Board of Directors
Board of Directors
Jeffrey W. Schweizer
General Manager – Fiesta Resort Guam
President – Asia Pacific Hotels, Inc.
Dear friends, colleagues and fellow members of GHRA.
I am honored by your confidence in electing me to the board, and the opportunity to serve as your Chairman for GHRA in 2018.
I look forward to working with you to continue to make GHRA the premier trade organization that it has become. I want to thank the past Chairman and all the members of the board for their contributions during the past year, and I look to this year’s board for their continued contribution and support.
2018 will proffer many challenges, not just as an organization, but as individual business owners and as a community. This past year we have seen many changes with political fragmentation, polarization and tension both internationally and in the U.S. mainland. In Guam, with an already flagging major source market, the looming conflict in North Korea delivered a major blow to this market. These issues have created a dynamic and challenging business environment – creating uncertainty within the community, for workers and business, with no concrete end in sight. Guam’s current strategies to mitigate these challenges are small against these international forces. At the same time our island government, which continues to face financial shortfalls, will have more challenges with a new tax structure.
In these uncertain times, I encourage all of you to prioritize your commitments and utilize this association to bring value to your business. It will be our strengths, our relationships, that will bring opportunity and a measure of stability in this challenging environment.
As an organization we will need to take the long view of these challenges and encourage all the stakeholders’ in our industry to do the same. Strategies based on quick fixes will extend the duration of the challenges and limit long term growth of our industry as well as the island and its economy.
I look to all of you for your support this year, to weather these challenges, and to work together as an organization. Together with all the stakeholders of our island community, we can make Guam a better place to do business, and a better place to live. Si Yu’os Ma’ase.
Board of Directors
Steven M. Solberg
General Manager – Outrigger Guam Beach Resort
Steven M. Solberg is the general manager of Outrigger Guam Beach Resort. Born in Manistee, Mich., Solberg aspired to work in the automotive industry in his youth and, later, hospital administration, but became interested in the hospitality industry after working as a bellman in college. He earned a bachelor’s in business administration from Northwood University, Midland, Mich.
Solberg began his career in hospitality at Marriott Hotels and Resorts in 1977 and has continued in the industry for more than 40 years. He has held management positions in various companies such as the Kimpton Hotel Group, Marriott International Inc. and Hilton Worldwide. Solberg has managed hotels in various locations throughout the United States, to include San Francisco; Cleveland, Ohio; and New York City, before becoming general manager of the Outrigger Guam in December 2014.
Solberg served as a board member of the Employers Council of Guam and the Guam Hotel & Restaurant Association. He is a member of the Guam Chamber of Commerce and its Armed Forces Committee, the U.S. Navy League, the Andersen Civilian Advisory Council, the SKAL Club of Guam and Rotary International. His company supports the American Red Corss, the American Cancer Society, the Salvation Army, the Guam USO, the Armed Forces Committe, Guam Women’s Clubs and the SKAL Club of Guam.
Solberg is married to Crispen A. Solberg. Their children are Jacqueline, Sadie and John.
Board of Directors
James S. Herbert III
General Manager – Triple J Five Star Wholesale Foods, Inc.
Originally from Kingsport, Tenn., James S. Herbert III graduated from Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, N.C., with a bachelor’s in biology and a minor anthropology. Herbert moved to Saipan in 1993 to work for the Jones family. After living Saipan for five years, he moved to Guam in 1998, where is now the general manager of Triple J Five Star Wholesale Foods Inc.
In addition to being on the GHRA board, Herbert was recently elected as the chairman of the board of directors for the Guam Chamber of Commerce, where he co-chairs the membership committee and is also a member of the Armed Forces Committee. He is a board member of the Micronesian Chefs’ Association and serves as treasurer. Herbert is chairman of the Guam Tourism Foundation and is an active member of the Guam Visitors Bureau.
Board of Directors
President and General Manager – LeoPalace Resort Guam
A native of Japan, Toshi Doi has more than 35 years of experience in the hotel industry with the most of those years spent with Starwood properties across North American and in the Asia-Pacific region. Following his 35 years with Starwood, Doi began a new career in April 2016 as president and general manager of the LeoPalace Guam Corp., where he manages the LeoPalace Resort Guam.
Upon graduating from Washington State University, Doi began his hospitality career with Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc. in 1980 as a management trainee at The Westin South Coast Plaza in Costa Mesa, Calif. His management skills were honed through various positions in food and beverage, rooms, and sales and marketing areas. In 1998, he was appointed director of sales and marketing at The Westin Resort Guam, then becoming executive assistant manager of the Westin Miyako Kyoto, Japan, in 2002. He rejoined The Westin Resort Guam in 2003, becoming general manager in 2009.
Doi and his wife, Annie, reside in Yona. They have a son, Kenji and a daughter, Misa, both residing in the U.S. mainland. Doi enjoys playing golf at world-renowned golf courses on Guam and overseas.
Board of Directors
Managing Director – International Dining Concepts, dba California Pizza Kitchen, Beachin Shrimp, Eat Street Grill and Hot Diggety Dog
Darren Talai was born and raised in Santa Monica, Calif. He graduated in 1988 from the California Culinary Academy.
From 1988 to 1996, he served as regional manager of R&T Restaurant Co., which had oversight of two Sheraton food and beverage departments as well as three golf course food and beverage operations.
He came to Guam in 1996, when he was hired by WDI Corp. to revamp and rebrand the Capricciosa and Tony Roma’s restaurants on both Guam and Saipan. For his last six years with the company until 2009, he served as chief operating officer for all of WDI’s operations outside of Japan, to include those in Guam, Saipan, Hawaii, Los Angeles, New York City and Manila.
In 2009, International Dining Concepts purchased California Pizza Kitchen from WDI. Talai has since developed the concepts for Beachin’ Shrimp in 2012, with an expansion in 2016, and Eat Street Grill and Hot Diggety Dog in 2014-2015. He serves as president and managing partner for all of these businesses. In 2017, Talai partnered with Guahan Eats Inc., which does business as Pika’s Cafe, which opened a shoot-off in Tumon in November named Little Pika’s.
Board of Directors
Jay R. Shedd
President and CEO – Sorensen Media Group
Jay R. Shedd is the president and CEO of Sorensen Media Group, and oversees all areas of operation of the largetst broadcast company in the Marianas Islands.
An alumnus of Arizona State University, Shedd has lead companies both on Guam and Arizona, including Motorola Communications, Guam Cell, Revo Tech LLC and Docomo Pacific.
With extensive experience acquired from successful leadership roles, Shedd provides mature guidance that has strong commitment to team-building and business development. He was named Guam Business Magazine Executive of the Year 2011, made the Guam Business Magazine “A-List” in 2012 and 2013 and received the “King Rex” Man of the Year Award from Guam Women’s Club in 2014. He served as a president elect of the 2013 Rotary Club of Guam, board of director of CTIA in 2014 and the Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association Marianas Chapter from 2009 to 2011, board member of the Guam Chaper of the American Red Cross from 2001 to 2002 and 2009 to 2010 and member of the Andersen Civilian Advisory Council from 2009 to 2017. He was the recipient of the “Ancient Order of Chamorri” awarded by Governor Felix Camacho for outstanding achievements in business on Guam and of a Legislative Proclamation from the Guam Legislature for transforming the face of telecommunications in Guam, both in 2003.
Sophia Chu Wigsten
General Manager – Hyatt Regency Guam
Sophia Chu Wigsten is the general manager for the Hyatt Regency Guam. Born in Taipei, Wigsten grew up in Guam, graduating from Academy of Our Lady of Guam in 1988 and went on to study at the University of Portland (Ore.), where she earned a bachelor’s in business administration in 1992.
Upon graduation, a summer job as a sales assistant at the Palace Hotel Guam developed into a passion for and a career in the hospitality industry. She joined Hyatt Regency Guam in 1995 as business development manager, advancing from there including her most recent promotion to general manager in March 2014.
In her 24 years in the industry, she has served more than once on the GHRA board and has also served on numerous committees for the Guam Visitors Burearu. She also sits on the Presidential Search Committee as community representative for the University of Guam.
She is married to John Wigsten, and the couple has two daughters: Hallie and Ella.
Roy D. Abraham
General Manager – Pacific Star Hotel & Resort
Roy D. Abraham began his 40-year career in hospitality working as an assistant restaurant manager and management trainee at the Kuwaiti Marriott Marina Hotel in Kuwait City. He went on to manage all levels of full-service luxury-tier hotels including Marriott hotel properties in Jordan; Poland; and Tampa, Fla., New York City and Bethesda, Md., in the United States. He was general manager of Cebu City Marriott Hotel in the Philippines before coming to Guam in 2010.
He was assigned the role of director of operations for the Guam Marriott Resort and Spa to assist the general manager with renovating the hotel. In January 2012, after the general manager was transferred and the management agreement was being renegotiated, Abraham assumed the role of acting general manager while also continuing as director of operations.
Abraham holds a 1977 associate’s in history from Madras Christian College in India.
Restaurant Manager – Sea Grill Restaurant
Josh Suka was born in Chuuk in the Federated States of Micronesia. Like many who have migrated from Chuuk to Guam, Suka’s parents came to Guam in the early 1990’s. They worked hard to save enough money, and his parents purchased one-way tickets for he and his older sister to join them in Guam. He arrived on Guam in 1996 as a young boy, eager and excited to meet his parents after a few years of separation. Suka now calls Guam his home.
Suka started in the restaurant business in 2004 after graduating high school. While attending University of Guam, he worked as a waiter at Sam Choy’s Guam (now Sea Grill Restaurant) to pay for his tuition. He started as a busboy, then moved on to becoming a server, bartender and a few years later, he was promoted to restaurant supervisor. Suka is now the restaurant manager at Sea Grill Restaurant, and he has been in that capacity for five years.
Being in the service industry for 13 years, Suka has found his passion. His love of customer service and continuous efforts to create unique experiences for local and international visitors is what keeps him motivated and engaged in the service industry. Suka is committed to building long-lasting relationships with the local and international markets. One of the many quotes that Suka lives his life by is from Earl Nighthingale: “Our rewards in life will always be in exact proportion to our contributions and service.”
Bartley A. Jackson
President – Hotel Santa Fe Guam
Bartley A. Jackson will sit on the board for the Guam Hotel & Restaurant Association this year following one year as board director and nine years as GHRA chairman.
He also serves on the Guam Chamber of Commerce and Guam Visitors Bureau boards of director, the latter of which he has been an elected director seven times. On the GVB board, he sits concurrently as the chairman of the Korea Marketing Committee and the Russia and New Markets Committee.
Jackson spent 21 years with the Pacific Islands Club and left the organization four years ago to pursue other endeavours. Foremost among these was hotel ownership. He is now part of the ownership group of the Hotel Santa Fe Guam. Jackson serves as the general manager and president of the hotel. He is also the chief operating officer of an institutional and commercial food service provider B&G Pacific LLC.
After completing college at the University of Virginia in May 1980, he worked for Club Med, a Paris-based resort company. Originally hired as a snow-ski instructor in Colorado, he went on to work in such exotic locales as Switzerland, Mexico, Guadalupe, Haiti, Sicily and Greece. After leaving Club Med in 1983, Jackson earned a master’s in business from Columbia University in New York. He worked in the securities industry until he joined the management team of PIC Guam in 1990. While on Guam, Jackson was chairman of GHRA’s Human Resources and Education Committee. In 1994, he transferred to PIC Saipan as its general manager.
In Saipan, Jackson was twice-elected member of the Marianas Visitors Authority board of directors and a founding member of the Northern Marianas College Tourism Learning Center Advisory Board. In 1999, Jackson was a member of the Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas Islands softball team, which won a gold medal at the South Pacific Games held in Guam.
He and his wife, Rita, have made Guam their home and live in Tamuning. They have two boys: Jacob and Jonathan.