Priscilla M. Iakopo, who is managing director of the Marianas Visitors Authority, has been elected vice chairperson of the Marianas Chapter board of directors of the Pacific Asia Travel Association, or PATA, for the 2021-2022 term.
She is joined on the board by Paula Monk, United Airlines, Guam, board chair; Pohnpei Port Authority’s Luciano Abraham, secretary; Francis Carlos Domnick, Office of Commerce, Investment & Tourism, Marshall Islands, treasurer; Ed Arriola Jr., Blue 46 Associates, Saipan, alternate board member; and immediate past chair Stephanie Nakamura, Paradise Comfort Rentals, Palau, alternate board member.
They will be assisted by the following committee chairs:
-Culture, Heritage and Environment Committee chair Rita Pangelinan Nauta, Guampedia Foundation, Guam & vice chair Sandra Iseke Okada, Traditions Affirming Our Seafaring Ancestry, Inc. Guam;
-Education Committee chair Denise Mendiola, Guam and Don Evans, Yap Visitors Bureau, Yap;
-Marketing Committee chair Mark Manglona, Guam Visitors Bureau, Guam and vice chair Ed Arriola, Blue 46 Associates, Saipan;
-Membership Committee chair Victoria Blas-Toves, Asea Guam & Beverly Borja, Guam; and
-Public Relations chair Perdus Esha, Jr., Seabreeze Hotel, Pohnpei and vice chair Lou Aguon-Schulte, Paradises, Australia.
“I am honored and look forward to working with our board,” said Monk. “I believe I can speak for our board and members by saying that we have a very important job to do this term, which is to help our region recover from the effects of a loss year and to make safety as our top priority. We are motivated to join forces and share knowledge and resources that can help the region safely rebuild to its once-thriving tourism economy.”
PATA Micronesia also recognizes and thanks outgoing Nakamura for her service for the past two years.
This past term, the Micronesia Chapter successfully held tri-annual meetings throughout the Micronesia region; co-sponsored tourism-related training, workshops, and seminars; and secured a partnership with United Airlines to assist with travel for trainers, speakers, and presenters.
PATA Micronesia’s 2021 mission will focus on continuing to assist in the development of the region’s tourism industry to include sensitivity for environmental issues, respect for Micronesian cultures, adherence to high operational standards, and providing opportunities for education, training, and gainful employment.
While travel restrictions still apply in the region, the Chapter will continue to meet virtually until restrictions are lifted.
“We face many challenges ahead, however, we are hopeful that we can soon return to safely meeting in person this year to build momentum for our important work in the region,” Monk added. “We learned so much about the fragility of tourism globally during this pandemic, and we are ready to support the islands in Micronesia to rebuild their tourism offerings and get businesses reopened and people back to work.” (PR)