing a team of eight and embodying the virtues of loyalty and dedication to the company that had become her second home.

RDF’s transition was a period of significant change, and Nelia was at the forefront, ready to take on the responsibilities that came with her burgeoning career. Her position in the department became a pivotal point in her life, highlighting her adaptability and willingness to learn. As she navigated the complexities of procurement, contract management, and dealing with clients, she drew upon her innate strength and the unwavering support of the company.

Dr. Lo’s belief in the potential of Nelia was a catalyst for her growth. He supported her studies at De La Salle – College of Saint Benilde, where she learned procurement and contract management. Although she did not complete the full two years, the experience was invaluable, enriching her skills and knowledge. She even passed on this opportunity to a younger employee, a reflection of her commitment not only to her own success but also to that of her colleagues.

Nelia’s biggest achievement, she notes with pride, is managing the entire Purchasing Department. Her journey from uncertainty to a position of leadership exemplifies RDF’s belief in nurturing internal talent. The support of management was instrumental in her success, as she recounts with gratitude. Her sense of accomplishment is palpable as she describes her increased confidence in dealing with clients and partners, a direct result of the training and support provided by RDF.

The personal challenges Nelia experienced only served to strengthen her resolve. When faced with health issues that threatened to slow her down, the company stood by her, providing assistance in finding medical care and supporting her recovery. Her gratitude towards RDF is deep and unwavering, as the company’s support extended beyond the professional sphere, helping her through personal hardships.

Nelia’s dedication is also evident in her daily routine. Never one to be late, she sets high standards for her team, instilling a strong work ethic while also showing compassion for their personal struggles. Her role as a mother-figure extends to her team members, evidencing her nurturing nature that she has carried over from her family life to her professional environment.

The respect and affection that she receives from her team demonstrate her balanced leadership style. “Thankful din ako kay Boss Robert kasi sa 24 years ko dito, hindi niya ako napapagalitan,” (“I’m also very thankful to Boss Robert, because in all of my 24 years working for the company, he has never gotten mad at me,”) Nelia states, appreciating the positive reinforcement she’s received throughout her tenure, which has been free of reprimand due to her exemplary work ethic.

Her aspirations for the future remain firmly rooted in the values RDF has instilled in her. With a plan to continue her association with RDF even after retirement, Nelia dreams of establishing her own livestock trading business, becoming a supplier for RDF, and thereby maintaining the symbiotic relationship that has defined her professional life.

Marinel Adol
Marinel holding her certificate

Marinel Policarpio: A Legacy Continued

Marinel, echoing her mother’s footsteps, joined RDF in 2008 as a cashier, a position that allowed her to experience the company’s collaborative and friendly atmosphere. Her initial role was one where the workload was manageable and the environment was buoyant with the shared productivity of her colleagues.

However, the ten-year break from her career to focus on her family, particularly during her delicate pregnancy, could have been a deterrent to her professional aspirations. Yet, RDF’s open arms and the supportive guidance of her mother, Nelia, paved the way for her return in 2018 as a Treasury Associate.

Transitioning from cashier to Treasury Associate posed its own set of challenges for Marinel. “Parang wala na akong stock knowledge kasi naging mother figure na ako for a very long time,” (“It felt like I lost all my stock knowledge after spending all my time being a mother”) Marinel shared.

This long career gap had dented her confidence, but the support of her mother and the RDF family bolstered her.

Marinel shared that her mother would always tell her – “Wag ka talagang susuko, at laging sumubok kasi hindi mo malalaman kung magiging successful ka if di ka lalabas sa comfort zone mo.” (“Never give up, and always try, because you’d never know if you would actually be successful at something if you don’t leave your comfort zone.”)

The trial-by-fire beginning of her role in the Treasury only fueled her desire to excel. Her job demanded precision and efficiency, as she was responsible for creating and releasing checks, a task that requires meticulous attention to detail and adherence to strict financial processes.

Despite the initial lack of a proper turnover, Marinel’s determination to succeed saw her developing strategies to manage the workload effectively. The challenges of peak seasons, rush requests, and the sheer volume of transactions were met with Marinel’s growing confidence and expertise.

Marinel’s exceptional performance and her ability to meet the rigorous demands of work did not go unnoticed as she was recognized “Best Employee of 2023” by her colleagues.

A Synergy of Professional and Personal Development

The professional journeys of Nelia and Marinel are exemplary of the RDF ethos. Both women have flourished within the company, thanks to RDF’s dedication to nurturing its employees’ growth. The educational and professional development opportunities provided to them are reflective of the company’s commitment to empowering its workforce.

Nelia’s rise from an eager novice to a department head is a narrative of encouragement and opportunity. The company’s continued support and training played a significant role in her professional evolution, allowing her to pass on the knowledge to her team and foster a culture of continuous learning.

Yun ang pasasalamat ko sa management. Hindi nila ako pinabayaan, lahat ng support, binigay din nila,” (“That’s one of the reasons I’m thankful to the management… they never left me hanging, and they gave me all the support,”) Nelia shared.

Marinel, on the other hand, has been carving her own path within the Finance Department. Her dedication to her job and eagerness to grow within the company have led her to explore further educational opportunities, like pursuing a degree in Entrepreneurship. RDF’s support in her academic endeavors, typically reserved for supervisors, underscores the company’s investment in her potential.

A Home Beyond Work

The concept of home transcends the walls within which we reside; it encompasses feelings of security, belonging, and understanding. For Nelia and Marinel, RDF represents such a sanctuary. It’s a place where professional relationships blend seamlessly with personal connections, where the line between colleagues and family blurs into insignificance. This sense of home is cultivated through RDF’s conscious efforts to prioritize employee well-being and foster a supportive work environment that resonates with the warmth of a family.

At RDF, the traditional corporate hierarchy gives way to a more familial structure. Employees are encouraged to support each other’s growth, much like a family nurtures the development of its members. Nelia, with her nurturing demeanor, has been more than just a department head; she has been a mentor, confidante, and maternal figure to her team. Her office extends beyond a space for work—it is a haven where her team can seek guidance, not just professionally but personally.

For Marinel, the workplace is a canvas of her growth, painted with the brushes of opportunity and trust. The company’s environment made her return to work not just possible but welcoming. The understanding and support she received upon rejoining RDF after a significant break to focus on motherhood exemplifies the company’s recognition of the importance of work-life balance. RDF has provided a structure that enables Marinel to excel in her professional role while also cherishing her role as a mother.

A Shared Future

As they look forward, both Nelia and Marinel envision their futures as inseparable from RDF’s trajectory. Their individual paths, while distinct, are inextricably linked to the company’s ethos of growing with its employees. Nelia’s aspiration to continue her connection with RDF through livestock trading business is a testament to her loyalty and the entrepreneurial spirit that RDF has inspired in her. This ambition is not a departure from RDF but an expansion of the fruitful relationship they have cultivated over the years.

Marinel’s future at RDF is one of potential and possibilities. Her ambitions to explore new departments and roles within the company signify her desire for growth and commitment to contributing to RDF’s success in various capacities. The Purchasing Department, where her mother has left an indelible mark, beckons as a new frontier for her to conquer.

Together, the shared future of Nelia and Marinel at RDF is an embodiment of the company’s dedication to the long-term success and satisfaction of its employees. It’s a future that looks to continue the legacy of empowerment, learning, and mutual respect that has been a hallmark of their time with RDF. As Nelia prepares for a future that still keeps her connected to RDF, and as Marinel plans to broaden her horizons within the company’s diverse departments, they both stand as symbols of RDF’s enduring commitment to its family of employees.

In this shared future, Nelia and Marinel do not just work for RDF; they live through it, with it, and for it. Their individual aspirations and collective experiences are threads woven into the larger tapestry of RDF’s corporate culture, which is characterized by an unwavering commitment to creating a place that is more than just a workplace—it is a home.

Yung RDF, para sa amin ni Mama, naging pangalawang tahanan na siya,” (“To my mother and I, RDF has become a second home,”) Marinel shared, even discussing that she is open to the idea of her children working for the company in the future.

Nelia Adol with her team at the Purchasing Department
Nelia Adol with her team at the Purchasing Department


Through Nelia’s steadfast dedication and Marinel’s blossoming career, we see the impact of a company that truly invests in its people. They have not only contributed to RDF’s growth but have also been uplifted by the company’s belief in their potential. The mother and daughter’s journey is a powerful narrative that underscores the company’s role in shaping lives and fostering generational loyalty.

As Nelia approaches her well-earned retirement, her legacy within RDF is secure, reflected in her daughter’s continued ascent. Marinel’s evolving career and aspirations for the future shine as a beacon for what is possible within the nurturing walls of RDF. Together, their stories weave a tapestry of commitment, showing that when a company cares deeply for its employees, it cultivates a loyalty that spans decades and touches hearts.

In the end, the story of Nelia and Marinel is more than just a mother and daughter’s love for a company; it’s about the power of opportunity, the strength found in trust and support, and the profound bonds that can form when a business transcends its bottom line to truly care for its family. As RDF continues to grow, it does so with the knowledge that its success is mirrored in the lives of Nelia, Marinel, and the countless others like them who call RDF not just a workplace, but a home.

This mother and daughter duo will always stand as a proof to the enduring power of love, support, and mutual growth—a love that is as much a part of RDF as the very products it proudly brings to the Filipino table.