By Guam Business Magazine Staff
Guam Business Magazine is pleased to announce our third-ever group of “40 Under Forty,” a competitive list of the region’s most innovative, influential businesspeople under the age of 40.
This diverse group of individuals range from those who grew up in local family businesses and returned to steer the family’s legacy into the next generation, to self-made kick-starters who have hit the ground running with the technological and experiential advances available in an increasingly connected world. Whether running corporations or mom-and-pop stores, these movers and shakers have elevated their careers through a combination of business, leadership and giving back to the community to stand out amidst their peers. Some are returning to the list, having continued an impressive forward trajectory since last recognized in 2016, and many are new, yet increasingly influential faces and names to the business community.
All 40 were selected through a competitive process, and in no way does this list reflect the multitude of emerging talent in our region. As such, you’ll find that this list includes several joint listings of siblings or spouses who have shown parallel success as they’ve made their footprints on the business community. Others you will not see are those who have moved on to serve in government, media or other civic organizations, such as Melanie Mendiola, director of the Guam Economic Development Authority; Maxine Lazlo, executive director of the Saipan Chamber of Commerce; or Eileen Agahan Igcasenza, executive director of the Guam Women’s Chamber of Commerce. These, and many more not listed in this publication, are equally deserving of recognition for their accomplishments and contributions to the region. But that is for another day.
This year’s 40 Under Forty have proven themselves to be people of influence in today’s business environment. Guam Business looks forward to seeing them continue to meet and exceed expectations for business, entrepreneurship and innovation now and in the future.
Julian J. Aguon
President and principal attorney, Blue Ocean Law
Education: Bachelor of Arts, Gonzaga University, Wash.; juris doctorate, William S. Richardson School of Law, University of Hawaii at Manoa
Claim to fame: Founder of Blue Ocean Law, Aguon is a human rights lawyer licensed to practice in Guam, Palau and the Marshall Islands. He developed the world’s first comprehensive international human rights law critique of deep-sea mining, resulting in coordinated advocacy campaigns across several Pacific island countries. He also represented the Guam Legislature in a case of first impression, resulting in a precedent-setting decision upholding the right of direct democracy in the territory — and ultimately the legalization of medicinal marijuana on Guam. Aguon has won the Petra Award and the Project Censored Award. As an adjunct professor he has taught Pacific islands legal systems at the William S. Richardson School of Law and international law at the University of Guam.
Aguon serves as a board member of Repair, a Los Angeles–based health and disability justice organization, and the Pohnpei-based Micronesia Conservation Trust. He most recently was appointed as one of 21 emerging leaders in the Asia-Pacific region to contribute to former President Barrack Obama’s Leaders: Asia-Pacific humanitarian program
Shalyn Faith Allen
President, TALA Corp.
Principal broker, Welcome Home Realty
General manager, Island Girl Coffee N’ Quenchers
Education: Bachelor’s in business administration and marketing, National University, Calif.
Claim to fame: Allen has been in the real estate business on Guam for 13 years and a licensed realtor for nine years. She entered the beverage industry in 2019. She previously owned and operated Registration Express, which assisted clients needing services from the Guam Department of Motor Vehicles and the Department of Revenue and Taxation and worked for eight years as an associate broker with Captain Realty Advisors.
Allen is chairperson of the Guam Association of Realtors Young Professionals network and a member of the Guam Women’s Chamber of Commerce.
Joe E. Ayuyu Jr.
Area supervisor, JCA Inc., which does business as McDonald’s of Saipan
Education: 2014 bachelor’s in business administration, Miami University of Ohio
Claim to fame: Joe E. Ayuyu Jr. is area supervisor for the two McDonald’s restaurants on Saipan. Since returning home to Saipan in 2014, he has overseen the growth of McDonald’s of Saipan as well as the family business’ acquisition of the McDonald’s Guam restaurants. In the community, Ayuyu serves as vice chairman for the CNMI Zoning Board, chairman of the 2019 and 2018 Liberation Day committees and is a member of the Saipan Chamber of Commerce.
Ayuyu was due to move to Guam in August as supervisor of JCA Guam LLC.
Natalie Mable E. Ayuyu Glenn
Executive assistant to the president, JCA Inc., which does business as McDonald’s of Saipan and JCA Guam LLC, which does business as McDonald’s of Guam
Education: Bachelor’s in business administration, Chaminade University of Honolulu
Claim to fame: Since joining McDonald’s in 2012, Glenn has played a key role serving as liaison between McDonald’s of Guam and Saipan and the McDonald’s corporation. She provides direct back office support to Owner/Operators Jose and Marcia Ayuyu and to the restaurants’ top management team. She is involved in all new program planning and deployments for the organization’s eight restaurants and assists in coordinating special projects, including restaurant renovations and technology.
In the past year, Glenn has helped the company grow its sales and customer base with the launch of “Mobile Order & Pay,” a mobile-ordering service that allows customers the flexibility to receive their order at any restaurant, at any time. This initiative has allowed the company to remain at the forefront in delivering a contemporary customer experience. In March 2019, she helped coordinate a $5,000 monetary donation on behalf of the company to the Ronald McDonald House of Charities Hawaii.
Glenn serves as a member of the Independent Loan Review Committee and the Saipan Chamber of Commerce. In 2015, she was the founding chairwoman of the Saipan Young Professionals and graduated from the Pacific Century Fellows Program — Marianas Chapter.
Franklin B. “The Crank” Camacho
CEO and owner, Crank Industries and Crank Effect
Pro Athlete, UFC Fighter
Education: Marianas High School; 2019 Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Black Belt Purebred JiuJitsu
Claim to fame: Camacho signed with the Ultimate Fighting Championships in 2017. He holds the record of most consecutive Fight of the Night honors from his debut with one other UFC fighter. His bouts with Damien Brown (UFC Sydney, Australia) and Drew Dober (UFC Charlotte, NC) made the list of top 10 UFC fights of 2017 and 2018. Currently, Camacho holds the fifth most significant strikes average record in the UFC alongside names such as UFC Champions, Max Holloway and Cris Cyborg.
Throughout his 14-year mixed martial arts career, Camacho has been an advocate of building a better community throughout the Mariana Islands via school visits, relief campaigns, women’s self-defence seminars, and motivational speeches and has been an ambassador of the Hafa Adai Spirit and Inafa Maulek. He is a director of the Marianas Young Professionals.
Crank Industries is Camacho’s multimedia company.
Sarah Filush Camacho
Founder and CEO, Sasa Productions
Education: 2011 bachelor’s in business administration, University of Guam
Claim to fame: After being nominated for “Best Film Made in the Marianas” on her first film festival submission, Camacho quickly established herself on the local film circuit as a strong female pioneer in the male dominant industry. After founding Sasa Productions in 2015, Camacho has produced awareness campaigns on invasive species, oral cancer, racial discrimination and autism. She garnered a 2015 Guam International Film Festival award for “Best in Fest” and in 2019 successfully threw her own film premiere for Blue Island, raising funds and awareness for Autism in Guam.
Camacho also holds the title of Miss Earth Guam 2012. She is a member of the Marianas Young Professionals.
Jennifer C. Camacho
Senior vice president, Cars Plus Guam
President and managing member, Pacific Auto Leasing LLC, which does business as Thrifty Car Rental Micronesia
Partner and member, Pacific Powersports LLC, which does business as Harley-Davidson of Guam
Education: 2007 bachelor’s in international business, San Diego State University
Claim to Fame: Camacho worked her way up through family-owned Cars Plus from receptionist and administrative assistant to sales coordinator, to marketing manager and most recently director of business development.
Camacho served on the Guam Visitors Bureau board of directors and chaired the Sports Tourism Committee from 2011 to 2015. She was elected to a six-year term on the board of directors of Make-A-Wish Foundation Guam and CNMI and is currently vice chair as well as Guam Ambassador for the Tread Lightly environmental group. She is treasurer of the Guam Automobile Dealers Association and holds a variety of national auto industry memberships and certifications.
Camacho chaired the Guam Memorial Hospital Volunteers Association 2019 Charity Ball. She is the vice chair of the University of Guam’s Advisory Board for the Center for Island Sustainability, a host and member of the ToastMasters International Guam I’ina Chapter, a member of the Guam Chamber of Commerce’s Women in Business network, a member of the Guam Women’s Chamber of Commerce and a member of the Society for Human Resource Management. She is a founding member of the Guam Chamber of Commerce Young Professionals, its past chairperson, a mentor through its mentorship program and the 2011 Guam Young Professional of the Year.
Derek A. Cutting
Founder and owner, Latte Built 24hr Fitness & Nutrition LLC
Education: Bachelor’s in technical management with a concentration in entrepreneurial studies, DeVry University of Naperville, Ill.; International Sports Science Administration; certified personal trainer and sports nutritionist
Claim to Fame: After moving to Saipan with his wife, Tania, early in 2015, Cutting launched a boot-camp fitness class in the park on Saipan, which quickly rose from two members on day one to over 35 members by the second month, strictly by word of mouth. When Typhoon Soudelor hit Saipan in July 2015 and destruction included the island’s parks, he closed the boot camp, but used the down time to plan expansion, working with the U.S. Small Business Development Center. In March 2016, Cutting opened Saipan’s first and only 24-hour fitness facility, moving in just over a year to a 4,000-square-foot facility in Oleai, quadrupling membership there. In January, Latte Built opened a second 24-hour location in Kagman. The two gyms have 12 employees, 600 regular members and the 2019 annual revenue is projected to clear $350,000 for the first time.
Cutting is a combat veteran and present member of the U.S. Army Reserve. He is currently a Sergeant First Class – Combat Medic Detachment NCOIC with the 1984th Army Medical Hospital. Cutting has won several bodybuilding titles in the Pacific. He is a member of the Saipan Chamber of Commerce Saipan Young Professionals and a sponsor to athletes, as well as other organizations in the NMI.
Rafaelito V. de Ausen
Owner and creative lead, Rendezvous Designs + RendezVooth
Co-owner, Fit Fix
Education: 2006 John F. Kennedy High School; attended University of Guam
Claim to fame: De Ausen freelanced for various publications including the Marianas Business Journal (a sister publication to Guam Business Magazine), which grew his interest in photography. While a communications major at the University of Guam, he exited school to pursue photography before returning as a business major. With his experience in network marketing and connections from freelancing, he reopened photography at Pacific Islands Club’s dinner show in 2012, which led to his contract with Arluis Wedding Guam. During that time, he started RendezVooth. Since 2012, RendezVooth has handled 900 events and has a staff of more than 15 people. In 2018, he and fellow photographer, Rex Oledan, opened Fit Fix, an herbal life meal replacement shake bar in Barrigada. In April 2020, de Ausen will launch an album of original music.
RendezVooth sponsors non-profit community events; Fit Fix offers a discount to student athletes.
Matthew O. Deleon Guerrero
Owner, Hive Analytics
Education: 2007 bachelor’s in political science, Boise State University; 2014 master’s in international development, New York University
Claim to fame: Following his tenure as chief of staff to Gov. Ralph DLG. Torres, Deleon Guerrero launched Hive Analytics, a data science and economic research firm on Saipan to help businesses and organizations make strategic decisions utilizing data and to build the data resources in the Northern Mariana Islands. Since beginning operation in January 2018, Hive Analytics has assisted organizations in understanding the dynamics of the region’s volatile economy through rigorous forecasting, predictive analytics and market research. In 2019, Hive Analytics led the research and data analysis for the 2019 CNMI Prevailing Wage Survey, a critical component of the CW-1 visa program, in record time, saving businesses more than $70 million in costs this year.
Deleon Guerrero serves as president of the Marianas Young Professionals, executive director of the Latte Training Academy and is an adjunct economics instructor for the Northern Marianas College.
Kamia DLG. Dierking
Director employee engagement, GTA
Education: 2003 bachelor’s in political science, University of Arizona
Claim to fame: Dierking leads the human resources team responsible for creating a workplace experience that authentically reflects the mission, vision and values of the company; attracting service-minded stewards and creating programs around the moments that matter throughout the entire employee lifecycle. In this newly created role, she leads teams that focus on employee engagement, recruiting and employee communication, in order to successfully deliver the strategy and growth priorities of the business.
Dierking was most recently the director of marketing and communications leading GTA’s brand and community initiatives. This experience sparked her passion for creating memorable workplace experiences that connect, motivate and inspire people. She also held multiple other roles at GTA — where, as product manager, she helped launch their go to market strategy for the company’s digital TV product.
She sits on the board for Make-A-Wish Guam & CNMI and is also a member of the National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution. She is a 2019 nominee for the Reina A. Leddy Guam Young Professional of the Year Award.
Gyongi P. “Pika” Fejeran
Founder, Pika’s Café
Managing partner, Kitchen Lingo
Education: 2007 bachelor’s in policy, management and planning, University of Southern California; 2007 master’s in planning, University of Southern California
Lenny J. Fejeran
Founder, Pika’s Café
Managing Partner, Kitchen Lingo
Education: Southern High School
Claim to fame: The Fejerans have opened and managed three restaurants on Guam in the space of nine years. Pika’s Café opened at the forefront of the “buy local” movement, and quickly outgrew its small 22 seats and expanded to a 60-seat restaurant. The Fejeran’s aim is to provide jobs, support local farmers and other small businesses, while promoting Guam’s culture, hospitality and natural environment. The restaurants currently employ more than 80 staff.
Pika’s Café received the Guam Chamber of Commerce 2017 Small Business Excellence award, Kitchen Lingo (opened in partnership with chef Lingo Quichocho) was recognized as 2018 Best New Restaurant by the American Culinary Federation and Kådu was recognized in 2019 for its Outstanding Restaurant Concept by the ACF.
Pika Fejeran was also honored as a Woman in Business Champion of the Year by the Small Business Administration. With a passion for urban planning, Fejeran is chairwoman of the CHamoru Land Trust Commission and a member of the Guam Women’s Chamber of Commerce and the Business Women’s Network of the Guam Chamber of Commerce.
Lenny Fejeran shares his poetry and the story of his life with students and troubled teens, so they can know that no matter what their current circumstances, they can overcome them to create the life they desire.
The restaurants donate to countless charities, non-profits and medical fundraisers.
Marcos W. Fong
Group executive vice president, Foremost Foods Inc., Glimpses of Guam Inc. and Nakicos Corp., which does business as Subway Restaurants of Guam and Chili’s Grill & Bar Guam
Education: 2001 bachelor’s in business administration, University of Guam
Claim to fame: Fong started off in management as an operations manager for Subway, eventually rising to managing director in 2002, overseeing the development of the brand on Guam, Saipan and military bases in Japan. He became managing director of Glimpses of Guam Inc. in 2006, joined Foremost Foods Inc. in 2009 as sales manager and progressed to CEO in 2012. Fong helped achieve sales and volume milestones and established the group as a community supporter of various NGOs.
Fong’s community posts include the UOG Board of Regents in various capacities, including vice chairman; longtime board member and current chairman of the board for the American Red Cross Guam Chapter, recently reaching the highest fundraising year in the history of the organization; and member of the UOG School of Business and Public Administration Advisory Council.
Francis Rey G. Gozum
Part owner, project manager and field operations manager, RME, VG Gozum Construction LLC
Education: 2003 bachelor’s in fine arts and industrial design, University of Santo Tomas, Philippines
Donnie Ray G. Gozum
Part owner, assistant field operations manager, safety consultant, VG Gozum Construction LLC
Education: 2006 bachelor’s in business administration, University of Santo Tomas, Philippines
Alvin Ray G. Gozum
Part owner, assistant field operations manager/equipment manager, VG Gozum Construction LLC
Education: 2011 bachelor’s in marketing management, De La Salle University, Philippines
Christopher Rey G. Gozum
Part owner, assistant field operations manager/project engineer, VG Gozum Construction LLC
Education: 2011 bachelor’s in civil engineering, specializing in structural engineering, De La Salle University, Philippines
Claim to fame: Following in the footsteps of their grandfather and father, the Guzman brothers are now responsible for the direction of VG Gozum Construction LLC, which specializes in roof waterproofing, coating and similar work. The siblings have maintained a significant portfolio of work that includes multiple ongoing projects such as interior painting of the Tsubaki Tower, the P-601 aircraft hangar at Andersen Air Force Base and other high-profile military work and GovGuam contracting that includes construction of new Guam Waterworks Authority treatment plants and renovation of existing facilities. In a market that has labor challenges, VG Gozum has maintained a steady workforce, particularly its painting and coating applicators. It is also folding the next generation of family into its management structure. The company has maintained relationships through the years, for example with Leo Palace Resort, where it recently completed interior painting of the hotel’s room remodeling and renovation, but has also expanded its client base to include recent military awardees such as Hawaiian-Dredging Coretech JV, Gilbane Co. and Cadell-Nan JV.
As part of its corporate citizenship, the siblings have made monetary donations to various organizations and donated work including repainting of churches and religious institutions. VG Gozum is also the co-founder of Pinoy Guam Bikers, which aims to promote a healthy lifestyle as well as fundraising for activities such as helping cancer patients.
Nola. K. Hix
Services and solutions executive, Xerox Corp. Saipan
Education: Southern High School
Claim to fame: Hix’s current position entails managing numerous Xerox accounts across the Northern Mariana Islands, but outside of work she’s committed to giving back to her community. She was recently elected chairwoman of the CNMI Democratic Party — the first woman to lead the party since its inception in 1978. During Pride Month, Hix, along with her Pacific Century Fellows cohort, helped spearhead the unveiling of the first Pride Crosswalk in the Marianas to promote same-sex marriage tourism and to show support and acceptance of the island’s LGBTQ+ community.
Hix co-founded the Marianas Young Professionals; serves on the board for the American Red Cross NMI Chapter; is the co-sponsorship chair for the Marianas March Against Cancer Committee; and is a member of the Pacific Century Fellows Marianas Chapter, Saipan Chamber of Commerce and Hotel Association of the NMI. She recently helped ignite the grassroots organization NMI Citizens for Change and remains politically active locally and abroad with the Democratic National Committee.
Throughout her 16-year professional career, Hix has built a reputation for work ethic and community service and has received several recognitions from peers within the NMI business community. She was also recognized in Guam Business’s 40 under Forty in 2016 with the Community Spirit Award.
Perry A. Inos Jr.
Business development manager, Triple J Saipan Inc.
Education: 2007 bachelor’s in business administration, University of Hawaii; 2020 master’s in international business and certificate in accounting, Southern New Hampshire University
Claim to fame: Triple J recruited Inos in May 2015. Since then, he has been heavily involved with current and new business developments such as Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. Saipan, Saipan Surfrider Hotel, Saipan Comfort Homes, Ocean Ridge Village Homes, Surf Club Restaurant and Triple J Payless.
Prior to joining Triple J, Inos was the Department of Commerce’s director of the Small Business Development Center of the Economic Development Office as certified international business advisor, certified export advisor and certified business trainer. Inos was also the former director of the Central Statistics Division at the Department of Commerce. Prior to that he worked at the Northern Marianas College as the bookstore manager, program manager for student activities and leadership, and program manager for the Office of Institutional Effectiveness. Prior to his career in Saipan, Inos was licensed in the insurance industry in Oregon working with Combined Insurance Co. of America.
In 2012, Inos was inducted as a member of the Rotary Club of Saipan and a member of the Saipan Chamber of Commerce and is serving his third term on the Saipan Chamber of Commerce board of directors.
He is also a member of the Northern Marianas Business Alliance Corp., working with U.S. Congress for the Northern Mariana Islands’ economic and workforce needs.
Earvin D. Jose
Regional brand manager, Island Beverage Distributors
Education: 2010 Father Dueñas Memorial School
Claim to fame: Jose started at Mid Pacific Distributors in October 2015 as a brand ambassador. His focus was solely on marketing and brand building activities for Miller Lite on Guam. With strategic innovative planning and execution, Jose revitalized brand health, increased awareness and developed new drinkers. In March 2017, he was promoted to marketing manager for all Molson Coors International brands, representing brands such as Miller Lite, Coors Light, Blue Moon and more. Additionally, Jose led the re-launch of Coors Light and Blue Moon on Guam.
In January 2018, Mid Pac formed Island Beverage Distributors within the company to represent beverages such as beer, wine, spirits and other non-alcoholic beverages. He was then named brand manager for all beer brands within the company representing suppliers such as Molson Coors International, San Miguel Brewing Co., Sapporo Beer Ltd. and The Guam Brewery, overseeing the brands in respective markets such as Guam, Saipan, Palau and American Samoa.
Managing director, Pacific International Inc. (Guam)
Education: Associate’s in liberal arts, College of the Marshall Islands; bachelor’s in business administration, Hawaii Pacific University
Claim to fame: Kramer oversees family business operations and real estate properties for Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands. Her career accomplishments include expanding rental occupancy of the 132-unit Nimitz Towers operation; expanding operations of the acquired Tamuning 12-unit apartment complex; improving Diamond K Wholesale family operation; monitoring contracts on the Yigo Quarry Operation; expanding the companies’ travel agency and tourism operation in the Marshall Islands; and managing movement and logistics support for more than 250 construction workers.
She was part of the first-generation class for Pacific Islands Leadership Program with Taiwan at the East-West Center in Honolulu, Hawaii and was the first-generation recipient of the Pacific Century Fellowship Program Marianas Chapter. Kramer also volunteers and assists with donation aids for the Marshall Islands and assisted Saipan Yutu relief efforts for the Marshall Islands community in Saipan. She is also the registered Guam Court interpreter in the Marshallese language.
Procurement manager, Pacific International Inc. (Majuro, Marshall Islands)
Acting general manager, Diamond K Wholesale (Guam)
Education: 2005 bachelor’s in business administration, management information systems and marketing, University of Hawaii at Manoa
Claim to fame: Kramer overseas and manages the parent company’s purchasing system and logistics of supplies, goods, materials and equipment for its various business subsidiaries and construction projects while continually implementing cost-reduction measures to help the company save money and contribute to the company’s bottom line.
Currently, Kramer is the acting manager for Diamond K Wholesale, introducing new products to Guam and Micronesia. Kramer also assists with Pacific International (Guam) Inc.’s operations when needed.
Kramer has shown continuous involvement in charity assistance by coordinating purchases and shipping logistics for donated goods to support Saipan Yutu relief and various non-profits in the Marshall Islands.
Maria Eugenia H. Leon Guerrero
Executive vice president and chief operating officer, Bank of Guam
Education: 2001 bachelor’s in international studies, University of Washington; 2009 master’s in business administration, Michael G. Foster School of Business, University of Washington; 2017 graduate level banking program, Pacific Coast Banking School, University of Washington
Claim to fame: Alongside CEO, Joaquin Cook, Leon Guerrero has led Bank of Guam through a brand refresh effort introducing the brand essence, brand promise and revitalized logo. Leon Guerrero is currently leading the bank through a comprehensive branch and digital transformation plan aimed at improving the customer experience throughout the branch network and digital service channels.
Leon Guerrero serves as the chairwoman for the Foundation for Public Education. Under her tenure, the foundation hosted its fifth annual Guam Department of Education Teacher of the Year Gala recognizing excellence in public education and has awarded over $30,000 in teacher wish list grants — micro-grants of $500 for classroom materials and equipment that support student learning.
Leon Guerrero was recently confirmed as the chairwoman for the Hågatña Restoration and Redevelopment Authority. She also serves on the boards of Sanctuary Inc. of Guam, University of Guam Press, Teach Money Inc. and as a principal member of the I Fanlalai’an Oral History Project.
Jessica A. Leon Guerrero
President and owner, M80 Systems Inc.
Education: George Washington High School
Claim to fame: Leon Guerrero was with Mid Pacific Distributors and Island Wine & Spirits for over a decade. During her tenure she played a major role with launching the Johnnie Walker Blue “Special Edition” Guam and Legends bottles. She worked with one of the world’s largest beverage companies to feature Guam on the Heineken Cities of the World bottles and cans that were launched in other markets throughout Asia and the South Pacific.
At the age of 34, Leon Guerrero became owner and partner of M80 Systems Inc., a women-owned small business. She has expanded and marketed M80 Systems as a one-stop solutions company for interior needs with the slogan “Making Spaces a Reality.”
Leon Guerrero was named “Guam Young Professional of the Year 2018” and was a recent nominee for Guam Business Magazine’s 2019 Businesswoman of the Year. She is a current member of the Guam Children’s Museum and a volunteer with the Guam Memorial Hospital Volunteers Association and American Cancer Society. She served as chairwoman of the board for the Tourism Education Council and has been involved with other various non-profit organizations.
Marvin V. Manibusan
CEO and president, Crowns Guam and Mighty Purple Café
Creative director and partner, Pacific Island Mannge Pops and SPK22 Athletics
Creative director, Clans Guam: Sneakers & Street Goods
Founder and CEO, Yogo App
Founder, Competidor Brand
Education: Attended University of Guam and The Art Institute of San Diego, Calif.
Claim to fame: Manibusan is widely known for Crowns Guam, which he launched in 2012. Crowns Guam rapidly became a street wear apparel giant on Guam and quickly turned into a multimillion-dollar company. Manibusan’s success extends into many of his small businesses, which began with his first small company venture, Competidor Brand Kimonos, which was voted one of the Top 5 Jiu Jitsu companies of 2012 by Grappling Magazine. In 2016, Manibusan, along with his partners and team, opened the Crowns Guam Hågatña flagship store to help strengthen the revival of the capitol’s economic development movement. The Crowns store was a creative endeavor that launched a sister brand, Clans Guam, a concept shop that showcases exclusive sneakers and popular streetwear brands alongside the Crowns Guam label. Manibusan and partners also spearheaded Mighty Purple Café next door to Crowns/Clans Guam specializing in the west coast and Brazilian superfood snack, the açaí bowl.
Recently, Pacific Island Mannge Pops partnered with Manibusan to launch the all local Mannge Pops website along with a full merchandise collection. He also recently went back to his roots in mixed martial arts to help revive his uncle’s, Melchor Manibusan, Spike 22 Academy full mixed martial arts brand and street wear collection. Manibusan has worked with many companies throughout his career, including Stussy, New Era, Kicks Hawaii Guam, Miller Lite, Farmers Market Hawaii, Cukui, Champion, In4Mation, Fokai, BJ Penn and more. He was also one of the original founders of GAX The Guam Art Exhibit and SummerPalooza, and is the creator of the Yogo app, a branding app for small business owners.
Charles T. McJohn II
Assistant general manager, Agana Shopping Center
Education: 2004 bachelor’s in business management economics with a double-minor in accounting and marketing, University of California, Santa Cruz
Claim to fame: McJohn started with the Agana Shopping Center in 2010 as the promotions coordinator and was promoted to marketing manager less than six months later. It was at this time he successfully revamped the “A-Club,” Guam’s popular academic rewards event, and introduced ReCON and EpixCon, Guam’s first large-scale anime, videogame and Cosplay conventions. He was also instrumental in the conceptualization and implementation of the Guam Chamber of Commerce Christmas Songfest, which has hosted up to 20 schools annually and is regarded as the island’s signature choir/chorus competition. In 2017, McJohn was promoted to assistant general manager in charge of operations and an International Council of Shopping Centers member tasked with U.S. tenant acquisition.
Jaron A. Middleton
CEO and co-founder, Halo Corp., which does business as Halo Tech
General manager and managing member, Primo Distributors LLC
Education: 2012 bachelor’s in information technology with a concentration in IT security, Colorado Technical University; various IT Certifications, including CISSP
Claim to Fame: Middleton started with Primo Distributors LLC in 2013. In 2015 he bought out one partner and in 2016 bought out the remaining partner. In November 2015 Middleton founded Halo Corp., which does business as Halo Tech and Zanzimart, with four partners. He was director for the group during his first year. In December 2016, he bought out all stakeholder shares and became CEO. In 2017, after assuming the new position, the company had a 280% growth in revenue and averaged approximately 30% growth the following two years.
What started as a managed IT firm led into security systems, access control and deeper, more intricate solutions tailored for clients’ needs. One of the company’s more recent projects was the CCTV systems at the new Docomo Pacific HQ in Tamuning and implementing access control and CCTV for the Agana facility. The company has also done work for Docomo in Saipan, Rota and Tinian.
Middleton partakes actively in direct sponsorships, charity events and outreach programs. Most recently, he was able to assist in coordinating the Charlie Corn Golf Tournament. This is his eighth year participating and third year as part of the planning committee, raising scholarship funds for pre-engineering students in excess of $50,000 per year for the past three years.
Jason B. Miyashita
Managing director, senior vice president and investments, Senior Institutional Consultant
Managing partner, Raymond James Guam Office
Education: Bachelor’s in finance, accounting and strategic management, Wharton School of Business, The University of Pennsylvania
Claim to fame: Miyashita is a certified chartered private wealth advisor, investment management analyst, investment fiduciary analyst, chartered retirement plan specialist and financial planner. He represented Guam in the InvestmentNews 40 Under 40 National List in 2018, which was the first time anyone from the Pacific Islands was considered for this prestigious U.S. National List. In addition, he was named to the 2019 Forbes Top Wealth Managers in U.S. Territories and States, 2018 & 2019 Forbes Top Next-Gen Wealth Advisors, 2019 On Wall Street Top 25 Regional Advisors Under 40, 2019 Barron’s Top 1200 Advisors in the Nation and 2019 Financial Times Top 400 Financial Advisors in the U.S., all firsts for Guam and the Pacific Islands.
Miyashita is also the president elect and board member of the Rotary Club of Tumon Bay Guam. He is adjunct faculty and an international conference speaker for the Asia Pacific Association for Fiduciary Studies.
Roman “Bo” Tenorio Palacios
Vice President, J.C. Tenorio Enterprises, Inc.
Education: Bachelor’s in international affairs and economics, George Washington University; master’s in business administration and finance, California State University
Claim to fame: In his role at J.C. Tenorio Enterprises Inc., Palacios manages and executes directives from the Joeten Enterprises Inc. board of directors. He has played a critical role in ushering in a new generation of leadership in the Joeten Group of Companies. Palacios is also in the process of hardening Joeten properties against the future threats of natural disasters.
Palacios plays an active role in the community as president of the Commonwealth Cancer Association and co-founder of the Marianas Young Professionals.
Andrew C. Park
President, Pacific Energy Corp.
Education: 2003 bachelor’s in computer science, Boston College; 2004 master’s in computer science, Yale University
Claim to fame: Park is the president of Pacific Energy Corp. which works with foreign-based companies to help develop cross border projects into Guam.
He is also the founder and current president of the Guam Korean Chamber of Commerce. GKCC is the newest Korean non-profit organization on Guam which works to support Korean American businesses, gain a political voice for the Korean community and give back to the local community. Park is also a member of the American Culinary Federation and the Chinese Chamber of Commerce.
Tasi Q. Peddicord
Regional manager, sales and customer service, Guam and Micronesia, Matson Navigation Co.
Education: 2003 bachelor’s in psychology, University of Guam; 2013 master’s in business administration, University of Maryland
Claim to fame: In this position, Peddicord has a key role in overseeing sales and customer service activities of the Western Pacific/Micronesia region including Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, Palau, the Federated States of Micronesia and the Marshall Islands. Peddicord is the only woman leading a sales team in the Matson family of companies. Prior to her appointment at Matson, Peddicord was in commercial sales with IP&E Guam (formerly Shell North Pacific Islands) for nearly a decade, where she focused her efforts regionally in aviation, government, commercial and marine businesses. Her experience also includes working in the luxury goods industry at Louis Vuitton.
Peddicord has participated in a wide range of community service activities through the Guam Women’s Chamber of Commerce, the National Association of Women in Construction, Junior Achievement and Relay for Life. She currently serves on the board for the Guam Girl Scouts, Fu’una Rising, Guam Business Partners In Recycling, and the University of Guam’s School of Business and Public Administration Advisory Council.
Vincent B. Perez Jr.
Vice president and commercial banking officer, Bank of Hawaii
Education: Bachelor’s in business administration with a concentration in finance and economics, University of Guam
Claim to Fame: With ten years of commercial and corporate banking underwriting experience, Perez joined Bank of Hawaii in 2016 as vice president and commercial banking officer and is responsible for managing a commercial banking and middle market portfolio in the West Pacific region. In 2018, he was recognized and awarded as a top sales producer for the Bank’s Commercial Banking Division. Perez sits on the steering committee of the Guam Young Professionals Committee of the Guam Chamber of Commerce.
Soledad “Somia” T. Quan
Corporate projects manager, J.C. Tenorio Enterprises Inc.
Education: 2008 bachelor’s in business management, Wallace E. Carroll School of Management, Boston College; 2016 master’s in business administration, Shidler College of Business, University of Hawaii at Manoa
Claim to fame: After returning to the Pacific region in 2013 and earning her master’s in 2016, Quan completed two projects for J.C. Tenorio Enterprises: the renovation of the Chalan Kanoa Beach Hotel and the implementation of a 401(k) retirement plan for all Joeten Enterprises Inc. subsidiaries. Since then she has been overseeing and managing the design and construction of the U.S. Courthouse in the Northern Mariana Islands on behalf of the developer, Marianas Management Corporation. She volunteers as a board member for the Micronesia Islands Nature Alliance and serves as the current vice chairwoman.
Jose T. Quan
Operations manager, Saipan Shipping Company Inc.
Education: 2011 bachelor’s in business management with a minor in environmental studies, Santa Clara University
Claim to Fame: For the past five years, Quan has served as the operations manager of Saipan Shipping Co. Inc., a leadership position he assumed shortly upon entering the industry. Quan is responsible for managing the daily operations of the seaport; he’s instrumental in coordinating cargo vessel arrivals from Guam, Asia and various ports around the world. He works closely with major ocean carriers Matson Navigation Co., Kyowa Shipping lines and others.
Quan oversees the critical seaport component, responsible for relief materials in the wake of a storm. He played a significant role after Typhoon Soudelor in 2015 and Super Typhoon Yutu in 2018.
Quan also owns and operates the CrossFit gym, GetFitCNMI, providing a healthy lifestyle opportunity for all. He has also launched his own personal photography company, having branded his work under GinenMarianas.
Derrick Muna Quinata
President and CEO, Monster Auto Corp., which does business as Guam Auto Spot
Pacific Auto Group, which does business as Sixt Rent A Car and Pacific Development Corp., which does business as MV Mariana
Education: Bachelor’s in business administration, University of Guam
Claim to fame: After opening Guam Auto Spot in 2008, Quinata was named an authorized Mitsubishi dealer in 2013. Guam Auto Spot doubled its gross revenues in 2014, as reported to Guam Business Magazine for the Deloitte & Touche ASC Trust Corp. list of Top Companies in Micronesia. Quinata followed those milestones with an authorized Buick GMC dealership in 2015. In 2016, the business was expanded to include a car rental company operating as a Sixt Rent A Car franchise. After steady growth and gaining increased market share year after year, the business holdings were once again expanded. In 2018 a cargo vessel was acquired. In 2019, the M/V Mariana began servicing the Mariana Islands with regular cargo transshipment among the Mariana Islands bringing much needed supplies and commodities to Rota, Tinian and Saipan from Guam.
Quinata is a member of the Guam Visitors Bureau board of directors, Guam Automobile Dealers Association and the National Automobile Dealers Association.
Judy C. Rosario
Co-owner, Synergy Studios
Enterprise sales manager, IT&E
Education: Attended the University of Guam
Claim to fame:
Along with partners Clare Calvo and Lillian Reyes, Rosario celebrated Synergy Studios 15-year anniversary in 2019 and has grown the company from two employees to a team of 14 employees and more than 25 fitness instructors providing services in three locations. Rosario is a certified instructor in Pilates, Tread and Shred, SynerCycle, Cardio Circuit and TRX.
Additionally, with more than 14 years of experience in the telecom industry, Rosario is responsible for the continued growth of IT&E’s enterprise market. As enterprise sales manager, her goal is to maintain and grow IT&E’s partnership in the business community.
Rosario sits on the steering committee of the Guam Chamber’s Guam Young Professionals and has served two terms as chairwoman. She also served as board secretary for the Tourism Education Council for five years and currently sits on the board of Manuelu. She has been a member of Soroptimist of Guam, the National Association of Women in Construction, the Guam Navy League and AFCEA International, in addition to participating in volunteer projects in neighboring islands.
Jesse E. Rosario
Owner and nutrition professional, The Boka Box
Education: 2005 bachelor’s in CFS: Nutrition, University of Guam
Claim to fame: For 15 years Rosario has made it his life passion to improve the health of the island’s community. Proudly earning his degree from UOG in 2005, he made every effort to expand his knowledge and experience in his nutrition career. In 2016, Rosario made the decision to leave a comfortable and stable government job as the state nutrition officer at the Guam Department of Education to start The Boka Box, Guam’s first nutritionally sound meal preparation service. Rosario now works with local health organizations, clinics and businesses to provide an avenue for the community to eat healthy every day.
Entering its fourth year, The Boka Box has been able to help people learn how to use food to become healthier. Rosario has helped people to manage diabetes, lower their cholesterol and live a healthier lifestyle overall. He provides nutrition education to businesses, families and youth.
Angela F. Rosario
Director of product management and marketing for Guam and the CNMI, IT&E
Part-owner, The Boka Box
Education: 1999 Academy of our Lady of Guam
Claim to fame: Rosario’s career in telecommunications started in 2005 as a consumer sales representative at GTA. After a couple of years, she moved into corporate sales and then product development at Docomo Pacific. In 2012, Rosario joined IT&E as the prepaid product manager for Guam and after three years was promoted to her current role as the director of product management in Guam and the NMI. In her three years as director, the company saw large growth in revenue and subscriber base by 20%. At the same time, Rosario opened her own business, The Boka Box, with her husband and partners. The Boka Box is going into its fourth year and continues to grow — from a staff of four to a staff of 20.
Dylan R. Saad
Chef-owner, Primo Pizzakaya
Education: 2012 associate’s in culinary arts, Culinary Institute of America, Hyde Park
Claim to fame: Upon gaining his chef title in Colorado under the tutelage of Chef Evan Treadwell, Saad came back to Guam as the opening chef of Crust Pizzeria — the island’s only Pizzeria Napolitana. He then became the chef de cuisine for Roy’s Restaurant at the Hilton Guam Resort & Spa, working directly with the acclaimed Roy Yamaguchi. After Roy’s he moved to the Dusit Thani Resort Guam as the chef de cuisine for Alfredo’s Steakhouse. It was here that he and Calvin Salemi took Alfredo’s to the number one performing and grossing restaurant in the Dusit Thani International brand while introducing the island’s first in-house dry age beef program.
In 2019, Saad opened his own restaurant, Primo Pizzakaya. Primo offers a modern take on the Japanese Izakaya with hand crafted wild yeast pizzas and creative small plates. Primo has garnered nominations for Best New Concept and Best Branding in its initial year. It has gained a reputation for innovative and ever-changing dishes with revolving menus.
Shirley Ann T. Sablan
President and chief operations officer, Pacifica Insurance Underwriters Inc.
Education: Bachelor’s in business administration, Chaminade University of Honolulu; master’s in business administration with a concentration in marketing and human resources management, Chaminade University of Honolulu
Claim to fame: Sablan oversees all aspects of general management at Pacifica. She was named the 2000 Who’s Who Amongst Students in American Universities & Colleges and the 2014 First Hawaiian Bank and Guam Business Magazine Businesswoman of the Year and the only awardee from the NMI to date, recognized by the U.S. Congress and the NMI Legislature. She has served as the keynote speaker for various engagements, including twice the Northern Marianas College Commencement, the Women’s Month Summit for the CNMI Women’s Association & Office of Women’s Affairs, Saipan Chamber of Commerce Career Exploration Day and Empty Vessel. She has also been selected and served as a judge for the Pacific Century Fellows, Teacher of the Year for the Public School System and the Saipan Chamber of Commerce Scholarship. In 2019, she serves on the inaugural team of mentors for the Guam Business Magazine Businesswoman of the Year mentorship program.
Sablan is director of Stellar Marianas and Lay Diann Torres Foundation, and past president and vice president of the Northern Marianas Insurance Association.
Amitpal S. Sachdev
CEO/Founder, Stroll Guam Inc.
Education: 2013 associate’s in recording arts, Los Angeles Recording School
Claim to fame: After helping build an online platform for Hip Hop artists, producers and DJs to showcase their talents and build their brands, Sachdev knew he would get involved in tech or another internet business. Driving for Uber while being an Audio Engineer and Music Producer in Los Angeles, Sachdev had the idea to bring a similar experience to Guam.
Stroll Guam launched in 2016 and has completed more than 55,000 rides. Next, Sachdev plans to expand Stroll Guam services into food delivery, digital advertising, grocery delivery and on-demand delivery.
Joseph R. Shinohara
Chief financial officer, GTA
Education: Bachelor’s in accounting and business management, University of Guam; CPA and CGMA license holder
Claim to fame: Shinohara joined GTA in 2007 and has served as finance director, vice president of finance/controller and executive vice president of finance. He was appointed chief financial officer by GTA’s board of directors in July 2018. In this senior leadership position, he has a focus on maximizing the efficiency of GTA’s investments and is responsible for GTA’s day-to-day financial strategy and operations. He was instrumental in two transitions of the company to new investors, new business initiatives and strategic investments, and a key contributor to an improved credit rating and debt financing.
He is an active CPA and CGMA license holder and a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and Guam Society of Certified Public Accountants.
Robert C. Travilla
Co-founder and creative director, Tribe Marianas
Education: 2005 Mount Carmel High School
Claim to fame: Travilla began working on cultivating his talents at the age of 13 with the Award-Winning Artist, “Dragon” Edong Elenzano of MegaVision El Drako Tattoo. Blending his love for art and fashion, he created and founded Salbahe’ Brand in 2006. After, he co-founded Tribe Marianas in 2015 with a mission to spread good vibes and the beauty of island culture from Saipan to all points of the world.
Since its debut, Tribe Marianas has been one of the fastest growing brands on this side of the Pacific. With more than 10,000 followers on social media, Tribe Marianas has become one of the most followed companies in the NMI. In the past two years, Tribe Marianas collaborated and partnered with global entities such as Budweiser, Toyota, Docomo Pacific, American Red Cross and T Galleria by DFS Saipan. The store has received orders from as far as California, Washington, Texas, Florida, Hawaii, Alaska, Japan and Korea.
Travilla has helped give back to the community by being an active member of Marianas March Against Cancer since 2012 and a proud supporter of The “Million Dollar Scholars” Program.
Leslie A. Travis
Attorney, Civille and Tang PLLC
General manager, Guam Food Tours
Education: 2002 bachelor’s in women’s studies, University of California, Berkeley; 2005 juris doctorate, University at Buffalo School of Law
Claim to fame: Travis practices commercial and criminal litigation, specializing in trial and appellate advocacy and evidence, and is licensed to practice law in Guam and in California. Travis has served on the Criminal Justice Act Panel for the District Court of Guam for eight years and previously served on the Felony Court-Appointed Panel for the Superior Court of Guam.
She is a vocal supporter of the Guam High School Mock Trial program, having participated in the program in high school and coached numerous teams in Guam and South Korea for local and national competitions. Travis is in her sixth year of service on the board of directors for the Foundation for Public Education, a Guam non-profit aimed at creating opportunities for public school students, recognizing exceptional GDOE educators and supporting public education in Guam.
Travis sets time aside when possible for her own personal venture, her local food touring business Guam Food Tours Inc. She introduces her customers to various food establishments for an experience people wouldn’t typically get if they stuck to the popular areas, helping to connect tourism with the local culture.
Michael J. Um, MD
Physician and owner, One Love Pediatrics
Education: 2005 bachelor’s in english and integrative biology, University of California Berkeley; 2012 master’s, Saint Louis University School of Medicine
Claim to fame: After moving to Guam in 2015, Um saw a need to improve access to healthcare and established his clinic, One Love Pediatrics, in Upper Tumon. In addition to working at the Guam Memorial Hospital as a pediatric hospitalist, he is also a member of the GMH board of trustees.
Um’s philanthropic efforts include creating the Angels in Need charity fund, being a physician mentor to pre-med students in the H.O.M.E. program and serving as the medical liason for the Make-A-Wish Foundation Guam-CNMI Chapter. He is also a founding member and the current vice-president of the Guam Korean Chamber of Commerce.
Shayne B. Villanueva
Operations manager, AON Insurance
Owner, Roil Soil Clothing and Promotions
Education: Mount Carmel School
Claim to fame: An entrepreneur and promoter, Villanueva’s career started from humble beginnings as an insurance salesman in Southern California, but he has pursued his dream of creating a business that promoted the culture of the Marianas in a variety of ways. He founded Roil Soil Clothing in his garage in San Diego, while moving up the ladder in the sales and insurance industry for 15 years before returning to Saipan. Since returning home, he became the operations manager for AON Insurance, while expanding his knowledge in commercial lines. He has also organized some of Saipan’s biggest concerts and events over the last few years, attracting international talent to the Marianas.
Villanueva serves as chairman of the Saipan Young Professionals, vice-chairman of the NMI Liberation Day Festivities, a board member of the Saipan Chamber of Commerce, and is an avid supporter of numerous charity events to raise funds for NMI youth and disadvantaged families.
Chase K. Weir
Founder and CEO, Liquid Soul Industries
Co-founder and CEO, Soul Printing
General manager, Rockstar Charters
Education: Attended some college
Claim to fame: After starting Liquid Soul Industries in 2011, Weir continuously has grown as an entrepreneur in many different fields from screen printing to fishing charters. As a film maker, Weir has worked on a variety of high-profile projects with local companies such as Watts Construction and Docomo Pacific, as well as exciting global projects, such as Blue Planet II, a 2017 British nature documentary series on marine life produced by the BBC Natural History Unit.
In 2017, Weir helped to found Rockstar Charters, which is a premier offshore sport fishing charter and adventure tour company offering charters on a 58’ Riviera sport fishing yacht or a 34’ Grady-White center console. His most recent venture is the 2019 founding of Soul Printing, a screen-printing shop located in Hagåtña that provides printing for Liquid Soul Industries as well as for other companies such as Primo Pizzakaya.
Weir gives back to the community through ad hoc film and printing support for community organizations such as the Micronesia Conservation Coalition.
Vanessa L. Williams
Owner and attorney, Law Office of Vanessa L. Williams P.C.
Education: Bachelor’s in management science, University of California, San Diego; juris doctorate, business law certificate, University of San Francisco School of Law
Claim to fame: Within the last decade, Williams has distinguished herself as an attorney able to navigate complex regulatory environments — whether it be advising her clients in the boardroom or representing them in the courtroom. Most notably, she represented the court-appointed federal receiver over the Guam Solid Waste Authority of the Government of Guam in an extensive range of matters from procurement disputes and eminent domain proceedings to drafting personnel regulations. As a commercial litigator, she has represented some of the largest private companies in Guam in contract, construction and property disputes.
Williams serves as a board member at the bank of ANZ Guam Inc. and as chairperson of the newly formed Cannabis Control Board, charged with regulating recreational marijuana.
She previously served as a founding board member and president of the Guam Women’s Chamber of Commerce, and a board member of Guam Animals in Need, the Hagåtña Restoration and Redevelopment Authority and the Rotary Club of Tumon Bay.
In 2019, Williams was recognized as the Women in Business Champion of the year by the U.S. Small Business Association Guam branch and as a nominee for Guam Business Magazine’s Businesswoman of the Year.