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Gathering aims to foster networking

By Gina Tabonares

SAIPAN, CNMI (Marianas Variety, April 17, 2008) – Guam will play host to the First Annual Pacific Mayors conference, the largest gathering of off-island dignitaries in Guam's history with expected attendees of at least 300.

The two-day conference at the Sheraton Laguna Guam Resort will be held on April 21 to 22 but as early as Saturday some mayors, vice mayors, city officials and municipal council members from the Philippines, CNMI, Palau and FSM will join a luncheon and dinner reception organized by the Mayors Council of Guam headed by its chairman Paul McDonald.

More attendees are expected to arrive on Sunday to grace the First Annual Pacific Mayors gala event scheduled for 7 p.m. at the Pacific Islands Club in Tumon where Guam luminaries, government officials, community members, and local businessmen will exchange pleasantries with the visiting dignitaries.

Mayor McDonald is encouraging Guam residents to join the event "to promote the region's common elements in cultures and customs."

Jack Jacala of SweetWater Creative Media, who is helping publicize the event, said the gathering aims to foster networking among participants in the areas of education, health care, agriculture and to establish a stronger business and investment relationship among the neighboring island governments.

Jacala said that Guam mayors and vice mayors with the help of the private sector have prepared activities that will showcase Guam's unique culture, arts and environment.

"It will be an opportunity for the delegates to unwind and interact with non-delegates in a celebratory atmosphere," Jacala added.

A trade fair will be held at the Sheraton Hotel where majority of the delegates will be billeted.

Southern mayors headed by Mayor Carol Tayama of Agat will host a lunch at Inarajan for the delegates who will also get the chance to attend a special mass to celebrate the Golden Jubilee of Agana Archdiocese to be held at Dulce Nombre de Maria Cathedral-Basilica.

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