First Hawaiian Bank and Guam Business present the 2nd Annual Businesswoman of the Year Maga’haga Award. In this installment we present six of the esteemed nominees vying for the title as 2007’s recipient. They are"¦

Name: Lucy M. Alcorn
Job Title/Company:
President and chief executive officer of the Global Food Services Group.
Age: 45
Family: Husband David A. Alcorn; and children Dereck 25; Cassy 18; and and Nick 14.

Biggest challenge as a woman in business: "There are many different challenges a woman faces in the business arena however I feel that garnering the respect as a businesswoman was a significant challenge and I continue to make great strides in overcoming it."

Biggest accomplishments in the last year: "I was the 2007 Small Business Person of the Year a board director for the Guam Chamber of Commerce and a member of the Chamber’s Armed Forces Committee; the Guam Hotel & Restaurant Association; the Guam Contractors Association; and a member of the Father Duenas Memorial High School Advisory Board. I was also a guest speaker at the Small Business Administration’s Veterans Seminar and for Soroptimist International Marianas."

Since its inception in 2003 GFS focused on the management of the Navy Family and Bachelor Housing Program Morale Welfare and Recreation programs and food services including the DODEA School Lunch program. Under her leadership GFS has grown its number of employees showed exceptional financial performance and contributed to many community-oriented projects.

Name: Donna Ysrael Baker
Job Title/Company:
Authorized representative and designer for Tanota Partners; president of Dizzy Inc. which does business as DNA DNA Evolution Splash Guam and Pure Design.
Age: 39
Family: Husband Jude Baker; and children Dylan Orion Ysrael Baker 10 months; and Kylie Alexandra Ysrael Baker 6 months.

Biggest challenge as a woman in business: "Like many women I work in a field dominated by men so it has been challenging. I was raised to believe that I was equal so when I walk on to a job site I know I need to be direct and confident in my knowledge and abilities. Some people are surprised about my assertiveness (that is putting it nicely) but when men act the same way nobody gives it a second thought.

"When I was running the construction of my first building for Tanota Partners in California back in 1991 they had to make a special rule for all the construction workers on the job site. The foreman gave me a special hard hat that said "Boss Lady" on it. All the workers were instructed not to whistle or make stereotypical comments to me. It was very funny. I just never thought of myself more different than a man in the work force so I guess I don’t get caught up in the idea that I have to act any differently."

Biggest accomplishments in the last year: "The year 2006 was a very full one. In Dizzy Inc we doubled the size of our retail operation. At Tanota we brought some new life to Tumon with the redesign of our Phase I of the Plaza. The façade update brought an urban city feel to Pleasure Island. At home we had two children which of course was the greatest part of 2006 after trying to have kids for more than seven years. After our battle with cancer we just felt so blessed in 2006."

Name: Christine Ann Won Pat Baleto
Job Title/Company:
General manager of Market Wholesale Distributors Inc.
Age: 37
Family: Husband Joey Terlaje Cruz; and children Andria Dominique Cruz 15; Juliana Christine Cruz 12; and Napu Frank Cruz 4.

Biggest challenge as a woman in business: "I still feel that many women face challenges with discrimination and sexual harassment in the business community. There are still male executives that dismiss a woman’s opinion or appear to be humoring her but do not actually respect the value she brings to the table. I also feel that "˜flirting’ in a business setting is a sign of disrespect towards women. I believe that comments relative to a woman’s appearance or personal traits should be reserved for social settings and not in the business environment."

Biggest accomplishments in the last year: "Relative to community I am most proud of the work that I did at Sanctuary. For most of Sanctuary’s history the leader of the organization was someone with strong programmatic development skills. The board of directors took a chance with appointing someone whose strength was in accounting/finance. In my tenure as executive director I was able to stabilize Sanctuary’s finances producing a $17 000 private surplus by the end of my tenure. I created Sanctuary’s first ever endowment fund with $300 000 along with an approximate valued $200 000 home donated by Atty. David Lujan. In addition to this I oversaw the financing and construction of a 2.8 million dollar facility that had been on Sanctuary’s strategic plan for over 15 years. I continue to be active in different community projects but have supported staff that is the driving force in accomplishing goals. In the profit sector winning the Kraft Distributor Award for Excellence. I also felt it was a great accomplishment to provide a sense of confidence for the owner of the company I work for. I was very proud when Jerry Calvo president of Market Wholesale called and advised me that he was very pleased with the work that I am doing and for the first time in a long time he had a great sense of comfort in knowing that I was taking care of things."

Name: Kathryn H. Barry
Job Title/Company:
Regional marketing manager for Pacific Telecom Inc.
Age: 40
Family: Husband Jim Barry; and children Chris 12; and Bo 11.

Biggest challenge as a woman in business: "At times aggressiveness in business by a woman can be thought of as negative behavior while being deemed as positive and even important for a man. I have to quickly assess situations and react accordingly. Perception is reality to the other person and it’s important to me that their reality is positive. You will never close the deal if the other person is not listening.

"It can also be a struggle to balance everything "" mother wife friend volunteer executive and the occasional workout at Curves. My life is sometimes overflowing but I would not have it any other way."

Biggest accomplishments in the last year: "As the sales and marketing director for Coca-Cola/Foremost I was most proud of my part in the resumption of the plant tours at the Foremost production facility in Guam. Our team worked hard to showcase the brand and our products through the tour. It’s educational interesting and most of all fun. How can ice cream not bring a smile to your face? Honestly it allowed me to combine my love of education marketing and community service. I feel it created a closer bond between the company and the community.

"When I started at PTI the company had been without a marketing manager for almost a year. On my first day I learned that PTI’s first anniversary was 10 days away and planning had been minimal. By the end of the day I had developed a concept and plan of action with my new team and we were already moving forward to execute it. We had an extremely successful weeklong birthday celebration and the momentum has continued into 2007.

As a board member of the Make-A-Wish Foundation Barry raised awareness of the organization using her community contacts to help complete wishes. Most recently I coordinated a wish in Tinian that did not require the executive director to fly to the CNMI. This was a first for the CNMI and I’m proud that I was able to do this. It saved the organization money that now can be used for future wishes.

"I am very much a team player. My accomplishments must be shared with my team because without them success would not be possible."

Name: AnnMarie T. Muna
Job Title/Company:
President and general manager of AM Insurance
Age: 46

Biggest challenge as a woman in business: "Even though there are many women in the insurance industry on Guam you will find that at the very top levels of management it is still very much male dominated. It was a challenge gaining the respect of my male counter-parts.

"Being very skilled in the technical aspects of the industry was the key in succeeding. Lots of self-study off-island training and networking were necessary to get ahead."

Biggest accomplishments in the last year: "I helped launch a new foundation the SCID Kids Foundation in an effort to increase awareness and provide financial support for those diagnosed with Severe Combined Immunodeficiency. SCID is a group of very rare life-threatening diseases that are present at birth. The disease causes the child to have very little or no immune system. As a result the child’s body is unable to fight off infections. This disease process is also known as the "boy in the bubble" syndrome because living in the normal environment can prove fatal to these children."

Business wise Muna’s specialty in risk management analysis and loss control insurance includes international training in energy bonds and liens and aviation insurance. Under her leadership AM Insurance has experienced steady growth working with the motto "Take care of your employees and your employees will take care of you."

Name: Candy Chou Okuhama
Job Title/Company:
Sales and marketing manager for Dewitt Moving and Storage
Age: 39
Family: Children David 10; and Derek 7.

Biggest challenge as a woman in business: "Being a woman in a male-dominated transportation industry is quite a feat in itself. I find that the challenge lies more with being able to balance home life my two boys and work."

Biggest accomplishments in the last year: "I actively participated with the following organizations: American Cancer Society-Relay for Life Rotary Club of Guam-Christmas Drop. This past year I focused my attention on building our records management business and expanding it. We offer a total solution to manage records information and document destruction to address the specific needs to businesses with a keen eye on reducing costs and risks while improving accessibility and ensuring regulatory compliance.

"As a sales manager for the leading moving company on island I take great pride in the services we provide to gain people’s trust from moving high-price antiques to grandmother’s china and things with sentimental value. Our commitment to quality service in everything we do will never change as we look to the future and the growth of our company."MBJ