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 and three Chamber Coordinators.
President: Velma Ann M. Palacios
Director of Network Operations
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.
Vice President: Ron Smith
Secretary: Kevin McCale
Account Executive - Business Sales
Treasurer: Michael S. Johnson
Deloitte and Touche
Office Managing Partner, Saipan
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.
Director: Donna Krum
Friends First Marketing
Donna Krum is the President of Friends First Marketing, Inc. The company's expertise is in bringing new patients to the dental community, and is also the Plan Administrator for The Island Smiles Discount Dental Plan.
"Dental Donna" is full of enthusiasm when promoting membership in the Saipan Chamber of Commerce! She became involved with the Chamber in Colorado Springs, Colorado in 2009 and experienced record growth of her dental company in just one year because of her Chamber relationships. She never missed a meeting or a training, and was selected to be a Chamber Ambassador because of her involvement in the Chamber Community. She is a huge cheerleader for Chamber membership and believes that any business that is serious about its success needs to join the Chamber and keep "showing up"! She believes that people want to do business with those they "know, like and trust", and Chamber involvement really helps businesses in that arena.
Donna has enjoyed two very separate career paths. She spent fifteen years climbing the corporate ladder, becoming a Vice President with one of the top 10 insurance brokerage firms in the world, Aon Insurance. Along that path, she earned the coveted CPCU designation, which is the highest educational degree in the Property/Casualty insurance industry.
Upon meeting her dentist husband, Nelson, she left the insurance world and learned everything she could about managing and marketing for dental practices. In her Regional Marketing position with a national dental management company, she was recognized nationally for her marketing skills and putting "butts in the seat" to grow dental practices. Because of her involvement with the Chamber, one of her offices became the first $ 1,000,000 dental practice in the region. Quality dentistry changed Donna's life many years ago, and she is passionate about promoting the profession. She believes that dental health and a beautiful smile are very important in a business person's life.
In addition to being a Chamber Board member, Donna is also the Co-leader of the Saipan Compassionate Friends group, Secretary of the NMI Soroptimist Group, and serves is the co-chair of the Chamber’s Small Business Committee. She is also an active mentor for the Chamber’s Saipan Young Professionals
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 Sablan
Vice President, Tan Holdings Corporation
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: Tyrell Pauling
Hyatt Regency Saipan
Food & Beverage Director
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: Alex Youn
Owner, AC Pacific: I LOVE SAIPAN
Executive Director: Jill Arenovski
Saipan Chamber Of Commerce
Jill Arenovski is currently the Executive Director of the Saipan Chamber of Commerce, President of Soroptimist International of Northern Mariana Islands, and Treasurer of NMI Crime Stoppers. She is devoted to making the Island of Saipan a better place to live for all--through the success of the business community, through empowering women through education, and through increasing awareness of our collective power to stop crime. Jill also runs a stamping business and teaches monthly classes on memory keeping and card making. She has lived in the Marianas for 23 years, is married, and has two daughters.