By Jessica Rohr
The following executives were nominated this year for Guam Business Magazine’s Executive of the Year. We are proud to recognize these individuals, who have made an impact on their colleagues, companies and community through notable achievements in their businesses and institutions in the past year.
Benson F.F. Au-Yeung
Soft Pacific Inc.
Benson F.F. Au-Yeung, 52, is the president of Soft Pacific Inc., which does business as Benz Sign Supplies and Paradise Awning. He was born in Kowloon, Hong Kong. He graduated from Father Duenas Memorial High School in 1981 and went on to receive a bachelor’s in computer science from the University of Hawaii at Manoa in 1986.
Au-Yeung first decided to study computer science when Carl Wagner from Marianas Electronics introduced him to Apple computers. After graduating from college, he went on to work for Wagner and eventually opened his own Apple computer business: Soft Pacific Inc., which celebrated its 25th anniversary in 2015.
He serves as president of the Chinese Chamber of Commerce of Guam and on the chamber’s Kamalen Karidat Committee, which volunteers to feed the homeless on a monthly basis. Additionally, he is a member of the Guam Hotel & Restaurant Association and the Guam Contractors Association. His companies support the American Red Cross, Erica’s House and the Guam Rugby Club, among other organizations.
Au-Yeung is married to Grace Gamboa Heacock Au-Yeung, and they have two daughters: Sylvianna W. Y. Au-Yeung, 16, and Stephanie W.G. Au-Yeung, 11.
Lynn S. Baker
President and general manager
Baker International Inc.
Lynn S. Baker, 65, is the president, CEO, chairman of the board and co-founder of Baker International Inc., which does business as J.L. Baker & Sons. He was born in Manila.
Baker attended high school at Don Bosco Technical Institute in the Philippines, studied commerce in the Philippines for a year, and then received a bachelor’s in business administration and management from the University of Guam in 1981.
Baker spent his formative years in the freight forwarding industry. His father, Jackson L. Baker, was a pioneer in the business, starting the first air cargo company in the Philippines, LBC Express Inc., and later founding Island Air Express in Guam. At the age of 22, Lynn Baker and his twin brother, Glenn, co-founded J.L. Baker & Sons with their father with seed capital of $300 and a pickup truck.
He became president and CEO in 1998. The company is now the approved service contractor for UPS Express, UPS SCS and UPS Logistics as well as for the U.S. Postal Service in Guam.
Outside of his business, Baker served in the U.S. Navy during the Vietnam War from 1968 to 1972, was the chairman for Catholic Social Services of Guam and is an active member of organizations like the Guam Contractors Association, the Chinese Chamber of Commerce of Guam and the Guam Visitors Bureau.
He is married to Priscilla S. Baker. Their children are Lynnwood S. Baker, 44, and his spouse, Laurel; Pamela Baker Brewster, 42, and her spouse, Ronald; Charles S. Baker, 36, and his spouse, Tricia; and Matthew S. Baker, 35. Lynn Baker and his wife have 10 grandchildren and one great grandson.
Andrew M. Gayle Jr.
Chief operating officer
Andrew M. Gayle Jr., 48, is the chief operating officer for GTA. Gayle was born in Tamuning, Guam, and grew up wanting to become an electrical engineer. A gifted math student, he went on to study at Harvard and graduated in 1989 with a degree in computer, electrical and systems engineering.
As a teenager, Gayle worked as a galley boy on a tuna boat. After college, he transitioned to his field of interest when he started working for Pacific Data Systems in 1989. He was the project manager of Hospitality Systems International from 1990–1999. Simultaneously, Gayle worked at Computerland of Guam from 1992–1999. He moved on to Guamcell Communications as the senior director of information technology in 1999 and then, finally, GTA, where he started as the vice president/general manager of wireless in 2005.
Gayle has also been generous with his time, supporting different community organizations. Gayle serves as chairman of the Guam Solid Waste Authority and is a member of the Rotary Club of Guam. He also volunteers for the Manaukai Athletic Club and as a moderator for Mathcounts. GTA is a regular supporter of the University of Guam, the American Red Cross and the United Service Organization.
He is married to Catherine D. Gayle, and they have three children: Andrew E. Gayle, 15, Alexander J. Gayle, 10, and Arabella C. Gayle, 8.
Lars F. Hellmont
Co-owner, Fujita Property Guam Inc.
Co-founder, South North Entities
Lars F. Hellmont, 55, is the co-owner of Fujita Property Guam Inc., which operates the ITC building, and SN Entities, which does business in Europe, the United States and in Guam as Red Door Productions. He was born in Tyreso, Sweden. He attended high school in Stockholm at the Frans Schartaus Gymnasium and went to college in Austin at the University of Texas, where he received a degree in finance and accounting.
He started working at Europe-based stores, like Ikea and H&M, before he moved and worked in New York and California. He also spent time as an internal auditor for ITT Corp. in New York. He has served on the boards of California-based companies Fujita Corp., Stan Lee Media and CIBA Assurances, of which he is also co-owner.
Hellmont and his companies support organizations like the Boy Scouts, the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Guam, Salvation Army, Via Trust and Special Olympics Guam.
His wife is Virginia C. Hellmont.
Angel C. Mendoza
President and general manager
Angel C. Mendoza, 63, is the president and general manager of DKSH Micronesia. Born in Manila, he graduated from John F. Kennedy High School and then attended college both at the University of Guam and the University of the East in Manila.
Mendoza has held a number of management positions throughout his career. He started out as the accounting supervisor of Duty Free Shopping and held several different positions there through the years. He moved on to be controller and administrative manager at Esso Eastern Inc.; the vice president, president and general manager at Caronel Inc.; and the president and general manager at Hagemeyer Cosa Liebermann before it became DKSH Micronesia, which does business as Caronel Rolex Center, Caronel Watches and Caronel Watch Center in The Plaza, as Caronel Rolex Boutique in Tumon Sands Plaza, as Time & Style by Caronel in Guam Premier Outlets and as Caronel Watch Center on Saipan.
Mendoza serves as a board director of the Guam Economic and Development Authority and is a member of the Rotary Club of Tumon Bay. He is a past president of the Engineers, Architects and Surveyors Golf Club.
He is married to Faye M. Mendoza, and they have two children: James Mendoza and Kirsten Mendoza.
Mark J. Sablan
Vice president – business development
South Pacific Petroleum Corp.
Mark J. Sablan, 57, is the vice president of business development at South Pacific Petroleum Corp. He was born in Burlingame, Calif.
He graduated from the College of Charleston in Charleston, S.C., with a bachelor’s in business administration in 1982. Later that same year, he started as a trainee at the Bank of Guam and continued to work there until 1990, by which point he had become an assistant vice president. He then worked at Exxon Corp. from 1990–2000 before joining SPPC.
Sablan contributes to the Guam Chamber of Commerce as a board member and steering committee member of its Armed Forces Committee and is a past chairman. He also serves on the board of the Navy League of the U.S.-Guam Council, of which he was previously president, and is the chairman of the University of Guam School of Business and Public Administration Advisory Council, president of Guam Business Partners for Recycling (i-Recycle) and vice chairman of The Bookmobile Foundation of the Guam Public Library.
SPPC supports many community organizations to include Relay for Life, the Guam Chapter of the American Red Cross and the Guam Memorial Hospital Volunteers Association. The company also contributes the proceeds of its 76 Drive for Charity Golf Tournament every year to three beneficiaries and supports the Guam Chamber of Commerce, Guam Contractors Association, Chinese Chamber of Commerce of Guam and the Guam Hotel & Restaurant Association.
His wife is Caroline H. Sablan, and their children are Mark J. Sablan II (deceased); Lauren R. Sablan, 24; Christine R. Quinata, 35, and her husband, John Quinata.
Anthony John Sage
Vice president and general manager
Watts Constructors LLC
Anthony John Sage, 55, is the vice president/general manager of Watts Constructors LLC. He was born in Auckland, New Zealand. Sage has been involved in construction his whole working life. He graduated from the University of Auckland with a bachelor’s in civil engineering in 1984 and went on to become a registered professional engineer in California.
Prior to joining Watts in 2006 as senior project manager, Sage spent a year designing and constructing LEED-certified concrete buildings for a startup operation in Fairfield, Calif. His other positions include several years as a consultant to heavy civil contractors, where he contributed to such projects as the Olmstead Dam on the Ohio River in Illinois and the Woodrow Wilson Bridge in Virginia, and eight years as the plant manager and chief engineer for Pomeroy Corp. in California.
He is proud of building Watts into one of the leading construction contractors on Guam.
His company supports a variety of organizations, such as the Guam Chapter of the American Red Cross, the Center for Micronesian Empowerment and the Ayuda Foundation, as well as the Guam Contractors Association, of which he is president.
He is married to Mary Ann Sage, and their three children are Christopher John Sage, 24, Anthony Francis Sage, 22, and Sean David Sage, 18.
Past Executive of the Year Winners
Robert H. Jones of Triple J Enterprises (1983); John M. Borlas of MITECO Pacific (1984); Philip J. Flores of BankPacific (1985); Doris F. Brooks of the Office of Public Accountability (1986); Mark V. Pangilinan of M.V. Pangilinan Enterprises Inc. (1987); Allen A. Pickens of Tax-Aide (1988); the late T. Roy Sullivan of Jones & Guerrero Co. (1989); Kurt S. Moylan of Moylan’s Insurance (1990); the late Akira “Mike” Baba of Baba Corp. (1991); Paul M. Calvo of Calvo Enterprises Inc. (1992); Antoinette D. Sanford of the Sanford Technology Group (1993); the late Kenneth T. Jones of Jones & Guerrero Co. (1994); the late Edward M. Calvo of Calvo Enterprises Inc. (1995); L. Carl Peterson of Money Resources Inc. (1996); William R. Thompson (1997); the late John K. Lee of First Hawaiian Bank (1998); the late Henry L. Schnabel of Calvo’s Insurance Underwriters (1999); Marian Aldan-Pierce of DFS Saipan (2000); Manfred H. Pieper of Voyages Indigenous Tourism Australia (2001); Thomas G. Ahillen of Asia Pacific Solutions LLC (2002); Juan T. Guerrero of Herman’s Modern Bakery Inc. (2003); Joseph M. Crisostomo of Cars Plus LLC, Cycles Plus and Payless Car Rental (2004); Joseph “Jerry” Kramer of Pacific International Inc. (2004); David M. Sablan of the Century Group of Companies (2005); Alfred C. Ysrael of Tanota Partners (2006); Lee P. Webber of Micronesian Divers Association Inc. (2007); Laura-Lynn V. Dacanay of First Hawaiian Bank (2008); Jerry Cho Yee Tan of Tan Holdings Inc. (2009); Lourdes A. Leon Guerrero of Bank of Guam (2010); Jay R. Shedd of Sorensen Media Group (2011); Jerrold C. Johnson of Hawaiian Rock Products (2012); George Chiu of Tan Holdings (2013); and Norman T. Tenorio of Joeten Enterprises Inc., Pacifica Insurance Underwriters Inc., Tropical Instant Press Inc., Saipan Shipping Co. and Advance Carrier (2014).