Ivan Ilmov has been a Rotarian for nearly half of his life. His 16 years in Rotary spans from high school to college and now as a businessman in the CNMI. The owner of Bath and Ceramics on Middle Road came to Saipan with his family eight years ago.
On Tuesday, he was sworn in as the new president of the Rotary Club of Saipan in front of his fellow Rotarians at an induction ceremony at the Pacific Islands Club’s Charlie’s Cabaret.
“We volunteer our time, money, and connections to make good things happen,” he told Saipan Tribune in an interview.
Ilmov noted that he and his colleagues are working to complete their Kagman family park project, which is located beside the Kagman Community Center, during his term.
He explained that one of his primary goals is to attract more youth to the nonprofit organization. The club currently has two high school organizations known as “Interact Club” established at Marianas High School and Kagman High School.
He said that they are looking to expand to Saipan Southern High School and private schools within the next year. He hopes to create a Rotaract Club at the Northern Marianas College.
“We want to make kids start to work and serve the community from a young age,” he added. “This is my personal passion since I was grown in this system. My goal is to have more young people involved.”
At the inductions ceremony, members also presented information regarding their recent trip to South Korea, where thousands of Rotarians convened as a part of Rotary International, which consists of more than one million members.
“Our goal is to make the place that we live better. This is an international service,” Ilmov added.
Other newly inducted officers include: president-elect Tom Thornburgh, vice president Brain Clayton, secretary Elitza Stoilova, treasurer Norbert Sablan, club service director Laila Boyer, community service directory Sonya Dancoe, vocational service director Wendell Posadasnera, international service director Curtis Dancoe, new generation service director Sapuro Rayphand, foundational service director Pete Shilling, and sergeant-at-arms Wayne Gillespie.
Outgoing president Curtis Dancoe expressed his appreciation for his members and officers support during his term, which began with the destruction of Typhoon Soudelor. He recognized the communities’ efforts to rebuild in its aftermath.
“We did the best we could with the resources we had,” he said in his address. “We were able to utilize our funds to help the people in need…I had a great year and I want to thank all of my officers and directors for their time. We’ve had an increase in membership.”
The club has a total of 50 members this year. Dancoe lauded members for their continued attendance at meetings, which he said has maintained a 60-percent attendance rate.
Members took time during the induction to recognize the Rotarian of the year. This year’s recipient, Steven Conner, has only been a member for four months but has greatly contributed to spreading the club’s mission and raising awareness in the community, according to Dancoe. “He displays the values of what it means to be a Rotarian,” he added.
Triple J Saipan founder, president, and chief executive officer Robert H. Jones was hailed as the Citizen of the Year for his numerous community contributions.
Jones played a key role in providing direct assistance to feed thousands of residence in Kagman after in the aftermath of the typhoon last year. More recently, Jones brought Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. to the island, which employs 130 people.
“I’ve enjoyed every minute I’ve been here,” he told the audience. “I enjoy starting businesses. I like to employ people… We appreciate all of the patronage we’ve had from you folks over the years and you can rest assured that we will continue to give you our best support. We believe in giving back.”
The Rotary Club of Saipan meets every Tuesday at Hyatt Regency Saipan.