The Northern Marianas Trades Institute recognized the achievements of its former students and other individuals in last Friday night’s Denim & Diamonds Gala at the Hibiscus Hall of the Fiesta Resort & Spa-Saipan.
The award program, including the event, was the brainchild of NMTI chief executive officer Agnes M. McPhetres after seeing the need for the community to “show ownership of the only true trades school in the CNMI.”
“[The awards program] serves as a vehicle that allows us to celebrate the many contributions made by [community] members. It’s our way of saying thank you to our stakeholders,” said Glenn Hunter, who emceed the event with Reina Camacho.
Jose Manahane Delos Reyes, Brianna Tudela Humphries, Archibald Ajoste, Brianna Humphries, Earl John Bordon, and Manju Pandey, and the Associated Insurance Underwriters of the Pacific were the recipients of the awards.
Delos Reyes, also known as Tun Pepe Onio, was posthumously honored with the Vicente Sablan Award for Trailblazer in Trades for inspiring the community. His son, Jose Reyes, received the award on his behalf.
He was born during the Japanese period and later received training under the Central Intelligence Agency’s Naval Training Unit more than five years after the CNMI was liberated during World War II.
Delos Reyes became an automotive mechanic and people would bring their cars, jeeps, and trucks to him to get checked and repaired after work or during weekends. He was one of the figures that developed an interest in automotive technology.
Humphries was honored with the Donicio Torres Award for Construction Trades Student Achievement for her many accomplishments.
She has already finished carpentry, electrical, and masonry, and has added welding to her list of skills she has learned at NMTI. Some of her metal artworks were displayed and even auctioned off at the gala.
Ajoste earned the Jose Ayuyu Award for Hotel & Restaurant Operations for his accomplishments in the field. He learned the trade in the U.S. mainland even before attending NMTI. He was hired as a regular wait staff at Kanoa Resort after coming back to the CNMI and later enrolled at NMTI in order to expand his credentials and at the advice of his manager. He was promoted as Kanoa’s food and beverage supervisor while still at NMTI.
Bordon, who is currently enrolled in a pastry course at the prestigious Le Courdon Bleu Culinary School in London, was recognized with the Anthony Pellegrino Award for Career Achievement. His mother, Catherine Bordon, received the award on his behalf.
He finished the culinary arts program at NMTI and later landed a job at the Hyatt Regency Saipan where he became interested in pastries. His pastry supervisor encouraged him to apply at the London culinary school.
Pandey, who is currently in Nepal, was given the Robert H. Jones Award for Culinary Arts Student Achievement. She operates Java Joe’s with husband, Mahesh Thapa. She was already practicing her culinary skills even before signing up for NMTI’s culinary arts program. Thapa and her brother, Shiva Pandey, received the award on her behalf.
AIUP was this year’s recipient of the Jose C. Tenorio (Joeten) Award for Benefactor of the Year for its contributions to NMTI. The company played an active role in NMTI’s programs through its educational tax credit donations.