PCF-Marianas Chapter travels to Guam for May session


The third cohort of the Pacific Century Fellows-Marianas Chapter returned from a two-day trip to Guam where the most recent class of local leaders met with many of their counterparts in the public and private sector.

On the first day, the fellows toured Naval Base Guam and Andersen Air Force Base, where they sat through a presentation by former vice commander of the 36th Wing and current director of plans and readiness for the 36th Wing, Stephen Wolborsky.

After spending the previous day with the military, the fellows turned their focus to public utilities, tourism, business, and government with meetings with Guam Power Authority’s general manager John Benavente, Guam Visitors Bureau chair Mark Baldyga, the Guam Chamber of Commerce’s military liaison committee and Guam’s Lt. Gov. Ray Tenorio.

The fellows then traveled to Guam’s legislature where they broke bread with Speaker Judith Won Pat, vice speaker, BJ Cruz, and other elected officials. During the luncheon, the politicians and fellows engaged in a discussion about many of the issues that impact the islands of the Northern Marianas and Guam.

The schedule also included discussions with the management of the Guam International Airport, Guam Behavioral and Wellness Center, and attorney for We Are Guahan, Leevin Camacho, capped by trip to Paseo Stadium for the 2016 FestPac.

The presentations and discussions between the fellows and their hosts were well received by the Class of 2016. “What I enjoyed most was the opportunity to engage with officials serving in the highest levels of Guam’s government,” said fellow Russelle Zapanta. “The free-flowing dialogue between the fellows and our hosts illustrated the similarity between the issues that our respective communities face.”

Fellow Alexis Cabrera said she enjoyed the exposure to Guam’s leaders and said the experience is exactly why she applied for the fellowship. “The fellowship has already opened doors for me which might not have otherwise been available. The ability to network with my classmates and new contacts will prove invaluable to me as I continue my career as a professional in the Marianas.”

The fellows meet on a monthly basis, participating in Professional Development sessions with various leaders and departments. The program continues through the month of November, and a class graduation is set for December.

The Pacific Century Fellows (PCF) Program-Marianas Chapter, Class of 2016 is comprised of: Charles Brasington, assistant attorney general, CNMI Office of the Attorney General; Brady J. Hammond, department chair, Northern Marianas College; Catherine M. Attao, vice president for Corporate Affairs, Tan Holdings Corp.; Carline B. Sablan, economic development analyst, Commonwealth Development Authority; Janice Anne E. Castro, grants program manager, BECQ-Division of Coastal Resources Management; Laarni P. Zapanta, account support specialist-Customer Operations, IT&E; Maryann B. Arriola, senior staff specialist, Office of Grants Management; Alexis P. Cabrera, project manager Public Relations/Project Management, Imperial International (CNMI), LLC; Joe E. Ayuyu, Jr, manager/executive assistant, JCA, Inc; Jordan C. Sundell, lawyer, Bridge Capital, LLC; Charles P. Reyes, Jr; Russelle T. Zapanta, operations manager, Realty Management Services; Derek B. Gersonde, public information officer/firefighter/EMT, Department of Fire & EMS; Beau Q. Tomokane, operations service manager, Delta Airlines, Inc. and Brad E. Ruszala, executive director, Sports, Entertainment and Activities, Pacific Islands Club, Saipan.

For more information about the Pacific Century Fellows-Marianas Chapter, visit www.pcf-marianas.com email pcfmarianas@gmail.com or call (670) 235-0560 x 118 or x166

The Pacific Century Fellows-Marianas Chapter is a leadership development program created by the Tan Siu Lin Foundation through the Tan Holdings Corp. It is designed to offer individuals leadership training. The program emulates the objectives of Hawaii’s own Pacific Century Fellows program which was founded by the former mayor of Honolulu, Mufi Hannemann. Our objective is to help develop individuals from all walks of life, fields and professions into becoming leaders.

The program spans nine months beginning with a two- day retreat. Once a month, fellows attend day-long classes addressing the current events of our island such as tourism, education, government, healthcare, and homeland security. Classes are hosted by guest speakers pertaining to the topic of that month. Guest speakers include public figures such as the governor, chief of police, Supreme Court judges, and executives of major private companies. Fellows will be able to help plan monthly classes; bringing in community leaders to talk about the challenges that they face into a classroom environment.

Graduation from the program marks the beginning of a greater community responsibility as graduates are encouraged to collaborate and develop their individual leadership skills while taking more active public service roles. (PR)

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