By Jackie Cahill
“It all comes down to time management — strong time management,” Eileen Agahan Igcasenza says. Being a master against the clock is certainly important for someone with as much on her plate as Igcasenza. She is the executive director of the Guam Women’s Chamber of Commerce, a realtor and helps support the family business, E. Agahan Properties.
Igcasenza’s journey with GWCC began when the organization first launched in September 2013. She had recently earned a master’s in business administration from the University of Guam and was approached by Anita Borja Enriquez, senior vice president of Academic and Student Affairs at UOG, who was then dean of the School of Business and Public Administration.
“At the time [Enriquez], along with a great group of amazing women, came along with a vision to start the women’s chamber,” Igcasenza says. “They are all busy women, so they needed one person to execute their plans and help promote the vision of the chamber.” Enter Igcasenza.
As executive director she oversees the chamber’s daily operations and works closely with the board. “We see an island community that is driven and influenced by the equal participation of women in business, so our mission is to advance women in business through advocacy, networking, mentorship and access to resources.”
The chamber has a multitude of initiatives including networking and mentorship opportunities, a leadership summit, workshops and forums to name a few. “We are now over 300 members since 2013; we’ve steadily grown over the years until now,” Igcasenza says.
Working with the women on the board has been a unique opportunity for Igcasenza. “I respect all of them, they really come with a strong background and expertise. [It’s been] a great mentorship opportunity and they really contributed to my personal and professional development.”
Part of that development has been branching out into new business endeavors on her own. In 2017 Igcasenza got her real estate license and has spent the last few years learning and growing in the field. She is a member of the Guam Association of Realtors and works in both commercial and residential real estate.
As a licensed realtor Igcasenza says she can now help with the family business, E. Agahan Properties. The E. is appropriate since “all the members of my family pretty much start with E”; her mother is Edelmira and father is Edgardo.
Igcasenza not only works closely with her parents, but her husband also got his license early this year. “Eventually the goal is to start a business together,” she says.
In the future she hopes to invest and develop herself. “Right now, we’re in the actively selling stage, but ultimately to have passive income would be the goal,” she says.
Outside her day jobs, Igcasenza has taken an active role in the community through the years. Previously she served as president of the Rotaract Club — an organization which works to help young adults become leaders in their workplace and communities while engaging in international service projects to promote peace worldwide. She has since graduated from Rotaract, which has an age cap for its members, but continues to support club activities and recently spoke on a panel of past presidents.
In addition, Igcasenza is an active UOG alumni and previously served as president for the UOG Alumni Association. “Because I’m an alumna I will forever be associated with UOG, so anytime the alumni affairs department needs assistance or support [I] am happy to provide support in the form of a donation or just supporting their events,” she says.
Igcasenza has also worked with Local First Guam, an initiative to grow the local economy and increase tourism to different villages. “[Local First finds] ways to stimulate our economy, sustain it and drive more dollars into our local economy — keep it on island so that more jobs can be created,” she says.
Those who work hard deserve time to play hard, and Igcasenza is no exception. For her that means taking time to relax with family and friends, catch a movie, try a new restaurant or just enjoy the newlywed life. Igcasenza and her husband were married on “infinity day” of last year: Aug. 18, 2018.
“My goal is to achieve a good work/life balance,” she says. “You’ve got to learn to set aside time for yourself and your loved ones. Me time is important.”