By Maureen Maratita
Photos by Jackie Cahill
Guam Business Magazine this year recognizes two distinguished businesswomen as recipients of the Guam Business Magazine Businesswoman of the Year Lifetime Achievement Award.
The award recognizes businesswomen who have worked tirelessly to improve the quality of life in their island community through business and community service and who serve as role models for businesswomen today.
The 2019 recipients are:
Donna W. Kloppenburg is the executive vice president and former CEO of Kloppenburg Enterprises Inc.
She and her family were recognized as the U.S. Small Business Administration’s 2008 Jeffrey Butland Family Owned Business of the Year. In addition, Kloppenburg worked as the public relations and development director of the Salvation Army’s Guam Corps for 11 years from 2002 to 2013, where she was tasked with fundraising and raising awareness of Salvation Army programs and services.
Civic positions Kloppenburg has held include: member of the Governor’s Task Force on Education from 1998 to 2001, director of the Guam Chamber of Commerce from 2007 to 2010, board director of the Guam Council of Arts and Humanities from 2014 to 2017 and the Guam Economic Development Authority board for one year.
Kloppenburg is a lifetime member and three-term past president of the Guam Women’s Club, which she joined in 1995. She is additionally a past president of the International Women’s Club of Guam, a two-term past president of Soroptimist International of Guam and a two-term past president of the Guam Council of Women’s Club. She is a past president of the Guam Symphony Society and has also served on a number of other boards.
Belta S. Perez is president of John Robert Powers LLC — which teaches dance, voice, acting and modeling skills — which she founded in Guam in 1970.
Perez graduated with a 1963 associate’s in education and drama from the then Territorial College of Guam, before it became the University of Guam. Perez was given a grant scholarship to Mt. Mary College in Milwaukee, Wisc., later transferring and graduating from San Jose State University in California with a bachelor’s in education and psychology.
Upon her return to Guam in 1966, she taught drama at Academy of Our Lady of Guam for two years, moving to the Department of Education in 1968 as an administrator. In 1969 Perez wrote the grant that launched the Guam Head Start Program for three- to five-year-olds.
More than 25,000 students have graduated from JRP.
Perez has helped graduates secure mainland job placements and fundraised for them to attend national competitions. She supported the Alee Children’s Shelter Volunteer Holiday Fund Drive for 15 years.
Perez has been recognized as an Outstanding Young Woman of America in 1971 and 1976, by the Guam Legislature in 1986 and by the Guam Visitors Bureau for its 1999 Lifetime Achievement Award. Perez was a member of the GVB Board from 1970 to 1981.
She was inducted into the Modeling Association of America’s International Hall of Fame in 2015 and was its president from 2017 to 2018. JRP was recognized in 2018 as School of the Year by the International Presentation of Performers.