- Pacific Island Times Staff
Guam Visitors Bureau vet Pilar Laguaña now in charge
Leon Guerrero-Tenorio administration announces appointments to the Guam Visitors Bureau and Commission on Decolonization
The Leon Guerrero-Tenorio Administration has announced additional appointments to cabinet positions, pending legislative confirmation. Gov. Lou Leon Guerrero will formally submit their nominations to the Guam Legislature as well as submit recommendations to their respective boards and commissions.
A top appointment is of Pilar Laguaña, who will serve as President and CEO of the Guam Visitors Bureau. "Pilar Laguaña is an award winning tourism executive who has elevated Guam’s presence on the international stage," said Gov. Leon Guerrero. "Paired with Bobby Alvarez and his expertise at the frontlines in hospitality, I am confident in their abilities to bring the island’s leading industry to the next level.”
Laguaña, a former Miss Guam, has been with the GVB since 1977. After her reign, in anticipation of a career in tourism, she moved to Japan, enhancing her understanding of how foundations for other markets, including Korea, Taiwan, North America, Hong Kong, the Philippines, Russia, Micronesia and China are laid. She has also led efforts for niche and lucrative market segments, such as scuba diving, LGBTQ travel, adventure travel, religious travel, and Meetings, incentives, Conferences & Exhibitions (MICE).
Robert "Bobby" Alvarez has been named vice president of the GVB.Robert “Bobby” Alvarez started his career in tourism in 1984 as a windsurfing instructor at the Pacific Islands Club Guam. During the tourism boom in the late 1980s and early 1990s, he assisted in the grand openings for Pacific Star Hotel, Hyatt Regency Guam, Mangilao Golf Resort, Westin Resort, Leo Palace Golf Resort, and Sandcastle. While working at various hotels,restaurants, and entertainment venues, he quickly learned to converse in basic Japanese.
Melvin Won Pat-Borja has been named executive director of Commission on Decolonization. Won Pat-Borja has taught in the public school system for over a decade, most recently with Southern High School, where he developed the curriculum and pedagogy for its Creative Writing Program. He is the co-founder of Sinangån-ta Youth Movement, Pacific Tongues, and Youth Speaks Hawaii, which are Spoken Arts Education programs that promote literacy, critical thinking, and public speaking to Pacific Islander youth. Won Pat-Borja has been a member of the Commission on Decolonization since 2016 and presented testimony at the United Nations in 2017 before the Special Political and Decolonization Committee.