Three nominees will be vying for the 2019 Business Person of the Year Award at the annual Saipan Chamber of Commerce Gala on Jan. 25, 2020 at the Hyatt Regency Saipan ballroom from 6pm to 10pm. The three nominees are Gloria Cavanagh of Pacific Island Club Saipan, Glen Hunter of The Shack, and Roman “Bo” Palacios of J.C. Tenorio Enterprises.
The winner of this award, who will be selected by the prior award recipients, will be named at the Business Person of the Year Gala slated for Saturday, Jan. 25, 2020.
Seats to event are limited and available for advance purchase only for $100 per person. Tickets include a formal sit-down dinner, networking, and a night celebrating the movers and shakers of our community. To order tickets, RSVP online at https://www.saipanchamber.com/our-events/, email Noelani at firstname.lastname@example.org, call (670) 234-7150, or visit the third floor of the Marianas Business Plaza, Suite 315.
Cavanagh is the general manager of Pacific Island Club Saipan, which managed to reopen less than two months after sustaining heavy damage from Super Typhoon Yutu.
In 2019, PIC initiated two new signature events to highlight the CNMI as a world-class destination: Summerfest and the PIC New Year’s Eve Party. Additionally, in 2019 PIC supported 15-plus community events, projects, and nonprofit organizations, including organizing the PIC Duck Race and PIC Hafa Adai 5K, raising money for local nonprofits.
As an advocate for the CNMI’s industries, Cavanagh is the chairwoman of the Hotel Association of the Northern Mariana Islands, treasurer of the Northern Marianas Business Alliance Corp., and vice chairperson of the Marianas Visitor’s Authority. She also served as the secretary of the Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy Committee, reviewing the 2016-2020 CEDS projects to address Yutu-related projects.
Through HANMI, Cavanagh has assisted business leaders in negotiating long-term leases for maturing contracts with current leaseholders, as well as worked with the Department of Public Lands on current and proposed regulations. Cavanagh remains vocal in the funding of MVA with the use of the hotel occupancy tax, as a means for hotels to invest in the promotion of our islands as a tourist destination. She has also assisted NMBAC in advocating at the federal-level regarding complications with workforce-related issues.
Hunter is the owner of The Shack Saipan, the Airstream Café, and Go Hydro. He has been a member of the Chamber for the last 13 years (first at PTC, then at Transpacific, then The Shack). In 2019, Hunter was engaged with the SCC membership committee, helping with new membership orientations, mentoring new entrepreneurs at Pitchfest, and co-conducting trainings for Saipan Young Professionals. As an entrepreneur and small business owner, Hunter was elected to the 2020/2021 Saipan Chamber of Commerce board of directors to provide insight on the issues impacting small businesses and support initiatives that will lead to sustainable development in our islands.
Hunter has helped launch many community organizations such as Rising Tide, Comprehensive Outreach Recovery Effort, Commonwealth Advocates for Recovery Efforts, Friends of Marpi, and, as a small business owner, he contributes to the Saipan Young Professional, Mariana Islands Nature Alliance, American Red Cross, Marianas Young Professionals, Northern Marianas Trade Institute, and other local groups.
In 2019, Hunter graduated from the National Goldman Sach’s 10,000 Small Business program with a Certificate in Entrepreneurship.
Palacios is the vice president of J.C. Tenorio Enterprises. Last year marked Joeten Enterprises’ 70th anniversary, where Palacios and the Joeten Enterprises team thanked the people of the Northern Marianas by promoting high-dollar raffle prizes and limited-edition giveaways to customers. In 2019, Joeten Motors also managed to complete the construction of its brand-new Ford and Honda Showroom and hosted the quinquennial Joeten Memorial Golf Classic, which raised funds for their annual scholarship program.
Palacios is active in the NMBAC, where he has represented the CNMI in Washington, D.C. to educate various congressional offices and federal agencies about the continuing challenges in the CNMI various federal issues concerning the CNMI’s labor shortages and access to tourism markets.
Palacios currently serves as president of the Commonwealth Cancer Association, spearheading a number of legislative, outreach and research/academic initiatives that have driven positive and substantial changes on combatting cancer in the CNMI. He has also served on the Micronesian Islands Nature Alliance as vice chair from 2012 to 2014 and as co-founder and president of the Marianas Young Professionals from 2015-2017.
In 2019, Palacios was recognized as one of Guam Business Magazine’s 40 Under 40. (PR)