MVA board has confidence in Iakopo, official says

MARIANAS Visitors Authority board chair Marian Aldan-Pierce said the new MVA managing director, Priscilla M. Iakopo, may have no experience in the tourism industry, but with a “tenured staff and through the board’s guidance we have no doubt that she will perform as expected.”

Priscilla Iakopo

“She is an intelligent young lady who will do her utmost for MVA,” Aldan-Pierce added.

A majority of the MVA board members supported Iakopo’ hiring, Aldan-Pierce said but she declined to disclose the result of the vote.

Iakopo signed her one-year contract in the second week of May.

A former director of procurement and supply at the Commonwealth Healthcare Corp., Iakopo has a master’s degree in business. She started reporting for work as MVA managing director on May 13.

“We all had been where she is now, coming into this position —inexperienced but very enthusiastic to learn,” Aldan-Pierce said.

She said the board is made up of some of the tourism industry’s top executives, and they have the responsibility to ensure that the transition for MVA is smooth.

Besides Aldan-Pierce, the other board member are Agida T. Quitugua, representing Rota; Warren F. Villagomez, representing Tinian; the newly appointed member from Saipan, Viola Alepuyo; Gloria C. Cavanagh, president of the Hotel Association of the Northern Mariana Islands and general manager of the Pacific Islands Club Saipan; Nick K. Nishikawa, general manager of Hyatt Regency Saipan; Jerry Tan, CEO and president of Tan Holdings; and Christopher J. Nelson, founder of Marianas Trekking, founder and managing partner of Flame Tree TV and a partner at Marianas Fitness.