Attao, Mendiola sworn as NMTI board trustees

Posted on Mar 09 2020


The Northern Marianas Technical Institute’s board of trustees is finally complete, with the swearing in last Friday, March 6, of Catherine Attao and Deron Alfred T. Mendiola.

Attao is the vice president of corporate affairs and human resources at TanHoldings, while Mendiola, a food and landscape business owner, is an early mentor at the Northern Marianas College-Rota Campus.

At the ceremony, Lt. Gov. Arnold I. Palacios said the process to get the new board complete has been a long one, but with Attao and Mendiola in, it is time for NMTI to move forward.

“Everybody… knows what environment we are [in], how things change on a daily basis, and perhaps this is the time to shore up our training. One of the things that I shared with the governor is that we really need to take a closer look at the governance of NMTI and see how it could get improved,” Palacios said.

The lieutenant governor added that it is time to review which projects and programs within NMTI are still relevant in the changing environment that the CNMI is in.

NMTI chief executive officer Agnes McPhetres said that Torres is “the right person to be in [the NMTI board] because she is a Human Resource Development person. That means “she knows what’s the need for the CNMI in terms of training, and it really makes us feel good in NMTI to have people with us to guide us.”

She also said that NMTI is “very pleased to have a young person from Rota,” adding that the institute is going to be training young people, and that Mendiola could be an inspiration.

Attao said that becoming part of NMTI will open doors for her to become even more of service to the community.

“Being able to be a part of the NMTI family now gives us more of an opportunity to be able to help those where we may have not been able to before,” Attao said.

Mendiola said he will do his best to work with NMTI. “Hopefully we can establish stronger, better rules and regulations about it and hopefully, my experiences and knowledge can contribute to this organization,” Mendiola added.

Aside from Attao and Mendiola, the other members of the NMTI board are Irene Nepomuceno Holl, Ray Pangelinan, Carmelita Faisao, Richard P. Kautz, and Mario Valentino.

TanHoldings president and CEO Jerry Tan was at Attao’s swearing in to show his support. “We should all be very grateful to having NMTI in addition to NNC in developing our workforce,” Tan said. “With the severe labor shortage and the challenges facing us, NMTI is going to play even a more important role. .Everyone in this community, especially the private sector, should really embrace and support [NMTI].”

Iva Maurin | Author
Iva Maurin is a communications specialist with environment and community outreach experience in the Philippines and in California. She has a background in graphic arts and is the Saipan Tribune’s community and environment reporter. Contact her at

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