Board of Directors & Advisors

Board of Directors

CHE'LU ADVISORS

Current Board of Directors

Jo Ann (JoJo) Borja is Chief Financial Officer and Board Member since 2007. JoJo brings her experience in the financial industry with credit unions and her exceptional organizational skills to manage the fiduciary responsibilities of our non-profit organization. Her attention to details with persistence for accountability has assured our organization’s excellent financial order. Her fluency in our native language and her active promotion for our Chamorro identity through dance and music are infectious in the cultural embrace within our community. She brings the spark to the beat of the music and our social events. Her personal credibility and energetic welcome mobilizes her social network in support of cultural projects such as the Sakman Chamorro Project. As an active representative of the VOCAL community group at Jacobs Center for Neighborhood Innovation, she has brought awareness to the needs of our own Chamorro community here in San Diego.
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Ju’ne Sablan-Hawkins is a Board of Director 2011. Prior to becoming BOD, she was a perpetual volunteer for CHE’LU for many years, but also for all her village communities. Ju’ne resided in the village of Sinajana before moving to Gulf-port, Mississippi; Washington, D.C. and then San Diego, California. She graduated from George Washington High School and continued her education studying Business Administration at the International Trade Center, (ITC) Tamuning, Guam, an Ambassador for Duncan Enterprise (ceramist). Ju’ne held Superior Outstanding awards for two consecutive years while employed at MWR Campspring, Maryland Andrews Air Force Base. She also studied Human Resources/Behavioral and trained in El Toro, CA before becoming and now a former LTJG Training Officer for the Naval Sea Cadet Corp. (Fort Fisher Division, 32nd Naval Station-San Diego, CA). Ju’ne is a proud mother of four–three boys and a girl–who are all adults. Ju’ne has taught numerous classes of her beloved craft chain. She is the founder for the Inetnon Chamorro at Jacobs Center. Ju’ne’s pride and joy is seeing all her Chamorros gathering in one place–talking, dancing, laughing and having a good time just like back home. Through CHE’LU, she will enforce its mission to perpetuate the culture and heritage of the Chamorro people.
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Dolores (Loling) Cepeda (Vice Chair) is a CHE’LU Board member since November 2011. She lives in San Diego with her husband, Joey, married 39 years. She has two grown children and 3 grandchildren. Loling’s passion is music and dance, whether it be classical jazz to home grown Chamoru ballads. Her parents were co-founders of the Civic Improvement Club in Sinajana, an avenue to educate, train and proliferate community talents. She grew up very active in community charitable activities. She managed and taught at Dance and Entertainers Studio in Tamuning focusing on Interpretative Jazz, Hula and Chamorro dances for 12 years (1974-1986). Within that period she managed Casa de Moda, a fashion house family owned business for 5 years, and then became a Fashion Buyer for Duty Free Shopppers Ltd (DFS), Midpac Division. Loling was responsible for 23 retail locations in Guam, Saipan, Palau and Okinawa. Retiring her career at DFS as a Divisional Merchandising Manager, after 23 years in 2003. After her retirement, she took an active posture developing local talents through her employment at the University of Guam, Professional and International Programs for 6 years as an Outreach Coordinator. Marketing and bringing UOG to the private and military sector in Guam and Saipan. Her time in San Diego is focused on giving back, taking pride of her culture and paying it forward through CHE’LU.
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Danny Baza Blas (Chairperson) serves as the Chairperson of the CHE'LU Board of Directors and leads CHE'LU's web development team since December 2011. Danny is a science teacher at Kearny High School in San Diego. Prior to becoming a teacher, Danny lived and worked in Chicago as a marketing communications professional for firms that include Amoco Oil Company, Chicago Merchantile Exchange, and Edelman Public Relations. Danny earned a bachelors of arts degree from Columbia College Chicago and masters degree in education from National University (San Diego). Danny lived on the island of Guam as a child, until third grade at which time the Blas family moved to Chanute Air Force Base in Illinois. Danny's passions include learning more about his Chamorro roots, playing guitar, traveling, teaching, photography, soccer, and barbecuing.
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Cessa Naputi is a CHE’LU Board member since February 2012. She has a management and financial background as well as experience in applying for Grants that will be beneficial to the CHE'LU organization. Cessa is proud to be Chamorro and is determined in taking an active role with CHE’LU to retain our culture and to keep our native language alive for future generations.Cessa attributes her fluency in the Chamorro language to her Grandmother and her great aunts who played a major role in her childhood on Guam.
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Alanna Pangelinan is a Board of Director since 2012. Her strong background in Human Resources will help to develop a group-oriented culture that emphasizes quality, continuous improvement and high performance within the organization. Alanna was born and raised in Guam and resided there before moving to San Diego in 1999. Alanna attributes her fluency in the Chamorro language to her grandmother and her roots in Rota and is dedicated to using that skill to help promote our language, culture and heritage through CHE'LU.
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David Deleon Guerrero Atalig joined the CHE’LU Board of Directors in 2012. David is a 1992 graduate of the University of San Diego (USD) with a degree in Business Administration with emphasis in Finance and Management. After graduating from USD, David moved back to the island of Saipan where he was raised and embraced his Chamorro Roots, Culture, Language and Heritage. In 2007, David and his family relocated to Portland, Oregon where he was active with the Chamorro community. Recently, this year, David moved back to San Diego and is working at the University of California, San Diego as a Senior Fiscal Manager. Also, David is a Managing Partner of Betelnut Radio, an online radio station that started as a Chamorro Radio Station and has since grown to play music from all over the Pacific. David prides his involvement with Betelnut Radio as a medium to promote and preserve the Chamorro culture and language through music and other radio programs. David is married to DorisAnn Aldan Atalig, from Saipan, and together they have four beautiful children and two grandsons. David is excited to bring his vast experience and network to the CHE’LU organization and assist in its mission to strengthening the Chamorro Language, Culture and Health through Education.
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Renita San Miguel is a Board of Director since September 2012. Renita received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Elementary Education from the University of Guam. She was a LOTE, Language Other Than English Coordinator/Teacher at Price Elementary School in Mangilao, Guam. Renita managed and maintained the Saturday Scholars Program to assist students outside the regular scheduled school week and volunteered for activities focused on the betterment of our islands children. Renita moved to San Diego in 2000 and is currently a Human Resources Specialist with the federal government. Hopes her strong background in Human Resources and education will help develop a group-oriented culture that emphasizes quality, continuous improvement and high performance within the organization. Renita was born and raised in Guam and is dedicated to using that skill to help promote our language, culture and heritage through CHE'LU.
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Sandy Flores Uslander joined the CHE’LU board in 2012. Sandy grew up in the village of Inalahan and again lived on Guam from 1993 to 1997, when she worked with the Guam Humanities Council and later served on their board. She is a graduate of Northwestern University in Illinois with a degree in Anthropology and also completed work in the Micronesian Studies program at the University of Guam. While living in northern California, Sandy owned and oversaw the Guam Curves franchise, supporting women’s health and charitable causes on the island. In San Diego, she established the La Jolla YMCA preschool garden. She has recently joined the Pacific Islander Festival Association(PIFA) organization. Her career has been as an entrepreneur, especially in the areas of writing, marketing and promotion. She writes a weekly column in the Guam Pacific Daily News called Sandy in San Diego, promoting connections between Chamorros on the islands and abroad. For Sandy, being a member of the Che’lu board has been an important way to fulfill her desire to create cultural education and connections for Chamorros everywhere.
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Brienda Diaz joined the CHE'LU board in 2013.
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Greg Camacho joined the CHE'LU board in 2013.
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Josh Borja joined the CHE'LU board in 2013.
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Jorell Tuncap joined the CHE'LU board in 2014.
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CHE'LU Advisors

Mario Reyes Borja was born in Chalan Kanoa, Saipan, but grew up in Guam. The son of a carpenter and a fisherman, Mario graduated from FDMS in 1967. Later earned his B.S. in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Texas at Austin, and completed his M.S. from the Air Force Institute of Technology, with post graduate work at San Diego State. Mario is an active member of the San Diego Chamorro community both as a culturalist and a linguist.
Advisors | Board of Directors

Tanya Chargualaf Taimanglo is a writer, originally from the island of Guam. Tanya lived in San Diego, CA for eight years and moved to Washington State in 2012. Tanya is a proud Navy wife and mother of two. Tanya graduated from GWHS and the University of Guam. She was a high school English/Creative Writing teacher at JFKHS from 1996 to 2004. Tanya served on CHE’LU’s Board and was Secretary from 2009 to 2012; she continues her service as CHE'LU's Communications Advisor. She is currently a part of a team in the Pacific Northwest, known as United Roots, with a focus on celebrating islander culture. Tanya is an active fiction writer and blogger (Guam Goddess in Training), and continues to share her works under the banner of Guam Books and Beads. Her publications include Sirena: A Mermaid Legend of Guam (Authorhouse-2010), Attitude 13: A Daughter of Guam’s Collection of Short Stories (Authorhouse-2010), UOG’s Storyboard Journal (Volumes 6, 11 &12), and Secret Shopper (Createspace-2013). You can learn more about Tanya at Facebook and Twitter.
Advisors | Board of Directors

Jesi Lujan Bennett is a Chamorro woman from San Diego, California with familial ties to Dededo and Barrigada, Guam. Jesi is currently a PhD candidate in American Studies at the University of Hawai‘i (UH) at Mānoa. Jesi earned a BA in Ethnic Studies and a BA in Critical Gender Studies from the University of California-San Diego. Jesi earned an MA from the Center for Pacific Islands Studies at UH Mānoa. Jesi's masters thesis examined how Chamorros in San Diego articulate their indigenous identities, having settled in new spaces outside of the Marianas. Jesi works to bring forth a Chamorro diasporic voice to the larger discourse of Pacific Islands Studies and Indigenous Studies.
Jesi serves as president of the Marianas Club at UH Mānoa and an active participant in Micronesian Connections and Oceania Rising.
Advisors | Board of Directors

CHE'LU Advsiors are: Mario Borja, Janice Bouffiou, Joey Benito Cepeda, Greg Diaz, Thelma Hechanova, Jess Perez, Sas Garrido, Rose Treltas, Tanya Taimanglo, Jesi Lujan Bennett
Advisors | Board of Directors