Speakers set for tourism summit on Jan. 23

Community Bulletin
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The annual summit will feature Micronesia Islands Nature Alliance Executive Director Roberta Guerrero, CNMI Public School System middle school teacher Victor Cabrera, American Red Cross-Northern Mariana Islands Chapter Executive Director John Hirsch, and Saipan Chamber of Commerce Financial and Data Management Coordinator Franco M. Santos.

Roberta Guerrero Victor Cabrera
John Hirsh Franco Santos

The theme of this year’s summit, co-organized by the Marianas Visitors Authority, is “VolunTOURISM: Learn today. Lead tomorrow.” reflecting the opportunities available to students to engage with the industry and learn today in preparation for the leadership roles they will take in the industry in the future. This year’s summit will be held at Fiesta Resort & Sapa with students from MY WAVE — Marianas Youth Welcome All Visitors Enthusiastically — Clubs in grades 5-12 chosen by their respective schools to participate.

Guerrero has served at the helm of MINA since 2017. The community-based, nonprofit organization was formed by a group of people whose dedication and compassion for the environment felt the need to promote and advocate for the protection and restoration of natural resources in the Marianas and Micronesia.

Since 2010, Cabrera has taught 8th-grade Career and Technical Education: Exploring Agriculture teaches at Admiral Herbert G. Hopwood Middle School. Mr. Cabrera was recognized by the Northern Marianas Islands Humanities Council as the 2018 Outstanding Humanities Teacher in the Classroom, an award given to teachers who make a great impact and contribution to the local community. Mr. Cabrera has been featured in local newspapers for his skills and talent in farming and agriculture and his impact on student learning. He provides his students with hands-on learning activities in gardening and farming and coordinates student activities to promote farming and consumptions of local produce.

Hirsch serves as Executive Director of the NMI chapter of the American Red Cross. American Red Cross prevents and alleviates human suffering in the face of emergencies by mobilizing the power of volunteers and generosity of donors.

Santos joined the Saipan Chamber of Commerce Financial and Data Management Coordinator in July 2019. Prior to that, he served as Local Market Developer at Lao Lao Bay Golf & Resort.

“We have a great lineup of dynamic and passionate leaders in our Marianas community that will share their knowledge and vision with the students at this year’s summit,” said MTEC Chairwoman Vicky Benavente. “Community service is an important part of our Marianas tourism economy, and we hope the students will be inspired to become involved in volunteerism, even at a young age. This will help make them better leaders in the future.”

Summit sponsors are Eland Group of Companies (Kensington Hotel and PIC Saipan), T Galleria by DFS, TSL Foundation, Kanoa Resort, Fiesta Resort & Spa, D&Q, First Hawaiian Bank, Hotel Association of the Northern Mariana Islands, IT&E, Matson Navigation Co., Triple J Saipan, and Sorenson Media Group.

The summit will also feature exhibits by MVA, MINA, Northern Mariana Islands Museum of History & Culture, Northern Marianas Trades Institute, Lions Club International, 500 Sails, and others.

Interested sponsors may contact MVA Community Projects Specialist Jack Aranda at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or MVA Community Projects Manager Martin Duenas at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 664-3210 for a sponsorship package.

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