PCF alumni list expands by 12

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Posted on Mar 15 2019

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The Class of 2018 of the Pacific Century Fellows pose for a photo after their graduation ceremony yesterday at the Fiesta Resort & Spa Saipan. (Kimberly A. Bautista)

The list of individuals who have successfully hurdled the leadership program called Pacific Century Fellows Marianas Chapter has added 12 new names.

Last Wednesday night, the fifth batch of PCF participants officially completed the program with a graduation ceremony.

The 12 new PCF alumni are Norman Del Rosario, Christian Delos Santos, Maxine Laszlo, Katherine Mersai, Ryan Meyerhoff, Mark Rabago, Charlie Rivera, Melanie Santos, Jamika Taijeron, Natasha Tomokane, Joshua Wise, and Raymond Zapanta.

According to Jerry Tan, chairman of the Pacific Century Fellows Marianas Chapter, it’s always great and exciting to have more young leaders in the community who are equipped with the knowledge needed to make a change.

The intent and the objective of the PCF is to groom and develop the Commonwealth’s future leaders.

“After each class, we’re adding many fellows into the alumni and welcoming a new cohort. [We look] forward to their participation in the community,” he said.

Tan emphasized that it is all about helping to build a better Commonwealth. “It is all through leaders that we would have a bright future for the Commonwealth, so it is…very exciting to see another class graduate, another group of fellows [who will] continue to have that dialogue and conversation in the community to take on those challenging issues that Commonwealth is facing and make a difference,” he said.

Maxine Laszlo, PCF graduate and Saipan Chamber of Commerce executive director, said that the departments, businesses, and agencies in the Commonwealth are full of passionate leaders trying to make the community better. Through the PCF Program, there is a realization that there are usually complicated underlying reasons why issues aren’t being addressed, she added.

“I learned more in depth about the many complex problems that impact our community, but I also learned that behind every problem, there are advocates who are trying to do something about it. Because of PCF, I feel like I have the tools to reach out and try to be a part of the solution instead of contributing to the problems,” she said.

Charlie Rivera, PCF graduate and computer graphic artist for Tropical Printing Press Inc., said that a lot of topics and issues they covered during the program stood out and it’s always interesting to learn of things about a place you consider your home.

“It is upon us, as young leaders, to hold on to those aspiration and ambitions. It was a really good program. The networking itself, the people you meet in the government and private sector, it’s just great. It will give you a plethora of information and, sometimes, it’s overwhelming but it’s good. I plan to share what I have learned,” he said.

Matthew Deleon Guerrero, a former chief of staff of Gov. Ralph DLG Torres, and Lt. Gov. Arnold I. Palacios also spoke at the event.

The PCF Marianas Chapter is patterned after Pacific Century Fellows of Hawaii and its founder, former Honolulu mayor Mufi Hannemann, was also in attendance and delivered a few words.

Kimberly Bautista Bautista
Kimberly Bautista is the youngest in the stable of Saipan Tribune reporters. She has covered a wide range of beats, including the community, housing, crime, and education, for the Saipan Tribune.

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