Message from Outgoing Guam Society President Mike Blas

Hafa Adai,

As 2014 and my term as President comes to a close, I wanted to wish you and yours all the best for this holiday season and for the coming New Year. Serving as Guam Society President for the past four years has been a truly rewarding time for me.  I hope that it has been the same for you.  The Society has grown tremendously in terms of its capabilities and accomplishments and the greatest contributing factor is the members of the organization; the life’s blood, heart, and soul of all we do.

We reached record membership numbers over the past four years – attaining the highest membership ever in the 62 years since the organization was established.  We won the National Conference of States Societies’ Haines Award as the 2013-2014 Outstanding Society.  We celebrated our 60th anniversary in 2012, elevated the Cherry Blossom Coronation Balls and Chamorro Night events to new heights.  We made updates to our membership, financial, and operating processes that have resulted in marked improvements overall for the Society.

Our reputation has always been known here in the Washington metro area, but over the past four years it has grown significantly beyond our area; reaching back to our beautiful island home and to other Chamorro organizations and clubs across the United States.  Our scholarship program has awarded almost $35,000 in scholarships since 2009; and we’re poised to exceed $40,000 in 2015.  These scholarships would not have been possible without the Roberto LG Lizama Memorial Golf Classic, which continues to be one of our main revenue generating events.

I’d like to congratulate the newly elected 2015-2016 Guam Society Officers.  I am confident they will continue to lead the Society to even greater achievements.  I want to thank my fellow officers who served with me during the 2011-2012 and 2013-2014 Guam Society Administration for all of their support and contributions.  I would also like to acknowledge the Committee Chairpersons who did a fantastic job in all of the events we’ve held during the past four years.

I want to acknowledge the support of Congresswoman Bordallo and her staff throughout my tenure as Guam Society President.  We’ve built a partnership that puts Guam first and foremost in all of our endeavors here in the Washington, DC metro area.  Thanks also to Jay Rojas from the Governor of Guam’s Office here in DC.  As the Director of the Office, he hit the ground running and really made his presence known amongst the Guam Society as member and partner.

To all of the past Presidents and Officers – I appreciate all of your advice and feedback.

To all of the Manaina, the Veterans and Armed Service Members of the Guam Society, current  and new and up and coming members of the Society – I thank you for your support and for your presence, without you, we couldn’t have accomplished all that we did over the past four years.

Senseramente,

Mike Blas, Past President, Guam Society of America, Inc.