Stephen C. Hedger, former legislative assistant to Madeleine. Z. Bordallo, Guam’s representative in Congress, was appointed as the assistant secretary of defense (legislative affairs) in Washington, D.C. Previously, Hedger had served as the principal deputy secretary for legislative affairs at the Department of Defense, special assistant to the president and Senate legislative affairs liaison in the White House Office of Legislative Affairs. He served with Bordallo from 2005 to 2007. Hedger holds a bachelor’s in international relations from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point in New York and a juris doctorate from Georgetown University Law Center in Washington, D.C.
Attorney Juan Carlos Benitez has been appointed to the U.S. Senate Republican Task Force on Hispanic Affairs. Benitez is the only person from Guam appointed to the task force. Benitez is president at Washington Pacific Economic Development Group. He received his law degree from the Inter American University School of Law.
John J. “Jay” Rojas has been appointed administrator of the Guam Economic Development Authority. Previously, Rojas held positions as the director of the Governor of Guam’s Washington Office and special assistant to the governor, deputy director of the Guam Department of Public Works, executive vice president of SEI Guam; president, Distinctive Distributors Inc., president of Construction Resources; and various staffing and personnel recruitment and development positions for companies in California and Massachusetts. He is the proprietor of P3 consultants. He received a bachelor’s in French and continental European literature from Boston University.
Perry Cantarutti has been named CEO and managing director of SkyTeam. With nearly 25 years of industry experience, Cantarutti joined SkyTeam from Delta Air Lines, where he was senior vice president Europe, Middle East and Africa. He holds a bachelor’s from the University of California – Berkeley and a master’s of business administration from Northwestern University (Ill.).
Michael Wisbrun has been named chairman of the SkyTeam governing board. Wisbrun has been in the aviation industry for 36 years and joined SkyTeam in 2011 from KLM, where he held various leadership positions including executive vice president of Air France KLM Cargo. He holds a master’s in engineering from Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands.
John Rios has been appointed comptroller at the A.B. Won Pat International Airport, Guam. Rios’s prior positions include administrator of Guam Economic Development Authority, director of the Bureau of Budget and Management Research, business banking officer at First Hawaiian Bank and various credit, finance and management positions in the private and government industries. Rios received a bachelor’s in mathematics from Regis College in Denver and his master’s in business administration from the University of Guam.
Tammy Flores Garman Schoenen was installed as the Guam postmaster at a ceremony Oct. 21 at the John Pangelinan Gerber Barrigada Post Office.
Replacing former Postmaster Emmanuel Thomas, who transferred to a postal management position in Illinois, Schoenen is the 15th official Guam postmaster in the 113-year history of the office and the first female to serve in the position. Raised in Guam, she attended University of Guam and began her postal career 20 years ago as a clerk.
The Saipan Post Office installed a new postmaster, Christopher A. Warren, on Oct. 20. Warren replaces former Saipan Postmaster James Constable, who is now postmaster of the Pahoa Post Office in Hawaii. Raised in Ohio, Warren has 26 years of experience in the postal business and has served as customer services supervisor on Guam and officer-in-charge of the Guam Main Postal Facility.
Samuel M. Sotelo Jr. has joined Guam AutoSpot Buick/GMC/Mitsubishi as business development and marketing director. Previously, Sotelo held positions as general sales manager for Cars Plus Guam and director of marketing and communications at Atkins Kroll Toyota/Lexus/Scion/Chevrolet.
Tricia D.R. Scott was promoted to vice president and human resources officer at BankPacific. Scott has been with the company since 2003, previously holding the position of executive assistant for the bank’s executive vice president and chief operating officer. She received a her bachelor’s in human resources management under BankPacific’s educational assistance program.
John McKinnon was promoted to vice president and regulatory compliance and security officer for BankPacific’s regulatory risk division. McKinnon joined company in 2007 as a consumer loan specialist and was promoted to the assistant vice president, compliance and security in 2012. McKinnon completed the ABA National Compliance School in San Diego.
Corinne Monteverde was promoted to vice president and Bank Secrecy Act officer for BankPacific’s regulatory risk division. Monteverde joined the bank in 2011 as compliance and security assistant and later became the BSA assistant.
Lee Tudela has been promoted to office supervisor in BankPacific’s Saipan office. Lee joined the bank in 2003 as a teller.
Shelby Masami was promoted to assistant vice president and Palau office supervisor for BankPacific. Masami joined the bank in 2008 as a bank teller with six years of experience. She received her associate’s in criminal justice from Sacramento City College, Calif.
Isa Koki has been promoted from assistant vice president/general ledger accounting manager to vice president/GL accounting manager for the Bank of Guam. Koki joined the bank in February 2013 as an accounting officer and was promoted the following year to assistant vice president/accounting officer. Koki previously served as an audit associate with Deloitte & Touche LLP as an audit associate and in the internal audit department of Sempra Energy Corp. in San Diego. She received her bachelor’s in accountancy from the University of San Diego and is a certified public accountant in California and Guam and a chartered global management accountant.
Cora C. Lujan, BG Wealth Management officer, acquired her license as a financial adviser with BG Wealth Management. Previously, Lujan held positions with Citibank Guam for more than 15 years including country business support unit head, Citigold relationship manager, branch services manager and branch services officer. She holds a bachelor’s in accounting from the University of Guam.
Alexandra L.G. Taitano, vice president/wealth management adviser with BG Wealth Management, earned the Accredited Investment Fiduciary status. Taitano has been with BG Wealth since 2011, after previously serving five years each with Merrill Lynch Guam as a financial adviser and ASC Trust Corp. as special projects manager. Taitano is a board member of the Guam Solid Waste Authority board of directors.
Ed Strickland has joined Pernix Group Inc. as director of power asset management. Previously, Strickland served as the director of commercial management at Capital Power Corp. and held positions at Caterpillar Inc., independent power producers and a regulated utility in the developed power markets PJM and Alberta, Canada. Strickland received a master’s in finance from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business and a bachelor’s in marine engineering systems from the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy in New York.
Kristine R. Lujan has been promoted to vice president of marketing and public relations at Triple J Enterprises Inc. Lujan joined the team in 2013 as director of marketing. Lujan has almost 20 years of advertising, marketing and public relations experience. Lujan was a 2015 nominee for the First Hawaiian Bank and Guam Business Magazine Businesswoman of the Year and is also chairperson of the Guam Chamber of Commerce Business Women’s Network Committee, board member and development committee chair for Duk Duk Goose Inc. and board member for the Junior Achievement of Guam Inc.
Selen A. Elicio has been appointed proprietor and managing partner for the Outback Steakhouse franchise on Guam, operated by Triple J Restaurant Group Inc. Elicio has been with the restaurant for 11 years, starting as a server. She most previously held the title of restaurant manager.
Michael Gunn has been named dean of Enrollment Management and Student Success. Gunn was the associate provost for enrollment management at the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology, where he had served as the Department of Chemistry head, chief of staff to the president and director of National Collegiate Athletic Association Division II intercollegiate athletics. He holds a doctorate in anthropology and health services administration from Columbia Pacific University.
Remy Cristobal has been named the registrar and associate dean of Enrollment Management and Student Success. Cristobal has worked with the university since 1989, serving as administrative aid in the Triton Bookstore and interim dean of EMSS. She holds a bachelor’s in public administration and a master’s in public administration from the University of Guam.
Doris Flores Brooks, Guam’s public auditor, has been re-elected as the Public Auditors of Micronesia representative to the Board of the Pacific Association of Audit Institutions.
Hidenobu “George” Takagi, president of Takagi and Associates Inc., was awarded on Nov. 13 a decoration from the Japanese emperor, the Order of the Rising Sun, 5th class Gold and Silver Rays, along with a citation. The award recognizes Takagi’s contributions to the Japanese community on Guam by promoting the culture. Takagi serves as the president of the Japan Club of Guam and as chairman of the Japanese School.
Takagi also contributes to several other community groups on island, which include Peace Ring of Guam, American Red Cross Guam Chapter, Micronesian Area Research Center, Guam Health Care and Foundation and Guam Employers’ Council.
Larry S. Cash, president and CEO of RIM Architects, received the 2015 Kumin Award at the American Institute of Architects Alaska’s Annual State Conference in October. This lifetime achievement award is the highest award of the AIA Alaska Chapter, recognizing the recipient’s significant contributions to the advancement of architectural practice.
The Guam Visitors Bureau bestowed on Dec. 10 the title of Guam Sports & Culture Ambassador to Hiroyuki Miyata. Miyata was the president of Leo Palace Guam Corp. from 2013 until April 2015. He returned to Japan in December, where he has been appointed president of Gifu Football Club Co. Ltd. in the Gifu Prefecture of Japan. In his role as sports and culture ambassador, he will remain active in promoting Guam in Japan as a tourism destination. He is actively assisting in the planning of two music tourism events — a classical music festival and an international chorus competition — to be held in May and October, respectively.
Miyata was also presented with a legislative resolution on Oct. 27, recognizing his dedication to the development and diversification of Guam’s tourism industry and commending him for his contributions to the community.
United Airlines MileagePlus loyalty program was voted best overall frequent-flyer program and best frequent-flyer bonus program by Global Traveler readers in its 2015 GT Tested Reader Survey. United was also voted best Trans-Pacific Airline. This marks the 12th year the loyalty program won the best overall frequent-flyer program.
Delta Air Lines was rated the top airline for the fifth year by corporate travel buyers in the Business Travel News annual airline survey. The airline topped 10 survey categories and recorded the largest average scoring margin between its competitors. Delta is the first airline to hold the title for five consecutive years.
Delta’s highlights from the 2011 to 2015 surveys include:
Improving year-over-year results in 7 of 10 categories for 2015
Ranking first in each of the 10 survey categories in 2012, 2014 and 2015
Ranking first in 44 of a possible 50 categories over five years
Increasing its winning average scoring margin from 0.02 in 2011 to 0.88 in 2015.
On Nov. 19, Ada’s Trust and Investments Inc. received the Family Business of the Year award at the 26th Annual Entrepreneur Awards at the University of St. Thomas School of Law.
The award recognizes a family business that has been led by multiple generations and has had significant success over a long period of time. Pedro “Sonny” Ada, president of the firm and a graduate of St. Thomas in 1983, accepted the award on behalf of his family. His father, Pedro “Pete” Ada, graduated from St. Thomas in 1953 and incorporated Ada’s Trust and Investments in 1980.
The company’s developments include the Ada Arcade, Ada’s Capitol Plaza, Ada Cliffline Office Center, Ada Plaza Center, Bridge Pointe, Cliff Pointe, Tumon Time Tower Building, Ada’s Dededo Shopping Center, Yigo Town Center, PeMar Place and the P&F Professional Manor. Other major investments include Nanbo Insurance Underwriters and Bank of Guam. The company also has an inventory of undeveloped property in Hagåtña, Tamuning and Talofofo and has helped off-island companies establish themselves on Guam.
University of Guam student Kevin A. Quijano is the recipient of the Guam Chamber of Commerce Dave J. Santos Scholarship. Quijana is pursuing his bachelor’s in business administration with a concentration in entrepreneurship. He was awarded $1,000 in tuition assistance for each semester of the 2015–2016 academic year and an internship at the Chamber from October through May.
The Guam Chamber of Commerce held its board elections at its Nov. 18 membership lunch at the Sheraton Laguna Guam Resort. Elected for a three-year term and to complete the chamber’s board of 20 directors were highest vote getter James S. Herbert III, general manager of Triple J Five Star Wholesale Foods; Christine Won Pat Baleto, general manager of Market Wholesale Distributors Inc. and master franchise and store owner of Pacific Froots LLC; Rindraty C. Limtiaco, president and publisher of the Pacific Daily News; and Sinforoso “Rossi” Tolentino, partner at Carlsmith Ball LLP.
Alternate directors serving one-year terms elected were Jerold W. Filush, CPA, and Ronald E. Cannoles, owner of Business Connections.
The Guam Hotel & Restaurant Association announced on Nov. 19 the results of its 2016 board of directors election and selection of officers:
- Board chairman: Joe C. Blas, assistant general manager, Hotel Nikko Guam
- First vice chairman: Sophia Chu Wigsten, general manager, Hyatt Regency Guam
- Secretary/treasurer: James S. Herbert III, general manager, Triple J Five Star Wholesale Foods
- Hotelier vice chairman: Roy D. Abraham, general manager, Pacific Star Resort & Spa
- Restaurateur vice chairman: Sudipta Basu, general manager, Baldyga Group
- Allied industry vice chairman: Edson Lai, general manager, Quality Distributors
- Hotelier Chapter representative: Simeon Miranda, corporate director, Outrigger Guam Beach Resort
- Hotelier Chapter representative: Toshi Doi, president and general manager, Leo Palace Resort Guam
- Restaurateur Chapter representative: Darren Talai, managing director, International Dining Concepts, which does business as California Pizza Kitchen
- Board director: Bartley A. Jackson, president, Hotel Santa Fe Guam
The Saipan Chamber of Commerce announced its 2016 board members at its November general membership meeting. Board members include Alexander A. Sablan, marketing and administration manager, Saipan Shipping Co. and vice president, Tan Holdings Corp.; Michael S. Johnson, managing partner, Saipan of Deloitte & Touche LLC; Perry A. Inos Jr., special projects analyst at Triple J Saipan Inc.; and Velma Ann M. Palacios, manager, engineering/plant technical services and head of network, IT&E CNMI.
(From left) Daniel A. Roland and Jason B. Miyashita
Raymond James welcomed a team of financial advisers and support staff to its new branch in Guam in November. The team includes Daniel A. Roland, managing director and senior institutional consultant; Jason B. Miyashita, senior vice president of investments and senior institutional consultant; and Amber Leon Guerrero, client service associate. In addition, Maree C. Pelkey, associate vice president of investments, and Tiffany C. Walsh, client service associate, will be joining Raymond James.
(From left) Amber Leon Guerrero, Maree C. Pelkey and Tiffany C. Walsh
The University of Guam Office of Development and Alumni Affairs and UOG Alumni Association announced the winners of the 2015 UOG Distinguished Alumni Awards on Nov. 14 at the UOG Alumni Reunion at the Lotte Hotel Guam.
(Standing from left) Norman Analista, director for development and alumni affairs, University of Guam; Rowena Macaraig, treasurer; Chelo Paulino, president; Jose Untalan, vice president and president-elect, all of University of Guam Alumni Association; James Sellmann, dean of College of Liberal Arts & Social Sciences; Robert A. Underwood, president, both with University of Guam; Sen. Nerissa Bretania Underwood, chairperson of the Committee on Early Learning, Juvenile Justice, Public Education and First Generation Initiatives, 33rd Guam Legislature, and 2011 winner for the Distinguished Alumni Award, School of Education; Anita B. Enriquez, senior vice president; Annette Santos, dean, School of Business & Public Administration, both with the University of Guam; Tasha Wade, secretary, University of Guam Alumni Association; Margaret Hattori Uchima, dean, School of Nursing & Health Sciences at the University of Guam; and (seated, from left) Atty. William Pesch, owner and operator, Guam Family Law Office; Zennia Pecina, assistant administrator of nursing services, Guam Memorial Hospital Authority; Alpha Espina, teacher, Guam Department of Education; Carmelita Gogue, vice president and general manager, Marianas Finance Corp.; Brig. Gen. Roderick R. Leon Guerrero, adjutant general, Guam National Guard; and Roy Tsutsui senior political-military affairs policy adviser and defense coordinating officer representative, Joint Region Marianas, all winners of 2015 UOG Distinguished Alumni Awards.
Photo courtesy of the University of Guam
The Saipan Young Professionals Committee of the Saipan Chamber of Commerce announced the recipients of special recognition awards on Dec. 12. Christopher A. Concepcion, sales account executive of Delta Air Lines (shown above), was named the SYP Person of the Year. Glen Hunter of CNMI Community Outreach Recovery Efforts received the SYP Community Leader Award. Jeaniffer Cubangbang of the CNMI Public School System received the SYP Attendance Award. Jiana Camacho received the SYP Volunteer of the Year Award, and Tyler Yoshimoto received the SYP Education Award.
Ernesto V. “Jun” Espaldon Jr. and Sumiko D. Espaldon, president and vice president, respectively, of the Guam Wendy’s franchise, Quick Service Foods Inc., were presented with the International Franchisee of the Year award at the 2015 Wendy’s Fall Franchise Convention in October in Orlando. The award is presented to one franchise organization every two years that excels in key facets of the business, including operational excellence, sales, employee development, marketing and community involvement. The organization must also be committed to organizational growth and reinvestment.
(From left) Sumiko D. Espaldon, vice president, Quick Service Foods Inc.; Maureen Brolick; Emil J. Brolick, president and CEO, The Wendy’s Co.; Ernesto V. “Jun” Espaldon Jr., president, Quick Service Foods Inc.