FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – Thursday, January 31, 2019
Hagåtña, Guam – The Leon Guerrero-Tenorio Administration today announced additional
appointments to cabinet positions, pending legislative confirmation.
Governor Leon Guerrero will formally submit their nominations to the Guam Legislature as well
as submit recommendations to their respective boards and commissions.
“Pilar Laguaña is an award winning tourism executive who has elevated Guam’s presence
on the international stage. 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,” said Governor Leon Guerrero.
“Melvin Won Pat-Borja has been a voice in the discussion for political status for many
years. He’s also a longtime teacher with the skillsets we need to educate the people of Guam
on their options as we push forward in our journey towards self-determination,” said
Lieutenant Governor Tenorio.
The nominees and respective positions are as follows:
Pilar Laguaña, President and CEO of Guam Visitors Bureau
Pilar Laguaña has been with the Guam Visitors Bureau since 1977. In anticipation for a career in
tourism and after her reign as Miss Guam, she moved to Japan. Her understanding of the
country’s culture, heritage, and language helped her advance quickly at GVB where she’s played
leading roles in establishing foundations for other markets, including Korea, Taiwan, North
America, Hong Kong, the Philippines, Russia, Micronesia, and China. 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). Today, she heads
GVB’s Global Marketing Team and is currently working to pioneer new market sources in
Southeast Asia. Laguaña is an active member of Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA), a global
organization that awarded her the prestigious PATA Award of Merit in 2009. Most recently, she
was awarded the 2017 Lifetime Achievement in Travel and Tourism Award by USA’s Women in
Travel & Tourism International (WITTI) in Washington, D.C..
Robert Alvarez, Vice President of Guam Visitors Bureau
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. He was
able to work his way up to management and also taught basic Japanese language classes to staff
at hotels he worked at. He has since taken on roles as the Executive Assistant for former
Lieutenant Governor Ray Tenorio and Director of Business Development for Galaide
Professional Services Incorporated (GPSI) Guam.
Melvin Won Pat-Borja, Executive Director of Commission on Decolonization
Melvin Won Pat-Borja has been an educator in the public school system for over a decade, most
recently with Southern High School, where he developed the curriculum and pedagogy for their
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. He was recognized by
the Micronesia Youth Services Network as the 2011 Youth Services Supporter of the Year.
Melvin received his B.Ed. in Secondary Education and his M.A. in Pacific Island Studies from
the University of Hawaii at Mānoa. He 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.
For inquiries, please contact Krystal Paco, Press Secretary, at 787-3229 or