MVA chief Iakopo resigns

Priscilla Iakopo

Priscilla Iakopo

Marianas Visitors Authority managing director Priscilla Iakopo has confirmed her resignation citing that the reason she is stepping down from her post is to support her husband, former CNMI Office of Veterans Affairs executive officer Stanley T. Iakopo, who has also recently resigned.

Yesterday, Iakopo’s resignation letter addressed to the MVA board was leaked on various social media platforms.

Iakopo later confirmed with Saipan Tribune that she did send out the resignation letter confirming that she will soon be leaving her role as managing director.

Meanwhile, in a short statement from MVA board chair Viola Alepuyo, she said on behalf of the board, she wishes Iakopo success in her future endeavors.

“The MVA board received Priscilla Iakapo’s resignation today. We respect Ms. Iakapo’s decision and wish her much success in the future,” she said.

In her letter addressed to MVA board chair Alepuyo and board of directors, Iakopo stated that due to familial reasons, she has decided to step down as managing director effective Nov.  3.

“As I cannot give my support to Gov. [Ralph DLG] Torres under the circumstances of what he has done to my husband, Stanley T. lakopo, I write with regret to inform you that I will be leaving my position as the managing director for the Marianas Visitors Authority. I shall provide a transition period of 30 days, thus, my resignation will be effective Nov. 3, 2022,” she stated.

Iakopo, who has served as managing director for the past three years, stated that she will cherish all the experiences she has had with MVA through the years,

“I am proud of the successes the MVA has achieved considering what our tourism industry has endured over the past 3-4 years, through Super Typhoon Yutu and the outbreak of COVID-19. It has been challenging yet a fulfilling and rewarding experience. Spearheading several accomplishments to revitalize our tourism industry, starting with the Travel Bubble with South Korea, the revival of Japan market, the comeback of signature events, application and award of federal grants such as CDBG-DR and TAP grant, and among others, are experiences I will forever cherish,” Iakopo said.

Iakopo’s ascent as MVA chief came at a challenging time, with the CNMI rebuilding the Japan market with the entry of Skymark Airlines, the weakened Korea market, which suffered after the CNMI figured in international news in the wake of Super Typhoon Yutu in October last year, and a comparatively weaker China market.

In closing her letter, Iakopo commended her MVA staff who have served as the backbone of the department.

“Lastly, I commend the management and staff of MVA for their willingness to strive through these difficult economic times. I am confident that they will persevere as I’ve always said, they are the backbone of the MVA,” the managing director stated.

According to Saipan Tribune archives, Iakopo’s husband, Stanley T. Iakopo, tendered his resignation letter last Sept. 26, stating that he and Torres no longer share the same values and principles with respect to good order and discipline.

Kimberly Bautista Esmores | Reporter
Kimberly Bautista Esmores has covered a wide range of news beats, including the community, housing, crime, and more. She now covers sports for the Saipan Tribune. Contact her at

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