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December 27, 2012 @ 4:02 pm

Ep. 138 “Strategies for Development in Tinian, CNMI”

Ep. 138 “The Military Buildup and Strategies for Development in Tinian, CNMI” (hosted by Dr. Vivian Dames with production assistance of Daisy Demapan and Joy White) airs 12/28/12.

Tinian is the second most populated (3,136 residents) of the three main islands which constitute the Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas Islands (CNMI).  Over two thirds of the island is controlled by the US military of which less than one third has recently been returned on a ‘lease back’ term.  Company and battalion level non-live fire training areas  already exist and the island may be developed further to accommodate live fire ranges as well as greater aviation support training.  While details for the buildup are still being worked out, some Tinian Islanders question the economic benefits and environmental impacts that increased militarism will have on the island and seek to learn from the mistakes made and lessons learned on Guam.

These two program guests share deep ties to Tinian, a record of public service, and a commitment to cultural preservation and sustainability.  Each is pursuing different strategies for development, with one focusing on economic development and the for-profit sector; the other, focusing on human development in the non-profit sector.

In the first half,  our program guest is Phillip Mendiola-Long (, a native son of Tinian and of a Chamorro mother and retired  Air Force Caucasion father.  Since returning from college18 years ago, Mr. Mendiola-Long has held various government roles such as the Chief Policy Advisor for the Mayor of Tinian, Chairman of the Marianas Public Land Trust, Board Member of the CNMI Free Trade Zone and member of the Governor’s and Mayor’s Military Task Force. He is the owner of Sherman Consulting, LLC, an administrative and management consulting firm that specializes in assisting US domestic and foreign firms set up business in Micronesia and assisting the US federal government (Joint Region Marianas and NAVFAC) with meeting coordination and ground logistics. He is also the President of the Tinian Chamber of Commerce (since 1996) and has been appointed by the US Secretary of Commerce to represent the CNMI in the Hawaii Pacific Export Council which is mandated to increase US Pacific Exports.  This interview was conducted December 11, 2012 when Mr. Mendiola-Long was on Guam attending the Micronesia Council of Chambers of Commerce meeting.

In the second half, we talk with Florine M. Hofschneider (florine ) who grew up in Tinian and has 35 years of public service experience in the Northern Marianas as a teacher, social worker, special assistant to the Tinian mayor, director of admissions and records at Northern Marianas College, and principal of Tinian Junior-Senior High School. She also had brief stints as the personnel manager for the Tinian Dynasty Hotel and Casino and helping out with a family pizza franchise in Texas. She is a member of the CNMI Women’s Association and project director for a federally funded anti-poverty program that provides pre-employment training and job placement of US citizens in Saipan through the NMI Department of Community & Cultural Affairs. She is also a volunteer with Gineftao I ManMo’na (GIMM), a non-profit organization focusing on youth development, Chamorro language and culture preservation, and sustainable development. This interview was conducted on November 20, 2012  while Ms. Hofschneider was on Guam attending the Payu’ta 3rd Micronesian Non-Profit Congress.

Music selection is “Tinian” by Julian Hofschneider.

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