Saipan Chamber of Commerce
Founding Fathers of the Saipan Chamber of Commerce
The Saipan Chamber of Commerce is a non-profit organization whose mission is to empower our enterprises as a resource, advocate, and connector for Saipan’s private sector.
Our vision is to create an island where businesses, family, and community succeed as one.
Brief History of the Saipan Chamber
The Saipan Chamber of Commerce started even before the political status of the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) was defined in 1978. Towards the end of 1959, a group of entrepreneurial businessmen got together to form a loose association of businesses. Back in the 1950's the population of Saipan was still very small, there were hardly any cars on the island, no resort hotels, no traffic lights. But what the islands did have was the spirit to move forward and use business to bring prosperity and a diversity of services to the people who live here.
In 1959, Jose C. Tenorio, also known as Joeten, became the first President of the Saipan Chamber of Commerce. Many of the initial meetings were held in lateral quonset huts and at the former Saipan and Royal Taga Hotels. Back then there were different challenges that the organization faced. For example, Joeten represented the Chambers interests during the political negotiation and transition period from Trust Territory to Commonwealth status with the United States of America. The Chamber was then officially incorporated in 1976, two years before the islands became an official Commonwealth of the United States.
Today the Saipan Chamber of Commerce has 142 members ranging from sole-proprietors to large resort hotels, service companies, tour agencies, insurance firms to construction companies. The diversity of our membership reflects the diversity of the people of the Commonwealth.