Nominate a deserving regional executive

Nominations are open for the prestigious Guam Business Magazine 2022 Executive of the Year. Find the fillable form on

Nominees will be honored on Saturday, Feb. 11, 2023 with the awardee announced at the event at the Hyatt Regency Guam.

The Executive of the Year is a person noted for “success and reputation in the business community, business creativity and entrepreneurship, leadership ability, business expansion and community involvement.”

The event will be the 40th anniversary of the program.


Wages recovered by US DOL from Guam company

The U.S. Department of Labor has recovered $17,164 in back wages from a federal subcontractor that denied full wages and benefits to eight workers providing pest control services at U.S. Air Force and Navy installations on Guam.

The department’s Wage and Hour Division found Pacific Pest Control Inc. of Dededo violated the McNamara-O’Hara Service Contract Act by failing to pay affected workers the correct wage rates set by federal law for their services. Instead, the employer paid lower hourly rates than those required for pest controllers and failed to fully provide their health benefits as required.

Investigators also found the employer violated the overtime pay requirements under the Contract Work Hours and Safety Standards Act when the company based overtime calculations on the lower, incorrect wage rates.

During the period of the investigation, Pacific Pest Control Inc. was working as a subcontractor for Defense Base Services Inc., an Anchorage, Alaska-headquartered company.


Federal minimum wage to increase

Effective Jan. 1, 2023, the new minimum wage rate that must generally be paid to workers performing on or in connection with contracts covered by Executive Order 14026 will be $16.20 per hour, from $15 per hour.

The required minimum cash wage that generally must be paid to tipped employees performing work on or in connection with covered contracts will increase to $13.75 per hour, from $10.50 per hour. Rates can be annually adjusted for inflation.Readers can find full details at


USDA looks to give $981 million for rural expansion; Guam recipient announced

U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced Dec. 6 that the department is investing $981.63 million “to help create new and better market opportunities and expand essential services for rural people, businesses and entrepreneurs.”

In Guam, funding of $1.84 million “will be used to assist Island CERTS Corp. in obtaining a term loan to construct a 6,000 square foot warehouse building” in Barrigada. “Island CERTS Corporation is as a woman owned, HUB certified S-Corporation which specializes in in an array of equipment and construction inspection services and certifications. This will be a new warehouse for the company, which will enable them to consolidate their operations into one facility,” USDA said.

Nancy X. Barnhouse and David A. Barnhouse are the president and CEO of Island CERTS, respectively.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture is making 242 awards through eight programs “specifically designed to create economic opportunities for people and businesses in rural areas” in Guam, the Virgin Islands and 47 U.S. states.

These programs are the Biofuel Producer Relief Payments Program, the Business and Industry Loan Guarantees, the Community Facilities Guaranteed Loan Program, the Rural Cooperative Development Grant Program, the Rural Economic Development Loan and Grant Program, the Rural Innovation Stronger Economy Grants program, the Rural Microentrepreneur Assistance Program and the Water and Waste Disposal Loan Guarantees.


Guam based-Coast Guard cutter visits Pohnpei after rescue

The crew of USCGC Frederick Hatch with students from Cavalry Christian School.
Photo by Chief Warrant Officer Sara Muir
U.S. Coast Guard Forces Micronesia/Sector Guam

As part of Operation Rematau, the crew of the Guam homeported USCGC Frederick Hatch conducted community engagements in Pohnpei, Federated States of Micronesia, from Nov. 20 to 24, according to a Dec. 8 release

The crew hosted visits from more than 80 senior students at Pohnpei Catholic School and the Cavalry Christian Academy, colleagues from the U.S. Navy Seabee detachment in Pohnpei, U.S. embassy staff and families, and members of the FSM National Police Maritime Wing. The crew also took time to experience local food and culture, dive, hike the waterfalls, and visit the ancient ruins of Nan Madol, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The community events are part of a more extensive regional patrol. The Frederick Hatch crew also conducted six at-sea boardings of fishing vessels with an FSM shiprider aboard. No major violations of applicable regulations were noted during the boardings. This activity was the first time in several years an FSM shiprider could accompany U.S. Coast Guard crews as the country resumes normal operations after limiting travel as a COVID precaution.

“We had a fisheries officer from the FSM Maritime National Police conduct boardings on vessels in the FSM Exclusive Economic Zone. It’s a great opportunity to swap stories and learn from each other, like how they view the issues we are trying to tackle when it comes to illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing. It’s a great chance to strengthen our bond with our allies and regional partners. We would like to thank Mr. Perry Tewasmal, our FSM shiprider, for coming aboard and being a Frederick Hatch crewmember,” Dreiss said.

The Frederick Hatch’s arrival to Pohnpei was ahead of schedule as they executed a medical evacuation of a 31-year-old Vietnamese fisherman from the Nauru-flagged, 69.4 meter (227 foot) purse seiner fishing vessel Ocean Galaxy 195 nautical miles (224 statute miles) south of Pohnpei.


GVB focuses on Korea market with latest off-island trip

To enhance cooperation with targeted market segments in South Korea, the Guam Visitors Bureau signed a Memorandum of Understanding with CHA University Dec. 5 and Baekseok University Dec. 7 during its end-of-the-year mission to the country. Under the MOUs, both universities have agreed to strengthen medical tourism, cultural exchange programs, and tourism-related jobs between Guam and Korea.

“CHA (private) University “specializes in world-class technology in stem cell, infertility, and reproductive medicine research that is associated with more than 60 partner hospitals. …

“Baekseok University is known for producing the most overseas employment to Guam through the Korean government’s support program known as ‘K-Move’ among universities in Korea,” GVB said in a Dec. 8 release.

The GVB delegation included Carl T.C. Gutierrez, president and CEO; Ho S. Eun, chairman of Core Tech International and chairman of the Korea Marketing Committee; Nadine Leon Guerrero, director of global marketing; Jay Park, Korea country manager; Dina Rose Hernandez, director of destination development; Margaret Sablan, marketing manager – Korea; and Nicole B. Benavente, marketing manager – Korea.

GVB hosted a “year-end appreciation event” on Dec. 6 at the Conrad Seoul. More than 160 participants attended – including airline officials, travel agents, tour operators, media, and industry partners. Prior to the main reception, GVB also held a travel mart for Guam businesses.

Businesses that participated in the travel mart and year-end event include the Baldyga Group, Crowne Plaza Resort Guam, Dusit Beach Resort Guam, Dusit Thani Guam Resort, Fish Eye Marine Park, Guam Community College, Guam USA Caravan Corp., Hilton Guam Resort & Spa, Hotel Nikko Guam, Hyatt Regency Guam, Leopalace Resort Guam, Lotte Hotel Guam, Onward Beach Resort, Onward Mangilao Golf Club & Talofofo Golf Club, Pacific Islands Club Guam, RIHGA Royal Laguna Guam Resort, Skydive Guam LLC, The BayView, The Capitol Kitchen, The Tsubaki Tower, The Westin Resort Guam, and the University of Guam.


Provider and vision center to move

The FHP Vision Center and TakeCare Insurance Co. are moving from the Baltej Pavilion to the Century Plaza in Tamuning. The Vision Center will be closed from Dec.19 to Dec. 31and will open at the new location on Jan. 3.

 Customers with an optical benefit rider on vision insurance who wish to use that benefit before the end of the year, are encouraged to come to the FHP Vision Center before Dec. 19. Alternatively, customers can use the optical benefit rider at any participating network provider until Dec. 31, 2022. Current GovGuam members can still take advantage of the 2023 optical benefit until Sept. 30, 2023. Call (671) 646-5825 for more information.

 TakeCare offices will be closed from Dec. 23 to Dec. 30. Claims submissions can be dropped off to the new location from Dec. 27. Group premium payments can be made at FHP during this period. Or members may make payments online on the TakeCare website portal. See link:

 Members who need assistance during the closure may call Customer Service at (671) 646-3526 or email [email protected].


For your diary:

Dec. 9: DFS Group is partnering with Guam Unique Merchandise Art. Inc. to create a Holiday Marketplace at T Galleria by DFS to promote the products of the GUMA artisans for the holiday season. Now through February 2023, DFS will promote local products, information about GUMA local artisans, and provide a mechanism for customers to purchase local products for gifting or themselves.

On Dec. 9 there will be a special in-store promotion at the Holiday Marketplace. With any purchase of GUMA artisans’ local products, customers will receive an exclusive DFS Jute Tote and will also have the chance to watch a cultural dance performance at 5 p.m.

Dec 18: The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service will host a Holiday Eco-craft Session between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. at the Ritidian Unit of the Guam National Wildlife Refuge. The program is a free, family-friendly activity to use natural and/or recycled materials such as coconut husk, cardboard and bamboo to create holiday decorations and crafts. The event will take place across the main beach parking at the Ritidian Unit. No registration is required. For more information, contact Marybelle Quinata at [email protected] or (671) 355-5096/483-6084. mbj