Guam Business is pleased to announce our second-ever group of “40 Under Forty,” a competitive list of the region’s most innovative, most influential businesspeople under the age of 40.
As the Baby Boomers begin to retire from the workforce, more seats of leadership and roles of influence are being filled by Generations X and Y. Individuals climbing the corporate ladder make up about 40% of our list. In our list, this trend is particularly noticeable in the financial industry.
Those furthering the course of a family business, who are assuming leadership of certain branches, divisions and even regions of the company, make up 13% of our list.
The remaining 46% is entrepreneurs who have paved their own paths. Their endeavors range in industry to include food service, health and fitness, auto sales and service stations, wholesale distribution, apparel and retail, law and real estate.
Many of our 40 are making moves in both corporate roles as well as in their own small businesses, underscoring this group’s entrepreneurial spirit and ability to create what wasn’t there before.
This group readily named their spouses, children, teams and colleagues as not only the primary factors of their success, but as some of their greatest personal achievements. We join them in celebrating these important people as supporters, mentors and fans of their achievements.
These 40 show dedication to their community as well, donating their time and talents as volunteers and board members for various local nonprofits, a trend that bodes well for the future of our islands.
The filling of these 40 spots was highly competitive, considering the dynamic nature of this age group in our region. As such, our list includes several joint listings where siblings or spouses have combined efforts toward the success of the business.
We have not included those serving in government roles, such as Jon Nathan P. Denight, 37, general manager of Guam Visitors Bureau, and Christopher A. Concepcion, 35, managing director of the Marianas Visitors Authority; or at educational institutions, such as Frankie M. Eliptico, external relations director of Northern Marianas College; or who have just turned 40, such as Kenneth M. Rekdahl, chief of special projects for Duenas, Camacho & Associates; Bobby A. Shringi, sales and marketing manager for Moylan’s Insurance Underwriters Inc.; and Jay Rojas, administrator for the Guam Economic Development Authority.
The Under 40s have proven themselves to be a determined, self-motivated sector of the workforce and the economy, and we look forward to keeping you updated on newcomers moving forward, as this will not be the last time we recognize this group.
Barbie Jane M.G. Agahan
Assistant advertising manager, First Hawaiian Bank
Bachelor’s in business administration, University of Guam
Master’s of business administration in marketing, Keller Graduate School of Management, DeVry University
Claim to fame: After earning her MBA at the age of 25, Agahan joined First Hawaiian Bank in 2015, where she supports the bank’s five branches on Guam and Saipan by managing marketing budgets of $400,000, creating media plans and managing brand image and logo distributions. Agahan has taught a course in customer service at Guam Community College in the past school year and has participated in conferences and summits as a speaker and panelist.
She serves as secretary and will serve as an incoming director on the board for the National Association of Women in Construction. She also serves on the First Hawaiian Bank and Guam Business Magazine Businesswoman of the Year planning committee.
Julian J. Aguon
President and principal attorney, Blue Ocean Law
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 in 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 of the Pohnpei-based Micronesia Conservation Trust.
Shalyn F. Allen
President and principal broker, Welcome Home Realty
Education: Bachelor’s in business administration and marketing, National University, Calif.
Claim to fame: With more than 10 years of Guam real estate experience, Allen opened Welcome Home Realty in September with four realtors. The brokerage has assisted more than 100 clients since its opening, and Allen is one of two listed agents in Guam responsible for the LeoPalace Resort leasing program. 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 chairwoman for the Guam Association of Realtors Community Affairs Committee and a member of the Guam Women’s Chamber of Commerce.
Natalie Mable E. Ayuyu
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
Joe E. Ayuyu Jr.
Manager, JCA Inc., which does business as McDonald’s of Saipan
Education: Bachelor’s in business and economics, Miami University of Oxford, Ohio
Claim to fame: In the past year, siblings Natalie Mable E. Ayuyu and Joe E. Ayuyu Jr. have played integral roles in the growth and management of their family business, JCA Inc. Natalie Ayuyu has assisted in the company’s acquisition this year of six McDonald’s restaurants on Guam, for which she personally orientated more than 400 employees. Until March, she was also office manager of Re/Max Paradise Realty Inc. Saipan.
Joe E. Ayuyu Jr., named manager at age 23, is undergoing assistant general manager training in preparation to attend Hamburger University in Chicago from December. He has attended the McDonald’s Corp. Worldwide Conference in 2014, 2015 and most recently in March in Florida.
Natalie Ayuyu serves as a board member and former vice president of the Saipan Chamber of Commerce and a member of the Independent Loan Review Committee for the Commonwealth Development Authority.
Joe Ayuyu is a board member of the Commonwealth Zoning Board and a class member of the Pacific Century Fellows Program Marianas Chapter.
Topher C. Barretto
President and principal, Unified Inc. (Guam), Unified Gear Inc. (Guam), Unified Gear Hong Kong Ltd.
Education: John F. Kennedy High School
Caleb C. Barretto
Vice president and director of health and fitness, Unified Inc.
Education: Bachelor’s in business administration, University of Guam
Claim to fame: In celebration of two years since opening Unified, a 4,000-square-foot fitness coaching facility, Topher C. Barretto started Unified Gear to distribute LifeAID Beverages’ FitAID on Guam last year and launched an international subsidiary in Hong Kong, Unified Gear Hong Kong, this year. His management experience began at Gold’s Gym in downtown Los Angeles, where he became the first employee in the company’s history to ascend from an entry-level position to general manager. Barretto is a U.S. national champion and two-time world champion in watercraft racing.
Caleb C. Barretto, brother of Topher, is responsible for all business operations and day-to-day logistics at Unified — including program development, staff and coach development, retail management and coaching group and individual clients. Under his management, the gym has more than doubled in active members to more than 200 in two years of operation.
William H. Calori
Chief financial officer, Cabras Marine Corp. and affiliates
Education: Bachelor’s in finance, University of Guam
Claim to fame: After joining First Hawaiian Bank as a business/corporate banker at age 31, Calori advanced in his five years there to business banking officer in 2011, in which capacity he managed and developed a $75 million commercial banking portfolio and was recognized for top performance in 2014. This year he transitioned to Cabras Marine Corp., where he plans, manages and controls all financial activity as chief financial officer.
He served the University of Guam as student regent for two terms. Calori is serving his third term as a director and officer of the Rotary Club of Guam.
Franklin B. “The Crank” Camacho
CEO and owner, Crank Industries and Crank Effect
Education: Marianas High School
Claim to fame: A Brazilian Jiu Jitsu world champion and an alumnus of the Ultimate Fighter Season 17, Camacho also launched his own multi-media design company for local business websites in August called Crank Industries. In the past year the company has worked with Guam Sports Network and on product designs with competitor fighters. He also operates Crank Effect to manage his mixed martial arts brand and sponsorships. Camacho has been sponsored by IT&E since October.
After Super Typhoon Soudelor hit Saipan last year, Camacho organized fundraisers in Guam for its relief and donated winnings from his victorious PXC fight in Guam.
Leevin T. Camacho
Attorney, Law Office of Leevin T. Camacho
Bachelor’s in English literature, University of Washington
Juris doctorate, Boston University School of Law
Claim to fame: Beginning his legal career as a law clerk at the Supreme Court of Guam, Camacho now celebrates five years as owner of his business and law practice. As a solo practitioner of law with an emphasis in civil and criminal litigation, Camacho has taken the lead this year in representing residents of Pago Bay in a lawsuit to save Pagat Village from high-rise development. He also handles criminal appeals regarding protections afforded under the Constitution and local law.
Camacho is actively involved with Duk Duk Goose Inc., We Are Guahan and the Guam Young Professionals Committee of the Guam Chamber of Commerce.
Ryan R.M. Claros
Partner and director of programming and rehabilitative services,
Custom Fitness LLC
Bachelor’s in kinesiology, San Diego State University
Master’s in exercise physiology, San Diego State University
Doctorate of Physical Therapy, University of Saint Augustine for Health Sciences (Calif.)
Paul P.M. Claros
Partner and director of CrossFit Gof Metgot and team sports,
Custom Fitness LLC
Education: Bachelor’s in health, physical education, recreation and dance, University of Guam
Claim to fame: Brothers Ryan R.M. Claros and Paul P.M. Claros and their business partners Steven S. Sablan and Samantha B. King Sablan opened Custom Fitness LLC in 2013. The center includes CrossFit Gof Metgot, the first CrossFit gym on island open to the general public, and a physical therapy clinic. In three years of business, the gym’s membership has tripled and the clinic’s client load has more than doubled, requiring a move this year from its original 1,400-square-foot space to a 14,000-square-foot facility that includes a free-standing physical therapy clinic.
Ryan Claros additionally works as an assistant professor and Paul Claros as an adjunct teacher in health sciences at the University of Guam.
Ryan Claros serves as vice president of the Weightlifting Federation of Guam, which he helped reinstate last year, and is a member of the Guam Board of Allied Health, a team physical therapist of the Guam National Olympic Committee, a member of the Guam Chamber of Commerce and its Guam Young Professionals Committee, a coach for Guam Cancer Care’s Kids 4 the Cure and founder of CFGM Barbell Club.
Paul Claros is a Guam Rugby Football Union development officer, head coach for the Father Duenas Memorial School rugby team, coach and team member of the Weightlifting Federation of Guam, head coach of the Guam U18 Rugby Team and strength and conditioning coach of the Guam National Rugby Team.
Joaquin P.L.G. Cook
Executive vice president, chief sales and service officer, Bank of Guam
Co-owner, Crust Pizzeria Napoletana
Owner, Byerly & Cook Co., which does business as Rhino Linings Guam
Bachelor’s in management science, University of California, San Diego
Master’s in business administration, University of San Diego
Graduate, Pacific Coast Banking School, University of Washington
Claim to fame: Having worked at the Bank of Guam since age 14, Cook has experienced every position at the bank and is now third in command, leading the marketing, customer service, sales and business development, project management and business intelligence departments. Additionally, Rhino Linings Guam, which he started with Dylan P. Byerly in 2006, has grown to need a larger location, which is currently under construction. Last year he also partnered with Brian Artero to open Crust Pizzeria Napoletana.
Cook sits on the Steering Committee of the Guam Young Professionals Committee of the Guam Chamber of Commerce and is a member of the Rotary Club of Guam, a board member of Make-A-Wish Guam and on the board of trustees for St. John’s School.
Danny L. Daniel
Brand manager, Docomo Pacific
Education: Bachelor’s in business administration, University of Phoenix
Claim to fame: Daniel has managed Docomo Pacific’s brand and Better Together campaign since last year. Previously, he held three different positions simultaneously as logistics manager for Pacific X-treme Combat, business development manager for Tropical Productions and brand manager for Uno Magazine. He has developed and chaired an Employee Council and created ambassador programs, such as Profiles of Courage & Hands of Hope and Stand for Paris/Stand for Brussels.
Daniel serves as survivorship chairman of the American Cancer Society and is a member of the Internet Marketing Association and the Competitive Carriers Association.
Rafaelito V. DeAusen
Owner and creative lead, Rendezvous Designs and RendezVooth
Education: John F. Kennedy High School
Claim to fame: Sole proprietor and creative lead, DeAusen started his photo booth business in 2010 and has grown it to service more than 150 photo booths in 2015 with a team of around 12 employees. The growing business can operate five photo booths simultaneously and spends more than $100,000 on staff salaries. In addition to his photography business, DeAusen is an active musician with more than 1,000 subscribers on YouTube.
DeAusen is a member of the Guam Chamber of Commerce and the Guam VIBE indoor/outdoor volleyball club.
Owner/operator, Delta Tire & Lube
Education: John F. Kennedy High School
Claim to fame: Dewan began his entrepreneurial career working through school to learn his family’s printing business. Dewan more recently saw an opportunity to align himself with a strongly established petroleum and C-store operation by operating Delta Tire & Lube, an auto service center providing oil changes, tires, batteries and detailing. Delta Tire & Lube now occupies service bays at four 76/Circle K locations. Dewan plans to expand his Delta brand with more locations and continues to pursue additional business opportunities to improve products and services available to island residents.
Dewan has participated in and held various charitable events, conducted fundraising efforts and boasts additional promotional achievements that have contributed to the business community of Guam.
Byron M.S. Evaristo
Senior vice president of credit administration, BankPacific Ltd.
Education: Bachelor’s in finance and economics, University of Guam
Claim to fame: Evaristo was promoted at BankPacific from vice president of commercial and consumer financing in May and is now responsible for the overall review, oversight and administration of lending. He was instrumental in growing the bank’s auto loan portfolio from $3 million to $17 million and increasing annual commercial loan production averages by more than 30%. He is the first BankPacific employee to be sent to Pacific Coast Banking School.
Evaristo is a member of the Guam Chamber of Commerce and its Guam Young Professionals Committee and a judge for Junior Achievement of Guam.
Gyongyi P. “Pika” Fejeran
President, Hot Concepts Inc., which does business as Pika’s Café
Managing partner, In the Kitchen Inc., which does business as Kitchen Lingo
Bachelor’s in public policy, management and planning, University of Southern California
Master’s in urban planning, University of Southern California
Lenny J. Fejeran
Vice president, Hot Concepts Inc., which does business as Pika’s Café
Managing partner, In the Kitchen Inc., which does business as Kitchen Lingo
Education: Southern High School
Claim to fame: The Fejerans opened local eatery Pika’s Café in 2010 and expanded the restaurant within the first two years. Pika’s Café continues to see annual sales growth, with 2016 looking to be another record year. In 2015, the Fejerans partnered with Chef Lingo Quichocho to open Kitchen Lingo in Hagåtña — a “land- and sea-to-table” restaurant. Pika’s Café was awarded the 2015 Small Business Excellence Award from the Guam Chamber of Commerce.
Pika Fejeran is a commissioner of the Chamorro Land Trust Commission and a board member of the Guam Women’s Chamber of Commerce. Both are active with Hurao Academy, with Lenny Fejeran serving as a board member and the couple planning to teach new parent classes this year.
Marcos W. Fong
Group executive vice president, Coca-Cola Beverage Co. (Guam), Foremost Foods Inc., Glimpses of Guam Inc. and NAKICOS Corp., which does business as Subway Restaurants of Guam and Saipan and Chili’s Grill & Bar
Education: Bachelor’s in finance and economics, University of Guam
Claim to fame: The group of companies under Fong’s leadership has expanded through brand acquisitions and product extensions including the acquisition of Chili’s Grill & Bar in 2015. He worked to grow the Subway brand in the region and the Foremost brand in Asia. Fong also oversaw the construction and move of the companies to a multi-million dollar headquarter facility in Barrigada in 2013.
He is the board chairman of the American Red Cross Guam Chapter, founding member of Guam Business Partners for Recycling, which operates the i-Recycle program, and member of the University of Guam School of Business and Public Administration Advisory Council.
Michael J. Gatewood
Associate, Iriarte Camacho Calvo Law Group LLC
Bachelor’s in political science, University of Hawaii at Manoa
Juris doctorate, University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Law
Claim to fame: Providing a versatile array of services, Gatewood has successfully represented clients in procurement disputes, personal injury cases and property and contract disagreements. Recent successes include assisting with the purchase of a hotel and resort in Tumon.
Gatewood is a founding member and secretary of the Father Duenas Endowment Foundation, chairman of the Be Influential Committee of the Guam Young Professionals Committee of the Guam Chamber of Commerce and member of the Guam Bar Association’s Legal Education Committee. He provides pro bono legal advice and representation to the Guam Girl Scouts and Weightlifting Federation of Guam.
Monique K. Genereux
Co-owner, president and treasurer, Mosa’s Joint and Mosa’s Hotbox
Education: Associate degree in culinary arts, Guam Community College
Claim to fame: Genereux and co-owner Sara Pleadwell opened Mosa’s in 2011 with one employee and without the means to pay themselves, saving any extra money to rent a space in Tamuning. The business eventually grew to reach self-sufficiency and expanded this year to a larger location in Hagåtña that now employs more than 50 staff members, up from 22 at the previous location.
Genereux has mentored and encouraged three of her employees to start their own businesses. She is active in Guam Community College’s ProStart program for other aspiring culinary professionals, the Guam Spearfishing Association and the Guam Women’s Chamber of Commerce.
Francis Rey G. Gozum
Part owner and field operations manager, V.G. Gozum Construction LLC
Education: Bachelor’s in fine arts and industrial design, University of Santo Tomas (Philippines)
Donnie Ray G. Gozum
Part owner, assistant field operations manager and safety consultant, V.G. Gozum Construction LLC
Education: Bachelor’s in business administration, University of Santo Tomas (Philippines)
Alvin Ray G. Gozum
Part owner and assistant field operations manager, V.G. Gozum Construction LLC
Education: Bachelor’s in marketing management, De La Salle University (Philippines)
Christopher Rey G. Gozum
Part owner, assistant field operations manager and project engineer, V.G. Gozum Construction LLC
Education: Bachelor’s of science in civil engineer specializing in structural engineering, De La Salle University (Philippines)
Claim to fame: Brothers Francis, Donnie, Alvin and Christopher Gozum are the next generation in the family business as part owners of V.G. Gozum Construction, a company they established in 2012 with their father, Vicente G. Gozum, as president. Since its establishment, the Gozums have acquired several federal and private projects, including work on the Guam Naval Hospital, the company’s largest federal contract; the Guam Regional Medical City, the largest non-federal work project; a plant repainting project for Hawaiian Rock Products; painting the bachelor’s enlisted quarters at the Naval Base Guam and interior painting for the LeoPalace Resort Guam.
Nola K. Hix
Services and solutions executive, Xerox Corp.
Education: Saipan Southern High School
Claim to fame: Hix oversees more than 900 accounts for Xerox Corp. throughout the Northern Mariana Islands, including government, private, autonomous and federal clients.
In 2015, she co-founded the Marianas Young Professionals, a nonprofit organization that brings together professionals of Guam and the NMI, and now serves as vice president. In 2015 she was a Saipan Chamber of Commerce Business Person of the Year nominee, and in 2014 she was named Saipan Tribune’s Person of the Year for her efforts with Operation Homefront Support. Hix’s community involvements also include serving as a board member of the American Red Cross NMI Chapter and chairing committees in the Saipan Chamber of Commerce and Marianas March Against Cancer.
Perry A. Inos Jr.
Business development manager, Triple J Saipan Inc.
Co-owner, Pacific Services LLC, which does business as Route 33 Bar & Grill
Education: Bachelor’s in business administration, University of Hawaii
Claim to fame: Inos launched his entrepreneurial career at 23, starting a graphic design business called Rock Solid Entertainment and at 25 started Tech Squad LLC, a website design, programming and tech repair company. At 26, he became the youngest director for the Pacific Islands Development Center Network and NMI Department of Commerce in the Pacific region, a position which allowed him to consult with private businesses. His assistance helped inject $1.04 million of equity and loans into the NMI economy and led to the creation of 24 jobs. He became co-owner of Pacific Services LLC, which does business as Route 33 Bar & Grill, in 2014. He started at Triple J Saipan as a special project analyst, earning a promotion within one year to his current position.
Inos is the vice president of the Saipan Chamber of Commerce. He is also a member of the Rotary Club of Saipan.
Leonard K. Kaae Jr.
President and CEO, Hafaloha Inc.
Education: Saint Louis School (Hawaii)
Tara J. Unpingco Kaae
Vice president and general manager, Hafaloha Inc.
Education: Guam Community College LERN Program
Claim to fame: The Kaaes have taken their apparel brand from an online store to a brick-and-mortar location, which opened in November in Tumon. The store features an apparel and accessories line as well as a shaved ice parlor. The business has been invited to the Pacific Island Festival of the Arts two years in a row. Since the company’s inception, it has seen a 1,015% increase in annual revenue. The business has experienced steady growth from 15% to 65% the last few years. Leonard and Tara Kaae went from being the only two employees to managing a staff of 14 when the shop opened and now 25 employees to date.
The Kaaes are members of the Guam Chamber of Commerce and participate in its Guam Young Professionals Committee.
Managing director, Pacific International (Guam) Inc.
Associate degree in liberal arts, College of the Marshall Islands
Bachelor’s in business administration, Hawaii Pacific University
Claim to fame: Kramer oversees all Guam operations of her family’s $19.13 million business based in the Marshall Islands, Pacific International Inc., including Diamond K Wholesale, Diamond K Ship Chandlery Services and real estate properties in Guam and Saipan including Nimitz Towers, a 132-unit apartment complex, which the company is now managing in-house. Kramer has overseen the introduction of a new snack line to Diamond K Wholesale and is working on several others for this year. Additionally this year, she has taken on procurement for PII’s sister companies in Majuro.
She is a first-generation recipient of the Pacific Century Fellowship Program Marianas Chapter as well with Taiwan. Kramer volunteers for outreach programs for the Marshall Islands drought and King Tides relief efforts and is a registered Guam court interpreter in the Marshallese language.
Lesley-Anne Leon Guerrero
Vice president – director of customer service, Bank of Guam
Bachelor’s in communications and public relations, Chaminade University of Honolulu
Master’s of business administration, University of Guam
Claim to fame: Leon Guerrero oversees a team of more than 40 employees at the Bank of Guam servicing the bank’s branches in Micronesia and the United States. During her career with the bank, she has revitalized the customer service strategy and implemented new programs to enhance customer experience and organized and designed the bank’s Familia Contact Center.
She was the Guam Chamber of Commerce’s 2015 Reina A. Leddy Guam Young Professional of the Year and a recipient of the President’s Award of Excellence, Manager of the Year 2014.
Leon Guerrero is vice president of Let’s Move, board secretary of Junior Achievement of Guam, a Steering Committee Member in the Guam Young Professionals Committee of the Guam Chamber of Commerce and fundraising chairwoman of the Lupus Awareness Group of Guam.
Marvin V. Manibusan
Co-founder and creative director, Crowns Guam, Clans Guam and Mighty Purple Café
Creator and founder, Yogo App
Founder, former owner of Competidor Brand Kimono Co.
Education: George Washington High School, University of Guam and Art Institute of San Diego
Claim to fame: Manibusan continues to gain success as a creative business professional, with the opening of two new businesses this year to include Clans Guam “Street Goods & Sneakers” and Mighty Purple Cafe “Acai Superfruit Supply Co,” both of which opened in Hagåtña. Manibusan also launched Yogo App, an application that helps photographers, small-business owners and aspiring creative professionals brand their photos. Manibusan recently sold his first company, Competidor Brand Kimono Co., which was voted “Top 3 Jiu Jitsu Companies Worldwide” in 2012 by Grappling Magazine.
Manibusan’s donations to community organizations, fundraisers, athletes and sports team number in the thousands of dollars.
Charles T. McJohn II
Leasing and marketing manager, Agana Shopping Center
Education: Bachelor’s in business management and economics, University of California, Santa Cruz
Claim to fame: In 2011, McJohn was promoted to his present position, the youngest person to hold the appointment to date. He oversees all shopping center marketing, public relations and promotional events, as well as develops and implements the tenant-mix leasing program to specific goals and objectives. This year he achieved 100% occupancy on the ASC first-floor level, the highest occupancy rate since major renovations in 2002.
ASC was named the Micronesia Non-Profit Congress Payu-ta 2015 Business Partner of the Year for contributions and work with Guam’s nonprofit organizations. McJohn is the logistical lead for the Guam Chamber of Commerce 2016 Songfest Committee, a nonprofit position he has held since 2013. He is also a member of the Guam Visitors Bureau.
Project director, Farm to Table Guam Corp.
Bachelor’s in economics and East Asian Studies, New York University
Master’s in business administration, University of Guam
Claim to fame: Mendiola leads a team of 17 that works with more than 50 farmers, chefs and other agriculture professionals to deliver services aimed at growing the agricultural industry. In launching Farm to Table in 2012, she designed a program that created more than 50 new jobs in the industry, multiple new businesses and assisted organizations and farmers to obtain more than $2.2 million in grant funding to promote agriculture.
Mendiola is president of the Guam Girl Scouts board of directors, a member of the board of the Port Authority of Guam and treasurer of the Guam Tourism Education Council.
Jaron A. Benito Middleton
General manager and managing partner, Primo Distributors LLC
Director of business development and corporate strategy, Halo Corp., which does business as Halo Tech
Education: Bachelor’s in information technology, Colorado Technical University
Claim to fame: Middleton secured his first management position at the age of 20 as sales manager for Megabyte, going on to become general manager of Gamestop at the age of 25 and IT manager for Cabras Marine Corp. at 29. In 2013 he launched his own company, Primo Distributors LLC, which distributes Jeff’s Famous Jerky and other health and snack foods to more than 100 service stores and restaurants in Guam, Saipan and the U.S. mainland. This year Middleton launched an IT sales, service and support venture called Halo Tech and on a separate endeavor has secured exclusive rights for a yet-to-be-announced product line. Middleton is one of seven certified information systems security professionals in Guam.
Middleton is a member of the Guam Young Professionals Committee of the Guam Chamber of Commerce, the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Founders Society and Mensa International. He has also been co-coordinator of the Charlie Corn Golf Tournament for the past four years and served as a judge and team mentor for the University of Guam’s Startup Weekend.
Angel H. Miyashita
Operations manager/owner’s representative, Tai Shan Investment Corp., which does business as Tumon Bay Capital Hotel, and Tien Hsiang Investment, which does business as Hengi Plaza
Managing partner, M Global Investments LLC
Education: Bachelor’s in economics – accounting, management and organizational behavior, New York University’s Leonard N. Stern School of Business
Claim to Fame: Miyashita has positioned Tumon Bay Capital Hotel as one of Guam’s leading economy hotels for multi-national guests. She is responsible for the hotel’s daily operations and focuses on increasing hotel profitability, minimizing costs, retaining past guests and attracting new ones. She developed and oversaw new front office operating procedures that increased hotel efficiency and minimized operating expenses by more than 30% and established the hotel with online travel agencies and social media platforms, which now contribute to 80% of the its revenue. In the past year she secured a long-term contract with an international tour agency, which increased profits by more than 50% above the previous year.
Miyashita is a member of the Guam Visitors Bureau, the Chinese Ladies Association of Guam and the St. John’s School Alumni Association.
Jason B. Miyashita
Senior vice president – investments and senior institutional consultant, Asia Pacific Group of Raymond James, of Raymond James & Associates Inc.
Bachelor’s in finance – accounting and strategic management, University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business
Claim to fame: After parting ways with Morgan Stanley in 2015, the Asia Pacific Group of Raymond James entered the market in Micronesia. Miyashita was instrumental in successfully transitioning clients and growing the company by more than 10%. He is the youngest senior vice president for investments and the youngest senior institutional consultant at Raymond James & Associates to date.
He was named the U.S. Small Business Administration’s 2015 Financial Services Champion of the Year for Guam. In January, On Wall Street magazine recognized Miyashita as one of the Top 25 Advisors under 40 in the United States. He is a director of the Rotary Club of Tumon Bay Guam and is a member of the Guam, Saipan and Palau chambers of commerce. He is a frequent speaker at investment conferences and financial education seminars in the Asia Pacific region and the United States.
Jason B. Miyashita is the husband of Angel H. Miyashita.
David D. Neilsen
Owner and dealer principal, Guam Harley-Davidson and Harley-Davidson of Hong Kong
Education: Bachelor’s in business administration, Seattle University
Claim to fame: Alongside a passion for the Harley-Davidson product and lifestyle, Neilsen employs his fiscal skills to manage financial performance as well as to oversee sales, workshop operations, retail clothing and marketing and events. Upon approval of his business plan from Harley-Davidson, Neilsen expanded with the opening in January of Harley-Davidson of Hong Kong, recruiting and training staff for the new dealership.
Neilsen has a varied prior career, which includes service in the 75th Ranger Regiment of the U.S. Army and as the executive officer for a company-level Ranger unit. He is an active member of the Ranger Community, helping Ranger veterans transition into corporate America when they end their service. Neilsen is a member of and supports community organizations. Guam Harley-Davidson was recognized for Best Business Operations in the Asia Pacific Region in 2014.
Roman T. “Bo” Palacios
Business development manager, J.C. Tenorio Enterprises Inc.
Bachelor’s in economics and international affairs, George Washington University
Master’s in finance, California State University
Claim to fame: Palacios is overseeing the continued renovation of the Joeten stores and development of group holdings in Saipan. Other oversight includes the re-branding and expansion of the Aiko’s food service division. Externally, he has led the recent acquisition of Isla Financial Services Inc., as well as the acquisition of Carrier and Hawaiian Sun Beverage distributorships.
Palacios is president of the Commonwealth Cancer Association and co-founder of the Marianas Young Professionals. He is the Republican National Committeeman for the NMI and attended the 2016 Republican National Convention.
Andrew C. Park
Vice president, Pacific Petroleum Trading Corp.
Bachelor’s of arts and science, Boston College
Master’s in science, Yale University
Claim to fame: Park is responsible for the purchasing, bidding, day-to-day operations and local logistics of Pacific Petroleum. In this role, he introduced the top-grade engine oil (lubricants) of Korea’s SK Lubricant to the Guam market. Pacific Petroleum also was awarded a contract this year to supply diesel power plants.
Park is a member of the Chinese Chamber of Commerce of Guam and the American Culinary Federation.
Derrick R. Muña Quinata
President and CEO, Monster Auto Corp., which does business as Guam Auto Spot
President and CEO, Pacific Auto Group, which does business as Sixt Rent a Car
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 dealership in 2015 and this year was awarded the Sixt franchise.
Quinata is a member of the Guam Automobile Dealers Association and the National Automobile Dealers Association and supports community nonprofits to include the Pink Ball Association.
Lenora C. Rapolla
General manager, Rentals Plus LLC, which does business as Payless Car Rental
Education: Studied business management at San Diego Mesa College
Claim to fame: Rapolla was promoted to general manager of Payless Car Rental in April, after working as office manager for sister company Cycles Plus for five years.
Rapolla is the 2016 Be Committed chairwoman for the Guam Young Professionals Committee of the Guam Chamber of Commerce and is also on the chamber’s GYP Steering Committee. She has served on a variety of boards that include the Guam Unarmed Combat Commission, formerly the Guam Boxing and Wrestling Commission, and Soroptimist International.
Judy C. Rosario
Government and enterprise manager, Docomo Pacific
Co-owner, Synergy Studios
Jesse E. Rosario
Owner, The Boka Box (Guam’s first nutritionally sound meal preparation service)
Owner, Nutriplans, a corporate nutrition consultative service
Fitness instructor, Synergy Studios
Education: Bachelor’s in nutrition, University of Guam
Claim to fame: Judy C. Rosario has increased Docomo’s footprint, notably with government partners, maintaining partnerships while acquiring new ones. Along with partners Clare Calvo and Lilly Reyes, Rosario has added two locations to Synergy Studios, the latest being Synergy Wellness this year. Besides performing as operations manager at Synergy, Rosario is a certified instructor in Pilates, Tread and Shred, Synercycle, Cardio Circuit and TRX.
Her brother Jesse E. Rosario, after nutrition grant management at the Department of Education, opened Boka Box this year next to Synergy Wellness. He connects farmers, local businesses and health professionals to better health and nutrition. He also offers a CrossFit Jumpstart program at Synergy Studios.
Judy Rosario is chairwoman of the Guam Chamber’s Guam Young Professionals Committee and board secretary of the Tourism Education Council.
Jesse Rosario supports a number of community organizations, including the Non-communicable Disease Consortium.
Shirley T. Sablan
Executive vice president and general manager, Pacifica Insurance Underwriters Inc.
Bachelor’s in business administration, Chaminade University of Honolulu
Master’s in business administration – marketing and human resources management, Chaminade University of Honolulu
Claim to fame: Sablan oversees all aspects of general management at Pacifica. This year, in partnership with Aetna International, Pacifica secured an exclusive contract to operate the first locally run and privately owned service office for the Northern Mariana Islands government group health insurance. With close to 3,000 subscribers and more than 5,000 lives insured, this is a giant leap for Pacifica.
Sablan is the 2014 First Hawaiian Bank and Guam Business Magazine Businesswoman of the Year and the only awardee from the NMI to date. As such, she was recognized by the U.S. Congress and the NMI Legislature. She was the keynote speaker for the 2015 Northern Marianas College Commencement.
Sablan is president, for a second term, of the Northern Marianas Insurance Association. She has served two terms as the organization’s vice president. She is a director of the Lady Diann Torres Foundation.
Amit S. Sachdev
CEO and founder, Stroll Guam Inc.
Education: Associates in science, Los Angeles Recording School
Claim to fame: Sachdev launched the Uber-like local internet company this year. A transportation network, Stroll application services are offered in Japanese, Korean, Mandarin Chinese and Tagalog.
Since 2009, he has helped grow TeamBackPack into one of the biggest digital hip-hop platforms worldwide. TeamBackPack has more than 185,000 subscribers on YouTube with more than 33 million views. TeamBackPack is also verified on Facebook with more than a million likes.
Joseph R. Shinohara
Vice president of finance and controller, GTA
Bachelor’s of business administration, with a double major in accounting and management, University of Guam
Certified public accountant
Claim to fame: Shinohara oversees accounting, payroll and financial reporting and analysis for GTA. He was instrumental in the transition of the company to new investors and a key contributor to an improved Standard & Poor’s credit rating and debt financing. Shinohara added the controllership to his vice presidency this year.
He is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the Society of Certified Public Accountants.
Leslie A. Travis
Attorney, Civille and Tang PLLC
General manager, Guam Food Tours
Bachelor’s in women’s studies, University of California, Berkeley
Juris doctorate, University at Buffalo, State University of New York
Claim to fame: As an attorney, Travis specializes in commercial litigation, though she also maintains a criminal defense practice. Involved in a number of intense and high-profile cases, Travis has argued a number of appeals in the Supreme Court of Guam and to date has not lost at trial.
Travis has coached a high school mock trial team and taken the team to the national competition six times (pro bono). She is in the process of establishing a street law program that will present primers of basic criminal, landlord-tenant and employment law to Micronesian residents of Guam (pro bono).
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