The 2007 gala will take place on April 14 at the Hilton Guam Resort & Spa. For tickets contact the University of Guam Endowment Foundation at 735-2955. Funds raised support scholarships at the University.


Laura-Lynn V. Dacanay
Senior vice president and Guam/CNMI region manager First Hawaiian Bank.

"The First Hawaiian Bank and Guam Business Business-woman of the Year program provides the businesswomen in our community recognition for their contributions not only to their businesses but also to the community overall. It is a way to raise the bar for how we look at women in business. The recipient should be a great leader who has made a difference in the lives of her staff and peers through their association as well as an impact in the community. The Businesswoman of the Year should be someone who will stand behind what she believes in."


Maureen N. Maratita
Publisher Glimpses Publications.

"There’s a lot of planning behind the award. The Marianas didn’t have a Businesswoman of the Year program prior to this and I knew other countries and states in the U.S. did. I actually had a draft on a shelf of how one might work here but it’s also a question of the right sponsor and ongoing commitment. When Laura-Lynn [Dacanay] called me with the invitation of becoming the bank partner for this program I immediately said yes. I’m delighted another successful businesswoman will get such recognition. The community is thrilled about this program and the support has been outstanding."


Kathy Calvo Sgro
Executive vice president and chairman of the board Pay-Less Markets Inc. and president and chairman of the board Pay-Less Community Foundation Inc.; 2006 First Hawaiian Bank and Guam Business Businesswoman of the Year

"The program honors and recognizes businesswomen in the community and empowers and encourages other women to "raise their bar" and aspire to higher levels of achievement. This creates great networking opportunities by profiling women in the community. As the first recipient of this award I was extremely grateful for the opportunity to share my experiences and reflect on my journey. Oftentimes women take for granted the many roles that we lead in our lives and in the lives of our families "" mother spouse caregiver to parents manager community volunteer and others. By nature women are nurturers who work to ensure the viability of everyone else and don’t make time to salute their own accomplishments. This venue accomplishes that means."


Nita Jeanette "Jean" Peralta Cepeda
Owner Injeanious; district assistant governor Rotary Club of Tumon Bay.

"I believe this program benefits businesswomen in our region by giving them hope and confidence. By seeing their peers succeed especially in male-dominant careers women can follow in the footsteps of success. The recipient should possess a balanced life: family career community church; a sense of humor to laugh off the small stuff; and a vision of where she wants to be. Everything else such as education drive ambition and energy "" they all come into play."


Rena K. Borja
Former president of the Guam Council of Women’s Clubs; real estate agent At Home Realty

"The Business-woman of the Year program gives women in the business community their own recognition of a job well done as they juggle being the center of the home but are very important in their careers. The recipient should possess all around qualities. She must contribute to the community personally and professionally work hard at achieving their status in business not just being handed over the business from family but make their own mark. The Businesswoman of the Year can be a mother and still be a strong force in the workplace. She overcomes obstacles to get where she needs to be."


Setsuko Otake
President Japan Women’s Club; board member Guam Council of Women’s Clubs; board member Japan Club of Guam; executive committee member Guam Women’s Club

"This program will definitely send a strong and positive message to all businesswomen and encourage their desire to become well-meaning respectable members of a business community and allow for a focused determination toward career goals. Qualities that the Businesswoman of the Year should possess are creativity accountability and certainly financial responsibility."


Joan M. Kang
President Korean Women’s Association of Guam; assistant manager of housekeeping Hyatt Regency Guam

"This program helps encourage businesswomen to excel in their leadership be an inspirational source for other women and to appreciate and recognize their achievements. A recipient’s strengths should include perseverance assertiveness leadership good communication skills and good character."


Marian Aldan-Pierce
Division president DFS Saipan Ltd.; 2000 Guam Business Executive of the Year

"This program highlights women from all walks of life who have accomplishments worth noting. I feel that this is equally beneficial to young adults because of the various backgrounds of the candidates. Young adults will learn that anything is possible if one sets one’s mind to do something. They will look up to these women and adopt a "˜can do’ attitude that will take them a long way in life. The Businesswoman of the Year should be someone who is fair is passionate about her beliefs and is looked upon as a role model for the community at large. She should be willing to be a mentor to young adults in high school and in college."


Doris Flores Brooks
Public auditor for Guam; 1986 Guam Business Executive of the Year

"The Business-woman of the Year award recognizes that women have broken through the "˜glass ceilings’ and can successfully compete in the business world. The program serves to elevate women who have applied their intelligence education drive and determination to make their dreams a reality in the business world. As a recipient the First Hawaiian Bank Guam Business Businesswoman of the Year is first and foremost true to herself. She understands who she is and how her business acumen expertise and professional contributions serve to enhance the growth and development of her island’s business community. She recognizes her responsibility to perpetuate the highest standards of integrity moral character and ethical behavior in her daily professional and personal life. She is an accomplished woman who is honored to mentor young women entering the business world by using her distinguished career achievements to prove that education hard work and unrelenting determination do pay off."


Jillette Leon-Guerrero
President Guam Women’s Club

"This program provides an opportunity to recognize the role that businesswomen have played in the region. In Guam women have always played a major role in decision-making and in community affairs due to the matrilineal society and the strategic location of the island. Women in Guam have had the opportunity to obtain education and experience in a world marketplace yet retain the values of family and community. This program provides an opportunity for the "˜cream of the crop’ to be recognized by their peers and the community at large."


Elisabeth T. H. Cruz
President Soroptimist International of the Marianas; director Office of Community Integration at the Office of Gov. Felix P. Camacho; legal counsel for Gov. Felix P. Camacho

"In many professions women are still not moving up the corporate ladder as quickly as their male counterparts. This program showcases the variety of professions industries and organizations these businesswomen in our region are involved in and their stories of family friends struggles and successes. It also provides an excellent role model for women. As a judge I am looking for someone that is assertive conveys a "˜presence’ when they enter a room and is straightforward yet well mannered and diplomatic. I feel she should be a problem solver a person that sees an obstacle as a challenge not a hurdle; a person that is able to find her balance to make a difference in their various roles; a person that reaches out to others tries to bring out the best in people around her can put people at ease and gives back to the community either at the island or regional level."


Nita Baldovino
Former president Filipino Community of Guam; owner Rambie’s Restaurant Chain

The Filipino Community of Guam is the umbrella organization of more than 60 Filipino groups on Guam. It is dedicated to the welfare of the island and helping those in need of it. Baldovino has spearheaded numerous relief programs including partnering with major Guam businesses to maximize the organization’s efforts. She is proud and honored to be a judge for the prestigious businesswomen again this year. MBJ