Mariana Islands Nature Alliance recently elected new officers to its board of directors, with Frankie Eliptico re-elected as its chairman.
Also elected were Bo Palacios as vice chairman, Ron Smith as secretary, Adelina Dimaano as treasurer, and Dr. Ryan Okano, Fran Castro, and Eleanor Cabrera as board members.
Eliptico currently works as director of External Relations at the Northern Marianas College, where he leads the college’s marketing and recruitment initiatives.
He has been involved in numerous community events and activities for the past 20 years. He joined MINA as board secretary in April 2010, was vice chair for two years, before his assumption to chairman.
Palacios is the business development manager for Joeten Enterprises, Inc. He spearheaded the reuseable tote bag giveaway as part of their company’s efforts to reduce the use of plastic bags. He joined MINA in November 2012 and continues to work on plastic bag reduction and alternative energy projects for his company.
Smith is the founder and president of Angil Design, Inc. and Atdao Systems. An advocate of alternative energy and sustainable living, Smith has been involved in environmental issues since 1981. Since coming to Saipan in 1995, he has embraced the ocean as a divemaster, Hobie Cat sailor, and kayaker.
For the past 22 years, Dimaano has held various management positions at Tan Holdings for Saipan and Guam office. She currently heads the financial function of Tan Holdings as vice president for Finance and in 2008, she spearheaded the Tan Holdings’ "Going Green Program." Dimaano has been an active volunteer for environmental awareness campaigns, islandwide cleanups, and various community and church functions for over seven years. She joined MINA’s board of directors in June 2011.
Castro currently works at the CNMI Division of Environmental Quality. She’s been with DEQ for 13 years and manages the Non-Point Source Pollution and Marine Monitoring Program.
She is also the CNMI’s Point of Contact to the U.S. Coral Reef Task Force, Pacific Regional Ocean Partnership, Pacific Islands Regional Planning Body for Coastal and Marine Planning, and the focal point for the Micronesia Challenge. She is one of the co-founders of MINA and participated in the initial non-governmental organization’s workshop that inspired the birth of MINA. Castro has been on the MINA board since 2005. She also held the MINA chair position from 2007-2011.
Originally from Hilo, Hawaii, Okano moved to the CNMI in 2009 and was hired as an ecologist at DEQ to work on the Laolao Bay Restoration Project. His background is in phycology. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Hawaii at Manoa in 2011.
Cabrera is the proprietor of Handbags Etc. and got involved in MINA when her business was just starting.