Vicky Benavente has stepped down from her post as board member of the Marianas Visitors Authority, but said she would still be very much involved in the tourism industry.
Benavente was one of three new MVA board directors that got elected in the general membership meeting last June.
Benavente, who received the most number of votes, will now be working at the Governor’s Office starting today. She will still be involved in tourism as chairperson of the Marianas Tourism Educational Council.
She informed the MVA board about her resignation in last Friday’s meeting at the MVA office in San Jose. She will submit her formal letter of resignation within the week and allow the board to look for her replacement.
MVA board member Jerry Tan, who was reelected in the general membership meeting held at the Saipan World Resort’s Royal Taga Hall, along with Hotel Association of the Northern Mariana Islands president Gloria Cavanagh and Hyatt Regency Saipan general manager Nick Nishikawa will be meeting anytime soon to choose Benavente’s replacement.
According to the MVA bylaws, the three remaining board directors that were elected will decide who will replace a fellow director that resigned. They will then get in touch with the person and ask if he or she wants the post.
Tan said although the board was saddened by Benavente’s decision, it has also a positive side since there will be somebody with a long experience on tourism at the Governor’s Office. They will wait for her letter before discussing who would replace her.
Benavente returned to the MVA after serving as its managing director more than 10 years ago. She was also the executive administrative assistant to Pacific Islands Club general manager Hiro Sugie.
“She had not submitted yet her formal letter of resignation and after that, we will meet sooner than later because we want to have a full board,” Tan told Saipan Tribune after last Friday’s board meeting.
He added that he is hoping to sit down with Cvanagh and Nishikawa to discuss Benavente’s replacement. “Hopefully, we get to meet within the next two weeks and decide on who will replace her. “We have no names in mind yet. But we’re going to discuss that in the meeting.”
MVA managing director Chris Concepcion and chair Marian Aldan-Pierce informed the three remaining elected board directors that the replacement could be anybody and not particularly among the names that ran in the election last June.
Tan said that they would review all possible candidates. “Either one of those on the list but we can consider anybody. There are 14 who ran and we’re going to look at the list and maybe approach them but MVA said we can name anybody.”