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Last updateSat, 21 Sep 2019 12am







    Saturday, September 21, 2019-2:20:30P.M.






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NMI SBDC Director Nicole Babauta selected as State Star Performer

(Press Release) — The Pacific Islands Small Business Development Center Network has recently announced Director and Business Advisor with the CNMI Small Business Development Center Nicole Babauta as the 2019 State Star for the Micronesian Region. The PISBDCN is the umbrella for all centers in the region consisting of Guam, the CNMI, Chuuk, Kosrea, Yap, and Palau.

State Star Performers are chosen based off nomination submitted by over 63 Lead Centers located in all 50 States, Puerto Rico, Virgin Islands, American Samoa, and the Pacific Islands. This award recognizes business advisors and staff in the SBDC Program who have demonstrated exemplary work performance, significant contribution to the organization’s economic development efforts, and a strong commitment to small businesses.

Nicole Babauta

Director Babauta will be honored at America’s SBDC Annual Conference to be held in Long Beach, Ca. in September 2019.

Babauta was born and raised on Saipan and graduated from Northern Marianas Academy. She holds an associate degree in liberal arts from Northern Marianas College, a bachelor of science degree in business management with an emphasis in global business management, and a master’s degree in Business Administration both from the University of Phoenix.

Babauta’s work history includes various positions with globally recognized companies to include Hyatt Regency Saipan, United Services Automobile Association recognized by Forbes as one of the best banks in the United States and Fortune 500 Best Companies to work for, and DFS Saipan Limited.

She is a member of the CNMI State Workforce Development Board, a member of the Saipan Chamber of Commerce and is the chairwoman of the Education and Workforce Committee and co-chair of the Saipan Young Professionals, and a member of the Society for Human Resources-NMI chapter.

Gov. Ralph DLG Torres noted that the CNMI SBDC office was recognized as center of the year in the Micronesian region and expressed his gratitude to Babauta’s performance.

“Last month, the PISBDCN recognized the challenges our region faced but with the strong collaboration between the government sector and the private sector, our businesses are recovering. Lt. Gov. Arnold I. Palacios and I extend our appreciation to Director Babauta and the SBDC for their partnership and look forward to strengthening our local businesses and our economic development,” Governor Torres said.

According to Secretary of Commerce Mark O. Rabauliman, the SBDC has become a critical component to promoting new business development in the CNMI.

“I congratulate Director Babauta and the entire SBDC network for their accomplishment and thank them for their continued support to our region. This recognition is well-deserved and truly representative of the benefits made to our community,” Secretary Rabauliman said.

The CNMI SBDC is hosted by the CNMI Department of Commerce and is currently staffed by Babauta and office manager Lorena Pangilinan who has been with the CNMI SDBC since 2014.

The CNMI SBDC offers one-to-one confidential small business counseling, small business training, and community outreach. Visit or contact 664-3018 for more information on SBDC program and services.