My first major “coming out” party as a member of the Executive of the Year Gala Team was the 2000 Executive of the Year party, held at the Marianas Ballroom of the Hilton Guam Resort & Spa.
It was the night that Marian Aldan-Pierce was announced as the first Executive of the Year from the Northern Mariana Islands.
The theme was “Who wants to be a millionaire?” and that year’s rumor was that the winner was going to be the last Nominee on stage.
There are always rumors surrounding the Executive of the Year.
As was customary, after the gala there was an After Party — at Roy’s.
My feeling as I headed into Roy’s was one of overwhelming relief that all the pieces had come together that evening and I could now relax.
That feeling after the galas has never left me. Many of you will recognize it if you have hosted an event.
But 20 years later, I still enjoy the process — reading about the Nominees in depth and their inevitable list of firsts.
I cannot think of one Executive of the Year that does not have some groundbreaking accomplishments in their resume.
If there is a common theme aside from that, it is that the awardees have a certain air that comes with leadership — and it is a privilege and typically an education to spend time with them.
I remember meeting Jerry Kramer — one of the two 2004 Executives of the Year — for the first time at an After Party at a real estate conference. (Yes, I always go to the After Parties.)
I asked him, “And what is it that you do?”
From his reply, I learned a lot about the Marshall Islands that evening, as well as Jerry’s role in the country’s commercial development.
I hope you will enjoy learning about all the Executives of the Year.
Our feature contains some of their thoughts about their careers, as well as what they think about the economic future in the islands.
The future is a common theme in this issue — whether it’s our varied real estate market that Siska Hutapea is shedding a light on, or the U.S. Coast Guard’s intent to curb illegal, unregulated and unreported fishing.
Both of those fields are important to our economies.