Chamber Leadership

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2018-2019 Saipan Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors


President Velma Ann Palacios 

Velma Ann Palacios is the Director of Network Operations at IT&E, CNMI.  Velma began her career at IT&E in 1999 when it was known as Verizon.  Throughout the years, she has held various positions in the company and has been the Engineering Manager since 2006.  Prior to joining IT&E, Velma was employed by the CNMI Government as an Engineer.  She also taught math for NMC’s Adult Basic Education Program as an adjunct faculty member.

Velma has served the community in various capacities:  judging forensics competitions, debates, science fairs, and other educational events and mentoring high school students.  She served as a member of different organizations and boards, such as the Commonwealth Utilities Corporation, Kagman Komunidat Association, Mount Carmel School to name a few.  She is presently the Chairperson of the Kagman Community Health Center Board of Directors and Treasurer of the Board of Directors of Brilliant Star School. 

Velma graduated from Marquette University, Milwaukee Wisconsin with a B.S. in Engineering.  She also graduated from Hawaii Pacific University, Honolulu, Hawaii, with an MBA. Velma has three children: RyAnne, Puti’on and Paul William-II.

Vice-President Joe Guerrero 

Treasurer Michael Johnson

Mike is the Office Managing Partner of Deloitte in Saipan and is a long-time resident of Saipan.

Mike came to Saipan in 1982 after earning Masters of Business Administration (emphasis in accounting) and Bachelor of Arts degrees at the University of Colorado in Boulder. He is a certified public accountant, a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, a member of the CNMI Society of Certified Public Accountants and current President of the CNMI Chapter of the Association of Government Accountants. Additionally, Mike was selected by Bishop Camacho to serve on the financial advisory committee of the Diocese of Chalan Kanoa, is a past Chairman of the CNMI Board of Accountancy and a past Treasurer of the Saipan Chamber of Commerce.

Mike is married to Betty Hamilton Johnson. They have three children, Kathleen, Sarah and Andrew. Mike participates in various sports including golf, kayaking, biking and triathlon. Mike is the current treasurer of the Northern Mariana Islands Triathlon Federation and the Over the Reef Yacht Club.

Secretary Tyrell Pauling 

Tyrell Pauling attended the Art Institute of Colorado earning his Bachelor’s degree in Culinary Management in December of 2003. His passion for food would soon take him across the world. He took a leadership position with Hyatt Hotel Canberra in Australia as a Chef and in the front of house operations as a manager at the hotel and Parliament House from 2004-2009. Tyrell later moved onto working at the Hyatt Regency Perth and Royal Perth Yacht Club as an Assistant Director of Food and Beverage from 2009-2013. His love for his work and eagerness for adventure brought him to the beautiful Saipan shortly after.

Today, Tyrell is the Director of Food and Beverage at Hyatt Regency Saipan. He is also the Program Director for Culinary Arts at the Northern Marianas Trades Institute. He was a key player in developing curriculum involved in the design, execution, and development of a modern Culinary Arts lab.

Tyrell has contributed tremendously to our community. He currently sits on the Advisory Board for the CNMI Salvation Army, he is on the Steering Committee for CARE CNMI, he was the Saipan Young Professionals Co-Chair in 2016, and is a representative of Hyatt Regency Saipan to the Saipan Chamber of Commerce where he is actively involved in the Government Relations Committee, Education Committee, and Saipan Young Professionals Committee. 

Director Perry Inos, Jr. 

Triple J recruited Mr. Inos in May of 2015.  Since then, he has been heavily involved with current and new business developments of Triple J at the developer level of the company.  He has the great privilege to be working for and along side the Founder and Chairman of Triple J, Mr. Robert H. Jones.

In 2012, Mr. Inos became inducted as a member of the Rotary Club of Saipan and a member of the Saipan Chamber of Commerce. At the age of 28, he received recognition as being the top 40 under 40 in the Guam Business Magazine and the Beach Road Magazine as being one of the top young professionals of his generation.

Prior to joining Triple J, he was the Department of Commerce's Director of Small Business Development Center of the Economic Development Office as certified international business advisor, certified export advisor, and certified business trainer. Also, Mr. Inos was the former Director of the Central Statistics Division at the Department of Commerce. Prior to that he worked at the Northern Marianas College as the Book Store Manager, Program Manager for Student Activities and Leadership, and Program Manager for the Office of Institutional Effectiveness.

Director Alex A. Sablan

Alex has been involved with the Chamber for nearly 20 years.

Alex was the Chamber Representative for the regional Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) forum with Guam delegates and has served as Chairman of both the Government Relations and Economic Development Committee (GREL) and the Events Committee.

Alex is or has served as a Chairman or Board Member for the following organizations: member, Commonwealth Cancer Association; member, Guam Chamber of Commerce Maritime Affairs Committee; member, Board of Directors for the Hotel Association of the Northern Mariana Islands (HANMI); member, Advisory Board for the CNMI Public Radio KRNM 88/89.1 FM; Chairman for the Past Presidents Council of the Rotary Club of Saipan; President for the Association of Seaport Tenants and Operators of Saipan, Inc. (ASTOSI); and board member of the CNMI Contractors Association.

He also previously served as the CNMI representative to the American Cancer Society Guam/CNMI Presence Unit Board of Directors; Chairman, 2000 American Cancer Society Relay for Life Event; President, Rotary Club of Saipan; board member, Rotary Club of Saipan; and Member of the Kagman Komunidat Association.

For the past fifteen years, Alex has held management positions in the transportation industry in Saipan and Guam. He currently works at the Saipan Shipping Company as its Marketing/Administration Manager. Prior to this, he was an owner’s representative for a multi-diversified transportation company: heading Seabridge Micronesia as Managing Director; Pacific Air Inc., General Sales Agent for Northwest Airlines Passenger and Cargo Sales, as General Manager-Saipan and Micronesia; and Saipan Crew Boats and Saipan Pilots, as General Manager. Alex has also been the General Manager of Ambyth Shipping in Saipan. Alex has three children Amanda, Kanani, and Sean.

Director Shayne Villanueva 

 Shayne Villanueva was born and raised in Saipan and Alumni of Mt. Carmel School.  Leaving island in 2001 bound for San Diego, CA. where he began his career in the sales industry. After several years in vacation sales he transitioned into Insurance broker lines and has established 10+ years in the industry. Through his passion for sales and marketing he developed a company to represent his heritage and culture and that is how Roil Soil Clothing came to in May of 2015. Traveling back to the islands in 2015 with headlining artist Fiji to promote an island concert he realized the need for more representation in the markets in the US and locally for a CNMI brand. After two years of tours and festival retail selling Roil Soil began to develop a name in the western states of the US along with Hawaii, Guam and CNMI. With this growth in Sept 2016 Shayne moved back to Saipan to develop his company and broaden its horizon. Partnering with local Artist Peter Aldan, Kagman High School Art Teacher they have create a unique company. Although working fulltime as Operation Manager for Aon insurance, Shayne utilizes his off hours during the nights and weekends to develop his business and outreach into the community. The company’s main focus is not only to develop the retail shop for clothing but to insure that they make a direct impact on the community through their hosted events. Joining SYP in June 2017 Shayne has been an active member and along with his partner Peter have dug roots into the local community to support charities/movements such as Autism fundraising for local children raising $7,500, Typhoon Soudelor fundraising amounting in over $40,000 in dry good and cash support, MINA’s gala awareness through their BeerLympics and Country Boil Dinner and Operation Oktoberfest 2017 benefitting CNMI’s Veterans.  Shayne is a strong advocate of utilizing local business and creating an avenue for businesses to grow together. Shayne was also awarded the Bank of Hawaii Grant for small businesses in Sept 2017 to help continue the mission of Roil Soil. Shayne is a passionate, funny and driven gentleman who always places his community, friends and family as top priority.

Director Marcia Calvo 

Director Janel Pangelinan

Executive Director Maxine Laszlo

Maxine Laszlo is currently the Executive Director of the Saipan Chamber of Commerce. Laszlo holds a Masters Degree in Public Affairs concentrating in Nonprofit Mangement and Policy Analysis.

Most recently, she served as the second Executive Director of the Commonwealth Advocates for Recovery Efforts (CARE), a $3M cross-sector collaboration that assisted families with unmet rebuilding needs from Typhoon Soudelor.

Laszlo also currently serves as the PIO of the Marianas Alliance for Non-Government Organizations (MANGO) and the Vice-Chair of the Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (VOAD).

From L-R: Chamber Engagement Administrator Mercilynn Kaneshi Palec, Marketing and Membership Coordinator Noelani McMahon, Executive Director Maxine Laszlo, and Financial and Data Management Coordinator Surina Reyes

A nine member Board of Directors governs the Chamber. The general membership elects members to the Board annually to serve for terms of one calendar year for officers, and staggered two calendar year terms for directors.  Elections are held every November for new Directors of the Saipan Chamber of Commerce. Member votes are apportioned according to their annual membership dues contribution. Members of the Chamber who have served on the Board of Directors for at least one year are eligible to run for the position of President. Potential board members are invited to accept nominations, and are qualified by participation in Chamber activities and committees.

The Saipan Chamber of Commerce is managed by an Executive Director, an Administrator, and two Chamber Coordinators.