Awards, media coverage and recognition for local businesses making names for themselves in the region and beyond
Guam businesses recognized at travel awards ceremony
Various Guam businesses were recognized at the 26th annual World Travel Awards Asia & Oceania Gala Ceremony on Oct. 12 in Phu Quoc, Vietnam. The World Travel Awards started in 1993 to “acknowledge, reward and celebrate excellence across all key sectors of the travel, tourism and hospitality industries.”
The categories and awardees were the following:
- Guam’s Leading Car Rental Company – Avis
- Guam’s Leading Hotel – Hyatt Regency Guam
- Guam’s Leading Hotel Suite – Presidential Suite at the Hyatt Regency Guam
- Guam’s Leading Resort – Dusit Thani Guam Resort
Ralbovsky chosen as finalist for CIO magazine award
Maggie Ralbovsky, managing director and senior consultant of Wilshire Associates, was nominated as a top ten finalist for Chief Investment Officer Magazine’s 2019 Knowledge Broker award. Ralbovsky’s clientele includes the Government of Guam Retirement Fund, which hired her in 2009. She is also a member of Wilshire Associates’ board of directors. CIO Magazine’s Knowledge Brokers list recognizes the world’s most influential investment consultants.
MVA attends exhibitions in Kazakhstan and Korea
The Marianas Visitors Authority promoted the Northern Mariana Islands at the Pacific Asia Travel Association Travel Mart held in Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan from Sept. 18 to Sept. 20. During a series of meetings, MVA Managing Director Priscilla M. Iakopo and a marketing delegation promoted the NMI to Asian and European markets. The PATA Travel Mart is the Asia-Pacific region’s international travel trade exhibition, which provides networking and contracting opportunities for travel and tourism organizations. Additionally, MVA also attended the Mode Tour International Travel Mart held in Seoul, Korea from Sept. 5 to Sept. 8.
MPLT chairman receives accreditation
Martin B. Ada, chairman of the Marianas Public Land Trust, was accredited as an investment fiduciary analyst by the Center for Fiduciary Studies in September. The training program includes an exam, which is supervised by a proctor, and agreement to abide by the code of ethics and conduct standards.
GDOE teacher receives award from UOG
The University of Guam’s College of Natural and Applied Sciences Cooperative Extension & Outreach presented Lali Thundiyil, a teacher, the 2019 Friend of Extension award on Sept. 19 at the Dusit Thani Guam Resort. Thundiyil has been a Guam Department of Education science teacher at F.B. Leon Guerrero Middle School for more than 21 years. He also volunteers as a club advisor for the UOG 4-H Youth Development Program.
Guam diver wins award in photography contest
Michael S. Fusco, scuba instructor of the Micronesia Divers Association Guam Chapter and photographer, won a “Best in Class” award, for a DSLR mirrorless camera in his submission to the 13th annual Manta Fest Photo Festival. Fusco’s photo showed reef blacktip sharks close to the ocean’s surface. The event was held in Colonia, Yap from Aug. 24 to Sept. 8.
UOG releases revised novel about WWII experience
The University of Guam Press released a revised edition of Author Chris Perez Howard’s book “Mariquita – Revisited” at a book signing event on Sept. 25. The event was held at the University of Guam Richard F. Taitano Micronesian Area Research Center. The first edition, “Mariquita,” was published in 1982 and chronicles Howard’s mother’s life on Guam before, during and after World War II. The revised edition includes letters written by Howard’s parents and grandmother, as well as photos from his family’s collection and the UOG MARC.
His book is available for purchase at the UOG Triton Bookstore, Amazon and local bookstores.
Dela Cruz becomes border patrol officer
Kimberly Dela Cruz, a University of Guam alumna, graduated from the United States Customs & Border Protection Field Operations Academy in Glynco, Ga. after an 89-day program on Aug. 22. Dela Cruz was certified as a customs and border protection officer and accepted a job at the Antonio B. Won Pat International Airport Authority. She graduated from the University of Guam with a 2016 bachelor’s in criminal justice and a 2018 master’s in public administration.
Quidachay impresses judges on TV singing show
Shane Quidachay, who has familial ties to Guam, won over four judges during his audition on the TV singing show “The Voice,” which premiered its 17th season on Sept 23. Quidachay sang Chris Stapleton’s version of Tennessee Whiskey and chose Kelly Clarkson, a singer, as his vocal coach for the competition. He currently lives in Sacramento, Calif.
NMI featured in Korean version of dive app
The Marianas Visitors Authority released its Marianas Dive Map app in August, which shows popular and hidden dive spots in Saipan, Rota, Tinian and Aguiguan. The dive map app is the first to feature the Northern Mariana Islands in the Korean language. The app also provides additional features, such as:
- Information on the current weather and tides in real-time.
- A checklist on essential items to bring.
- The ability to download printable documents prior to arrival.
- A list of current dive shops in the NMI with contact information and physical addresses.
Marianas Dive Map is available as a free download for Apple and Samsung device owners.