The Saipan Young Professionals Committee has named three nominees for the 2017 Saipan Young Professional of the Year award.
The nominees are Janel Pangelinan, Lester F. Babauta, and Kristal Ann Johnson.
Their names were announced at SYP’s meeting last Nov. 21.
The award will be made to the winning nominees at the annual SYP Christmas party on Friday, Dec. 8, at Latte Stone Room of Kanoa Resort.
The party will have the theme “Santa’s Workshop,” inspired by SYP’s signature project, Toys 4 Tots.
Each nominee is a member of the SYP Committee of the Saipan Chamber of Commerce; has demonstrated community involvement and contributions through volunteer work and outreach; has been an active participating member in the committee by attending events, meeting, and programs; and embodies the SYP goals and mission as stated in the Chamber by-laws.
The three were nominated by SYP members and mentors.
Pangelinan, a mother, is determined to balance motherhood and profession. While attending the Northern Marianas College from 2009 to 2011, she was inducted into the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society. The following semester, she was nominated and later sworn in as an officer. She devotes her free time to community events such as beautification projects and youth affairs, helping coordinate and volunteer. For the duration of her studies at NMC, she worked at the Adult Basic Education department as a tutor.
In 2011, she joined Pacifica Insurance Underwriters, Inc., starting as an underwriter and becoming head of the broker department. She has assisted with marketing and networking and is currently a claims examiner. In addition, she has conducted presentations for many government agencies introducing their health insurance plan, as well as career presentations and class observations in relation to the insurance industry.
She is also co-chair of the Events Committee of the Chamber and oversees major events such as the annual corporate challenge, golf tournament, and installation dinner. She was recently nominated as a candidate for the 2017-2018 chamber board of directors and received the 2016 Saipan Young Professional of the Year award.
Babauta, a father of two, is a former Navy sailor who was stationed on the USS Paul Hamilton from 2006 to 2009 where he was a logistics specialist, which deals with supplies and finances of his ship. Upon the completion of his tour, he resided in Hawaii for another eight years as a partner for “Lani Beach by Mireille,” a retail business owned by his wife. The business expanded into Guam in 2014. In 2016, he moved back to Saipan and worked as a project coordinator under N15 Architects.
He hopes to open a food truck business on Saipan. He also sits as a member of the chamber’s Events Committee where he regularly volunteers for some of the chamber’s largest fundraising events. In 2016, he was named SYP’s Rookie of the Year and has since dedicated his spare time to SYP.
Johnson is currently a 5th grade teacher at Koblerville Elementary School. She studied at Chaminade University of Honolulu where she graduated with a bachelor degree in Elementary Education with a minor in Hawaiian/Pacific Studies.
Johnson is a highly qualified and Praxis-certified teacher in the CNMI. She holds certifications to teach grades K-8 as well as high school English.
She has been working with the CNMI Public School System for five years. Aside from her day job, Johnson runs an online health and beauty care products business with her husband, Zshop.
In 2016, she was named “Teacher of the Year” for Koblerville Elementary School. (PR)