While the competition was stiff David M. Sablan waltzed ahead of nine other leaders of the business community in the Mariana Islands to be named 2005 Guam Business Executive of the Year.

Sablan is president of Century Insurance Century Travel and Century Tours vice president of Asia Pacific Hotels and a director of TakeCare. He has a distinguished business history in both Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands beginning his career at Atkins Kroll in Guam in 1952 and rising to president and chief executive officer and then chairman of the board.

Community service has included membership and presidencies of the Rotary Club of Guam and the Saipan Rotary Club. He is a Paul Harris Fellow of Rotary International and also served as president of the U.S. Navy League on Guam. He is presently a board member of the Saipan Chamber of Commerce and its triple past president. Sablan was appointed by President Ronald Reagan to serve on the Commission on Federal Law. He also served as the state chairman of the Employer Support for the Guard and Reserve.

NMI government appointments have included appointments on the Governor’s Economic Advisory Council the Aviation Task Force for the Northern Mariana Islands the Strategic Economic Development Council and the Marianas Visitors Authority where he has been a board member since 1976. He is MVA’s most recent past chairman and serves as a board member of the Pacific Asia Travel Association.

He is recognized as a founder of Micronesia’s tourism industry as the founder president and part owner of Pacific Micronesia Corp. which established the Saipan Beach Intercontinental Hotel where Fiesta Resort and Spa Saipan now stands. Companies he founded include Tasi Tours in 1976; he was its president and part owner until 1985.

In April 2005 Sablan had a heart attack that shook the business community. His wife Rita Castro Sablan said “He was a fighter and thank goodness he came out of it alright. I thought that the heart attack would slow him down but it actually had the opposite effect.” Sablan has nine children: David Jr. Victoria Patricia Steven David Shirley Jospeh Gerald and Dianna.

Gov. Felix P. Camacho named Sablan before a packed ballroom at the Hilton Guam Resort & Spa. The theme of the evening “Dancing with the Stars ” entertained an audience of almost 400. As with previous Executive of the Year galas the event was a major fundraiser for the Guam chapter of the American Red Cross.

Sablan whose portrait graces the cover of the First Quarter 2006 Guam Business said after the event “I want to extend my si yu’os ma’ase’ to all the previous winners for the support. To my colleagues — the nominees — I appreciate the friendly gestures shown to me during the entire program.” MBJ