The Saipan Chamber of Commerce elected yesterday four new members of its board of directors during a general membership meeting at the Hyatt Regency Saipan Sandcastle.
A total of seven nominees were on the ballot and the winning votes went to Perry Inos Jr. of Triple J Corp., Mike Johnson of Deloitte & Touche LLC., IT&E Engineering and Plant Technical Services manager Velma Palacios, and CTSI’s Alex Sablan who has been with the Chamber for over 20 years and served previously as president of the Rotary Club of Saipan.
During the meeting, Sablan, who is also the Chamber president, briefly addressed members on the critical economic issue of the reduction in contract workers that is a grave concern for current businesses.
“The loss of 1,000 CW’s is going to hurt. 15,000 new jobs are going to be created by the casino as well as six other ongoing projects. We’re looking at our businesses and doing a head count of what we need. We’re hopeful that the 902 talks are successful or that hopefully we can create another visa program,” he said.
Guest speakers who also attended the meeting were Commonwealth Advocates for Recovery Efforts director Jenny Hegland, Mable Ayuyu of the Saipan Young Professionals, and Col. Michael R. Cardoza, chief of the U.S. Air Force’s Strategy and Plans Division, who addressed the membership about the revised divert airfield plan for Saipan and Tinian.
The Chamber is the largest private business organization in the CNMI, with over 155 members. SCC elections are held every November for officers and directors. Member votes are apportioned to their annual membership contribution and only members who have served on the board of directors for at least one year are eligible to run for the position of president.