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Gloria Cavanagh is Business Person of the Year

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(Marianas Variety) — Pacific Islands Club Saipan general manager Gloria Cavanagh has been named Saipan Chamber of Commerce’s Business Person of the Year.

She received the award during the chamber’s annual gala on Saturday evening at the grand ballroom of Hyatt Regency Saipan. The theme this year was the “Roaring 20s.”

“[Even if I am considered] an outsider…being from Guam, I feel Saipan is home,” she told Variety. “I am truly honored to receive this award.”

“All of our nominees this year are exceptional in their own field — they are winners already,” Saipan Chamber of Commerce president Velma Ann Palacios said in her remarks.

The other nominees were Glen Hunter of The Shack and Roman “Bo” Palacios of J.C Tenorio Enterprises.

Gloria Cavanagh, 4th right, is congratulated by Saipan Chamber of Commerce president Velma Palacios, left, while some of the past winners of the Business Person of the Year Award look on.  Photo by Ulysses Torres Sabuco

Cavanagh is credited for successfully reopening PIC Saipan less than two months after Super Typhoon Yutu devastated the island in Oct. 2018. Under her stewardship, PIC also initiated two new signature events to promote the CNMI as a world-class destination: Summerfest and the PIC New Year’s Eve Party.

As secretary of the Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy Committee, she took part in reviewing 2016-2020 projects to address Yutu-related projects.

PIC, under her leadership, also supported over 15 community events, projects, and nonprofit organizations.

Cavanagh chairs the Hotel Association of the Northern Mariana Islands and is treasurer of the Northern Marianas Business Alliance Corporation, which reached out to federal officials regarding local workforce issues.

Through HANMI, she assists business leaders in negotiating long-term leases and has worked with the Department of Public Lands on current and proposed regulations.

As vice chair of the Marianas Visitors Authority board, she is involved in promoting the islands as prime travel destinations.

Other winners

Also on Saturday, Nicole Babauta was named by the chamber as the Saipan Young Professional of the Year.

As administrator of the CNMI Small Business Development Center, her work received the 2018 America’s Small Business Development Center State Star Award.

The other nominees were Matthew Deleon Guerrero, an economic research and data analytics consultant; Riya Nathrani, 7th grade computer literacy teacher at Hopwood Middle School; Leah Aguon Murphy, Koblerville Elementary School teacher; Francisco “Sonnie” Sablan, chef and managing partner of INAS Kitchen; Marie Aldan, sales and marketing representative of Staywell Insurance; Jeffrey Raymond G. Bacani, leadership corps instructor at Francisco M. Sablan Middle School; and Kevin Bautista, press secretary for the Office of the Governor.

The Small Business of the Year is Island Training Solutions, a full-service professional training and consulting group that provides compliance and development training to numerous businesses, government agencies, and non-profits.

The other nominees were Caravan of Foods, which serves Palestinian cuisine, and Naked Fish Bar & Grill, another locally owned and operated restaurant.

The Non-Profit of the Year Award went to Tan Siu Lin Foundation.

Established in 1985, TSL Foundation is headed by Tan Holdings founder and chairman, Dr. Tan Siu Lin, who is known and respected for his philanthropic work.

The other nominees were 500 Sails, the American Red Cross, and The Salvation Army.

As for the Chamber Member of the Year Award, there were two recipients: IT&E and the CNMI Small Business Development Center.

IT&E is the largest telecommunications provider in the Northern Marianas and is an inaugural member of the chamber’s “President’s Circle.”

The CNMI Small Business Development Center provides high quality training and one-to-one confidential counseling to existing smalls business and small business start-ups in the Commonwealth.

The other nominees were Pacifica Insurance Underwriters Inc., Friends First Marketing Inc., First Hawaiian Bank, and AON Insurance.

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