Guam Business Magazine announces 2021 Executive of the Year nominees

The six nominees for 2021 Guam Business Magazine Executive of the Year are:

Espaldon Jr.

Ernesto V. “Jun” Espaldon Jr., President of Quick Services Foods Inc., which does business as Wendy’s and Cold Stone Creamery

Johnston Jr.

Herbert J. Johnston Jr., Education Director, GCA Trades Academy and President, Guam Association for Career & Technical Education

Thomas W. Krise, President of the University of Guam, Chairman of the Research Corporation of UOG and Executive Secretary of the UOG Endowment Foundation


Dr. Hoa V. Nguyen, Co-Founder, American Medical Center

Nick Song, President of Haevichi Hospitality Guam Inc., which does business as the Westin Resort Guam


Edward G. Untalan, Executive Vice President and Retail Banking Region Manager for the Guam and CNMI region of First Hawaiian Bank

The winner will be revealed at the May 7 Executive of the Year reception at the Hyatt Regency Guam, together with the release of the May-June issue of Guam Business Magazine, which will feature the awardee on the cover.


Since 1983, the title of Executive of the Year has been awarded annually, recognizing executives who have made outstanding contributions to the business communities of Micronesia, have raised the bar in their fields and are considerably involved in the community.


Due to COVID-19, no award was made last year.

However, Guam Business Magazine, the Executives of the Year and supporters of the program awarded checks in January 2021 through the “Guam Business Magazine New Year, New Hope Initiative” to five non-profits that operate in Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands, for a total of $20,500 in donations.  Guam Business Magazine is a sister publication to the Journal.


Labor stats and efforts:

The U.S. Department of Labor released April 1 employment figures for March.

Average hourly earnings for all employees “on private nonfarm payrolls rose by 13¢. to $31.73 in March.” In the past 12 months, average hourly earnings have increased by 5.6%. In March, average hourly earnings of private sector production and nonsupervisory employees rose by 11¢. to $27.06. Employment in construction continued to trend up in March (+19,000) and has returned to its February 2020 level.

Grant Thornton LLP released April 7 a survey of more than 5,000 full-time employees, which showed that 29% of employees are actively looking for a new job, with 21% switching jobs in the last 12 months.

The top reasons workers took a new job were “base pay, work-life balance, opportunities for advancement, benefits and greater autonomy,” according to Grant Thornton. More than one-third (34%) said their new job offered a better ability to “balance work and personal commitments — while 40% said they left their job for a company that offered them a raise of 10% or greater.” Within that group, 13% said they received a salary increase of 20% or more.

Find the U.S. DOL report at

Find the Grant Thornton report at,according%20to%20the%20latest%20data.

The average gross weekly wage for non-supervisory staff in Guam was $571.17 as at September 2021 (the latest figures available), an increase of 5.6% compared to a year prior, according to the Guam Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Find the report here


Congressional update on data efforts:

Michael F.Q. San Nicolas, Guam’s delegate to Congress and Gregorio “Kilili” Camacho Sablan – together with the representatives of Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands and American Samoa and Chair Raul M. Grijalva of the Natural Resources Committee “sent a request last week to the U.S. Government Accountability Office to examine gaps in federal agency data collection for the territories. The request also asks GAO to determine the impact of those gaps on federal funding for the territories and to make policy recommendations,” according to an April 12 release. The letter said “that shortcomings in federal agency’s data collection efforts for the U.S. territories have already had long-term impacts. Without reliable population, economic, labor force and agricultural data, the territories have been underfunded and underrepresented in certain federal programs. Complicating data collection efforts further, GAO reported last year that natural disasters, which have been especially devastating in the U.S. Territories, and the COVID-19 pandemic created additional obstacles for data collection during the 2020 Census.”


And also …

The Los Angeles-class fast-attack submarine USS Annapolis is now officially homeported in Guam – making five submarines homeported on the island.

The $42 billion Restaurant Revitalization Replenishment Act of 2021 still has to pass the Senate, before 208 Guam businesses and 107 businesses in the Northern Mariana Islands can receive funding. The bill also provides $13 billion for a Hard Hit Industries program.

The Government of Guam has paid out more than $1 million in $300 allocations to 3,350 eligible households to “help offset the impacts of rising costs in fuel and other goods,” according to an April 12 release from the Office of the Governor. Recipients who opted for direct deposit will receive a notification via postal mail. 

In other news related to disbursements, the Guam Educational Telecommunication Corp., which does business as PBS Guam received $500,000 worth of production equipment on April 8. “The equipment is intended to upgrade the PBS studio and meet Federal Communications Commission guidelines and was procured through a Department of Interior Technical Assistant grant award with assistance from the Guam State Clearinghouse,” according to an April 11 release from the Office of the Governor.

Second booster doses are now available in the Federated States of Micronesia, according to an April 11 release from the Office of the President.

The Guam Chapter of the Society for Human Resource Management announced that in-person meetings will resume in May.

To become a member, visit the chapter’s website at or contact SHRM Guam by email at [email protected]mbj