By Akina Chargualaf
Seven businesswomen from Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands were nominated for the 2017 First Hawaiian Bank and Guam Business Magazine Businesswoman of the Year title. In its 12th year, the program honors the accomplishments, leadership and influence of businesswomen in the region.
Nominated by their colleagues and peers, the following six women are leading representatives in their fields who have made a significant difference in their industries while also making contributions to their communities and displaying the best qualities of one in business.
Ramona Jones, CEO of Jones & Guerrero Co. Inc., was named the 12th recipient of the title and the Maga’håga Award at the annual Businesswoman of the Year gala held April 29 at the Hyatt Regency Guam.
The gala raises funds for scholarships for students at the University of Guam, Guam Community College and Northern Marianas College. Since 2006, the program has awarded a total of $234,325.50 to 122 deserving students in Guam and the NMI.
Premier sponsors of the event are Hyatt Regency Guam, United Airlines and BMW, and elite sponsors are Triple J Enterprises Inc. and Docomo Pacific.
Glendalyn C. Carolino
President and controller
Polyphase System Inc. and Guam Electrical Material Supply
Glendalyn C. Carolino has more than 29 years of experience in accounting and as a corporate finance executive working locally and internationally. Within the past year, Carolino and her business partner and husband, Ronald C. Carolino, opened a new construction division for Polyphase System Inc. Additionally, she opened a retail division of the company in November — Trends by G, a retail boutique for clothing, health and beauty products, household goods, electronics and accessories.
She was born in the province of Benguet in the Philippines and graduated from Sablig Barangay High School. She went on to attend the University of the East in the Philippines and received a bachelor’s in business administration, majoring in accounting. She became a certified public accountant in 1987.
Polyphase System Inc. supports various schools, churches and nonprofit organizations in their fundraising endeavors. Carolino is also actively involved with Abundant Life Church, Island Hope Guam and Blessed Hope Christian Church in Pasadena, Calif.
She and her husband have six children: Rendel Paul C. Carolino, 25; Michael Jay C. Carolino, 23; Jeremy James C. Carolino, 20; Ronald C. Carolino Jr., 12; Abigail C. Carolino, 10; and Daniel Josh C. Carolino, 7.
Pika P. Fejeran
President, Hot Concepts Inc.
Partner, Guahan Eats, which does business as Pika’s Café
Secretary/Treasurer, In the Kitchen Inc., which does business as Kitchen Lingo
Pika P. Fejeran and her husband, Lenny J. Fejeran, created and opened Pika’s Café in 2010 and Kitchen Lingo in 2015. The couple brought on partners last year to help Pika’s Café grow after operating as sole owners for six years. The Fejerans also expanded Kitchen Lingo this March, doubling the restaurant’s size.
Fejeran was born on Guam and graduated from St. John’s School. She went on to attend the University of Southern California and received a bachelor’s in policy management and planning and a master’s in urban and regional planning.
Fejeran was nominated and confirmed last year to serve on the Chamorro Land Trust Commission and also sits on the board for the Guam Women’s Chamber of Commerce and is active with the Guam Chamber of Commerce’s Chamber Business Women’s Network. She attends the Hurao Academy with hopes to be fluent in Chamorro within three years. She has been named this year’s Women in Business Champion of the Year by the U.S. Small Business Administration.
The restaurants support local causes including Sanctuary Inc., Non-Communicable Diseases Consortium, the Wounded Warrior Project, Guam Girls Scouts and Habitat for Humanity.
The Fejerans have three children: Cali Inina Fejeran, 8; Isla Rosario Fejeran, 5; and Ko Borja Rosario Fejeran, 2.
Melanie R. Mendiola
Farm to Table Guam
Melanie R. Mendiola founded Farm to Table in 2012 to strengthen and encourage agriculture and farming on island. Through her organization, she procured a $2 million grant to engage in a five-year project to strengthen Guam’s farmers and assess industry needs. In the past year, the organization launched a farmer’s directory, which is distributed to more than 100 restaurants and chefs, assisted the PD Hemlani Foundation in a new project to bring technical training and supplies to farmers in Saipan and continues to operate a community-supported agriculture program in Guam.
Mendiola was born in Honolulu and graduated from Academy of Our Lady of Guam. She went on to receive her bachelor’s in economics and East Asian studies with a minor in business from New York University in 2003 and her master’s in business administration from the University of Guam in 2012. She is enrolled in a PhD program for personal financial planning through Kansas State University.
She is the president of the board of directors of the Guam Girl Scouts, board secretary for the Port Authority of Guam, treasurer of the Tourism Education Council and treasurer of the Young Men’s League of Guam. She wrote a grant last year for the league’s Women’s Auxiliary to create a “Fiesta Table” cookbook. In addition, she is a member of the American Council on Consumer Interest.
She was honored last year as the 2016 Guam Young Professional of the Year by the Guam Chamber of Commerce.
Velma Ann M. Palacios
Director of network operations, head of network for the Northern Mariana Islands, manager of engineering and manager of plant technical services
Velma Ann M. Palacios has spent 17 years in the telecommunications industry. She now oversees the wireless network operations in the NMI for IT&E, among other roles with the company. In the past year, she served as project lead for the planning, engineering and implementation of the 4G, or fourth generation, wireless network in the NMI, which has been ongoing since 2014 and will receive upgrades in 2017.
She was born in Saipan and graduated from Mount Carmel School. She received her bachelor’s in electrical engineering from Marquette University in Wisconsin and her master’s in business administration from Hawaii Pacific University. Her first job was a paid summer internship program at M&E Pacific.
Palacios serves as president of the board for the Saipan Chamber of Commerce, president of the board for the Kagman Community Health Center and secretary/treasurer for the Northern Marianas Trade Institute. She is a member of the Project Management Institute and a member of the Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy Commission within the NMI Department of Commerce.
IT&E supports various community causes, including the Saipan Chamber of Commerce’s scholarship fund, the Parent Teacher Student Association and the 2016 Liberation Day and Pistang Pinoy festivities and other community causes and events.
Her husband is Paul W. Camacho. Their children are RyAnne Palacios Camacho, 23; Puti’on Palacios Camacho, 13; and Paul William Camacho II, 10.
Kanae S. Quinn
Quinn Consulting LLC
Marianas Fitness Ltd., which does business as Gold’s Gym Saipan
Kanae S. Quinn is approaching eight years as co-owner of Marianas Fitness Ltd., which does business as Gold’s Gym Saipan. Together with her business partners — her husband, Russell David Quinn, Rex and Clarie Kosack and Chris Nelson — she has renovated the gym’s interior, added $30,000 worth of new equipment, evolved the exercise programs and doubled the gym’s membership by adding corporate and group options.
Four years ago, Quinn and her husband started their own consulting company, Quinn Consulting LLC, under which she utilizes her 26 years of experience and training in the hospitality industry to develop marketing, social media and operational strategies and programs for clients, including Asia Pacific Hotels Inc., which operates the Fiesta Resort & Spa Saipan, Kanoa Resort Saipan and Fiesta Resort Guam. Her hospitality career began as a clubmate for Pacific Islands Club Guam. She spent the next 20 years with PIC and rose to director of sales and marketing.
Under her consulting company, Quinn teaches an American Hotel & Lodging Educational Institute certification class at Saipan Southern High School. She also serves on the board for the Guam and Northern Mariana Islands Chapter of the Make-A-Wish Foundation, for which she helped organize the largest revenue-generating Wish Night last year, and she and her husband lead the NMI Chapter of the Worldwide Marriage Encounter.
She holds a 1990 bachelor’s in Asian studies from the University of California at Santa Barbara. Quinn was born in Tokyo and graduated from Palos Verdes High School in Palos Verdes Estates, Calif.
Jennifer L.G. Rodriguez
Owner, Loco Promos
Jennifer Rodriguez has more than 26 years of experience in the business industry and started Loco Promos in 2006, specializing in product development, branding and manufacturing of specialty product items both locally and off-island. In the past year, Rodriguez relocated and expanded Loco Promos to a facility twice the size and has worked to expand the products and services the company offers locally.
Before Loco Promos, she was the owner of Creative Fundraising from 2000 to 2006 and the owner of CJ’s Fun Factory from 2001 to 2002.
Rodriguez promotes locally made products through her business and helps fundraise for schools and nonprofit organizations. She helped raise $30,000 for local schools last year through the company’s Fundraising Catalog Project.
Rodriguez was born on Guam and graduated from Simon Sanchez High School in 1988.
Her husband is Jesse Peter Rodriguez, and their children are Jiovani C. Leon Guerreo, 25; Cyle R. Leon Guerrero, 23; Jessica L.G. Rodriguez, 19; Caitlin L.G. Rodriguez, 14; and Connor L.G. Rodriguez, 9.
2017 Lifetime Achievement Honorees
First Hawaiian Bank and Guam Business Magazine this year recognize two Guam businesswomen for their lifelong contributions to their industries and to the local community.
The Lifetime Achievement Award is given each year as part of the Businesswoman of the Year program to businesswomen in the region who have been pioneers in their field, have worked tirelessly to improve the quality of life in the island community and who serve as a role model for businesswomen today.
Two recipients of the award have been selected this year: Judith R. Booth, associate broker and vice president of Century 21 Realty Management Co., and Bertha C. Evangelista, executive vice president of Title Guaranty of Guam Inc.
Judith R. Booth
Lifetime Achievement Honoree
By Maureen N. Maratita
Judith R. Booth, associate broker and vice president of Century 21 Realty Management Co., came to Guam in 1975 from the U.S. mainland, more than 42 years ago, as a military spouse.
Initially working as a nurse, Booth took the decision to understand the real estate market through training. That training resulted in a relationship with a real estate brokerage that would eventually become Century 21 Realty Management.
Booth has developed a unique talent for staying in touch with clients not only on Guam, but after they have left they island.
In addition, her skills and care have resulted in a number of people who trust her to manage their real estate investments.
Booth’s areas of community service include giving support in a variety of ways to national and island nonprofits. These include the American Cancer Society, the Guam Chapter of the American Red Cross and nonprofits that help military veterans. Booth is a past president of the Guam Association of Realtors and has held other offices in the association and in the community.
Booth is the mother of Pamela Joyce Booth Kirby and Jason Charles Booth.
Bertha C. Evangelista
Lifetime Achievement Honoree
By Joy White
Bertha C. Evangelista, executive vice president of Title Guaranty of Guam Inc., began her career as a legal secretary and is now a well-established expert in escrow, with many seeking her advice in title and real estate matters. She has been with Title Guaranty since its formation by the Calvo family and an off-island partner in 1963. Her past titles with the company include general manager and president.
The company has handled several high-profile clients under her supervision, including the sale of the Guam Telephone Authority in 2005 and the sale of hotels and golf course, though its strength is also in the residential market.
Evangelista is a member of the Guam Chamber of Commerce and the Guam Association of Realtors and is very active in the Catholic Church. Through her company, she supports many of the island’s nonprofits, including the Edward M. Calvo Cancer Foundation, the Good Neighbor Award and others.
Evangelista is the wife of Vicente M. Evangelista and mother to Mark D., Alan V., Victor J., and Matthew P. Evangelista and Cheryl F. Evangelista Luna.
Former Lifetime Achievement honorees include:
- Nenita “Nita” C. Baldovino, owner of Rambies Corp., which does business as Rambies Fast Food and Rambies Catering;
- June L. Chang, president and general manager of Horizon Travel Center;
- The late Mercedes Edwina C. Jose, co-owner of Ed & Joe’s Shops and Ed & Joe’s Enterprise Inc.;
- Antoinette D. Sanford, president of Sanford Technology Group LLC;
- Mariquita Calvo Leon Guerrero, owner of Tita’s Bakery;
- Marian Aldan-Pierce, president of DFS Saipan;
- Tove Estabrook, owner of Tove’s Flower Shop;
- Diana Z. Ysrael, founder of Tanota Partners;
- The late Shirley Lai, founder of Shirley’s Coffee Shop;
- Louella Despi Villo of Elite Bakery;
- The late Radhi Puranchad Hemlani, owner of Radhi’s;
- Lagrimas “Ama” Flores Aflague, owner of Aflague’s Dance and Entertainers Studio;
- Concepcion “Connie” Slotnick, president and chairwoman of the board of Slotnick Enterprises Inc.; and
- Dolores R. Tuncap, president and owner of Flowers by Tand.