Saipan Chamber of Commerce announces Business Person of the Year nominees

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(Press Release) — The Saipan Chamber of Commerce is proud to announce the three nominees for the 2019 Business Person of the Year Award: Gloria Cavanagh of Pacific Island Club Saipan, Glen Hunter of The Shack, and Roman “Bo” Palacios of J.C. Tenorio Enterprises. The nominees for Business Person of the Year are all active members of the Chamber, gracious in their support of the community, and business leaders advocating for our economy and our enterprises.

Gloria Cavanagh

• Gloria Cavanagh is the General Manager of Pacific Island Club Saipan. In 2018, PIC Saipan successfully re-opened less than two months after receiving heavy damages from Typhoon Yutu. In 2019, PIC initiated two new signature events to highlight the CNMI as a world class destination — Summerfest and the PIC New Year’s Eve Party. Additionally, in 2019 PIC supported 15+ community events, projects, and nonprofit organizations, including organizing the PIC Duck Race and PIC Hafa Adai 5K raising money for our local nonprofits.

As an advocate for our industries, Cavanagh is the Chairwoman of the Hotel Association of the Northern Mariana Islands, Treasurer of the Northern Marianas Business Alliance Corporation, and Vice Chairperson of the Marianas Visitors Authority board. She also served as the Secretary of the Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy or CEDS Committee, reviewing the 2016-2020 CEDS projects to address Typhoon Yutu-related projects.

Through HANMI, Cavanagh has assisted business leaders in negotiating long-term leases for maturing contracts with current leaseholders, as well as worked with DPL on current and proposed regulations. Cavanagh remains vocal in the funding of MVA with the use of the hotel occupancy tax, as a means for hotels to invest in the promotion of our island as a tourist destination. She has also assisted NMBAC in advocating at the federal-level regarding complications with workforce-related issues.

Glenn Hunter

• Glen Hunter is the owner of The Shack Saipan, the Airstream Café, and Go Hydro. Hunter has been a member of the Chamber for the last 13 years (PTC then Transpacific then The Shack). In 2019, Hunter was actively engaged with the Membership committee helping with new membership orientations, mentoring new entrepreneurs at Pitchfest, and co-conducting trainings for Saipan Young Professionals. As an entrepreneur and small business owner, Hunter was elected to the 2020/2021 Saipan Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors to provide insight on the issues impacting small businesses and support initiatives that will lead to sustainable development in our islands.

Hunter has helped launch many community organizations such as Rising Tide, Comprehensive Outreach Recovery Effort, Commonwealth Advocates for Recovery Efforts, Friends of Marpi, and as a small business owner he contributes to the Saipan Young Professional, Mariana Islands Nature Alliance, American Red Cross, Marianas Young Professionals, Northern Marianas Trade Institute, and other local groups.

In 2019, Hunter graduated from the National Goldman Sach’s 10,000 Small Business program with a Certificate in Entrepreneurship.

Roman Palacios

• Roman “Bo” Palacios is the Vice President of J.C. Tenorio Enterprises. 2019 marked Joeten Enterprises’ 70th Anniversary, where Palacios and the Joeten Enterprises team thanked the people of the Northern Mariana Islands by promoting high-dollar raffle prizes and limited-edition giveaways to customers. In 2019, Joeten Motors also managed to complete the construction of its brand-new Ford and Honda Showroom as well as hosted the quinquennial Joeten Memorial Golf Classic which raised funds for their annual scholarship program.

Palacios is actively engaged in the Northern Marianas Business Alliance Corporation, where he has represented the CNMI in Washington, D.C. to educate various Congressional offices and federal agencies about the continuing challenges in the CNMI various federal issues concerning the NMI’s labor shortages and access to tourism markets.

Palacios currently serves as President of the Commonwealth Cancer Association, spearheading a number of legislative, outreach, and research/academic initiatives that have driven positive and substantial changes on combatting cancer in the CNMI. He has also served on the Micronesian Islands Nature Alliance as Vice Chair from 2012 to 2014 and as Co-Founder and President of the Marianas Young Professionals from 2015-2017.

In 2019, Palacios was recognized as one of Guam Business Magazine’s 40 Under 40.

The winner of this prestigious award will be selected by the prior recipients of this award and announced at the annual Business Person of the Year Gala slated for Saturday, January 25, 2020 at the Regency Ballroom, Hyatt Regency Saipan from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m.

Seats to event are limited and available for advance purchase only for $100 per person. Tickets include a formal sit-down dinner, networking, and a night celebrating the movers and shakers of our community. To order tickets, RSVP online at, email Noelani at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., call (234-7150, or visit the Chamber office on the 3rd floor of the Marianas Business Plaza, Suite #315.

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