Nominate a deserving regional executive

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

Nominations close on Dec. 15 at 5 p.m.

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.


“Big ship” coming, other port visit to Guam passes

Joint Region Marianas announced a port visit from Dec. 23 to Dec. 27 by a “big ship group,” according to the Guam Chamber of Commerce.

The USS Ronald Reagan Carrier Strike Group is currently in the Philippines Sea, according to the U.S. Navy

The amphibious transport dock ship USS John P. Murtha departed Guam Dec. 10 “after a scheduled port call,” to Guam, according to a Dec. 10 release. Capt. Douglas Langenburg – the ship’s commander praised the island. “Thank you for offering your great hospitality to our Navy and Marine Corps team.” Sailors had “a number of opportunities to rest and unwind on and off base,” and “were granted opportunities and transportation to visit popular local establishments such as restaurants, gyms and beaches all around Guam,” the release said. The Murtha – which is part of the Makin Island Amphibious Ready Group, is homeported in San Diego, Calif.

Photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Joshua Samoluk

PRC donates gymnasium funding to FSM; Guam receives pharmaceutical funding

China donated $190,000 for constructing a gymnasium on Satawan Atoll in Chuuk. The gymnasium is one of several such infrastructure projects in the FSM financed by the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China discretionary fund, including other gymnasiums in Pohnpei and Kosrae.

Guam is expected to receive more than $4 million from the CVS and Walgreens agreements settlement after litigation against the U.S. pharmaceutical industry for its role in the opioid crisis, according to a Dec. 13 release from the Office of the Attorney General. More than $50 billion is being dispersed.


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

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].


And also:

Guam National Guard celebrates birthday

A party celebrating the National Guard’s 386th birthday was held at the University of Guam Calvo Field House in Mangilao on Dec. 11. “Just like in Paul Revere’s days, our next chapter in history is filled with uncertainty, regional tensions, and the need for continued readiness to defend the homeland. Your choice to continue serving will help bring clarity to this uncertain future, and peace of mind for our families, neighbors, and friends,” said Gov. Lourdes A. Leon Guerrero. Officials joined for the traditional cake cutting with the Guam Guard’s youngest and most experienced member.

(From left) Maj. Gen. Esther Aguigui, Gov. Lourdes A. Leon Guerrero, Airman 1st Class Jonan Fejeran (youngest), Col. Michael W. Cruz (most experienced), Lt. Gov. Joshua F. Tenorio, and Command Sgt. Maj. Celso Leonen.
Photo courtesy of the Guam National Guard

For your diary:

Now through February: 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, DFS will promote local products, information about GUMA local artisans, and provide a mechanism for customers to purchase local products for gifting or themselves.

December: The Hilton Guam Resort & Spa has announced its seasonal offerings through December. See

December: Hyatt Regency Guam has announced its holiday schedule. Click the link for details. Click here to view PDF Document

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. There is no registration required for this activity. For more information, contact Marybelle Quinata at [email protected] or (671) 355-5096/483-6084.

Dec. 14 to Jan. 1 – Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over enforcement by the Guam Department of Public Works Office of Highway Safety and enforcement partners. mbj