Ross Manglona

Ross Manglona poses for a photo in front of the 500 Sails office/boatyard in Lower Base.

ROSS S. Manglona has been named as the new director of the Cultural Maritime Training Center or CMTC, effective October 18, 2021. Born and raised in Saipan, Ross is the son of Raimundo Hocog Manglona and Isabel Songao. Ross is a highly respected leader who brings 25 years of vocational and educational experience that will continue to propel 500 Sails into the future.

Ross’s leadership experience spans several years as the Director of Continuing education & workforce development for NMTI and as the dean for NMC-CREES, where he has been instrumental to both organizations in the planning, implementation, evaluation, and oversight of their programs and curricula.

His background provides added value to 500 Sails in lights of its Administration for Native Americans - Social and Economic Development Strategies grant award for the CMTC.

Ross has worked on a number of grants, including many from a national level with the EDA, USDA, and NOAA, which enhances 500 Sails’ current partnerships and furthers its mission of promoting cultural practices and traditions.

Ross holds a master’s degree in general education from Framingham State College and a bachelor’s degree in elementary education and an associates in liberal Arts from  Northern Marianas College.

Dabbling in drugs in his youth and leaving high school early, Ross turned his life around and pursued his GED after the birth of his son. Understanding the importance of education, he has since then worked hard to further his education and give back to his community. In addition to his leadership roles, Ross has also served as a research assistant and teacher on the islands of Tinian and Rota, greatly adding to 500 Sails’ reach to its sister islands.

“500 Sails is well on its way to becoming a leading institution of cultural maritime services, and I am ready to face the challenges of the position,” said Ross Manglona, CMTC director. “We are choosing to fight to find ways to keep our people invested in its community, to invest in their education here, and be able to work here with well-paying jobs.”

Ross hopes to inspire others along the way as he implements the Taotao Tasi Maritime Career Pathways Project that provides programmatic funding for the CMTC.

 He is excited to be a part of the 500 Sails team and to initiate the groundwork that co-founders Peter and Emma Perez have written into the ANA-SEDS grant for the CMTC.

Through collaboration with NMC, the U.S. Coast Guard, and American Red Cross, a variety of courses will be offered from vessel operation, merchant mariner, water safety instruction, canoe fabrication and maintenance, and traditional navigation.

“We are excited to welcome Ross to our team at 500 Sails. He brings a unique perspective to our operations, holds deep ties to Rota, and holds a wealth of leadership experience that will add to the mission of our organization” said Emma and Peter Perez, co-founders of 500 Sails.

500 Sails is a 501(c)3 and CNMI tax-exempt nonprofit organization dedicated to reviving, promoting, and preserving the maritime cultural traditions of the Mariana Islands through community engagement in canoe cultural values and activities. 500 Sails envisions a healthy thriving native community that has successfully integrated traditional cultural values into modern life.

Further information can be found on the 500 Sails website at https://500sails.org

CMTC Director Ross Manglona can be reached at rmanglona@500Sails.org or (670) 323-7245 (SAIL).

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