Nestled in the western Pacific Ocean, the Northern Mariana Islands exude natural beauty, cultural richness, and a unique blend of influences. As the year 2023 unfolds, we embark on a captivating journey to explore the lives and accomplishments of the top 10 richest people in the Northern Mariana Islands. Beyond its serene landscapes and vibrant culture, this territory is home to a select group of individuals who have not only achieved immense wealth but have also played a pivotal role in shaping its economic landscape. Join us as we delve into the inspiring stories of these remarkable figures who symbolize success and impact in the Northern Mariana Islands for the year 2023.
A Tapestry of Backgrounds and Industries
The top 10 richest individuals in the Northern Mariana Islands represent a diverse array of backgrounds and industries. From entrepreneurial visionaries to influential leaders in business, each person’s journey to prosperity is a testament to their drive, innovation, and commitment to excellence.
Pioneers of Economic Growth
Beyond their financial achievements, many of these individuals have been at the forefront of economic development in the Northern Mariana Islands. Through their business ventures, investments, and strategic decisions, they have contributed to the territory’s economic growth and sustainability.
Navigating Challenges and Opportunities
As the Northern Mariana Islands navigate a changing global landscape, its wealthiest individuals are confronted with unique challenges and opportunities. These visionaries play a crucial role in addressing economic diversification, sustainability, and social development within the territory.
Here are the 2023 Top 10 Richest People in Northern Mariana
1. Victor Hocog
Victor Borja Hocog is an American Republican politician from Rota, Northern Mariana Islands. He is the 11th Lieutenant Governor of the Northern Mariana Islands. Hocog unsuccessfully ran against Prudencio T. Manglona for mayor of Rota in November 1989. Hocog also ran for mayor of Rota in 2005 and 2009.
In 2015, Hocog sponsored a bill to establish the crime of electronic impersonation. The bill would make it a crime to hack someone’s profile on the internet or to create a fake profile on the internet with the intent to harm, intimidate, or attack other people.
Hocog was sworn in as lieutenant governor on December 29, 2015. Hocog announced in November 2017 that he would not seek re-election in 2018, and would instead seek to return to the Senate. He is the number one richest on the list of 2023 top 10 richest people in Northern Mariana Islands.
2. Ralph Torres
Ralph Deleon Guerrero Torres is an American Republican politician from Saipan, Northern Mariana Islands. He has served as the ninth Governor of the Northern Mariana Islands since the death of Governor Eloy Inos on December 29, 2015. He previously served as the tenth Lieutenant Governor, which he was elected to in 2014.
In 2008, Torres won the election to the Northern Mariana Islands House of Representatives. In 2010, he won the election to the Northern Mariana Islands Senate, acting in a variety of roles. From 2010 to 2015 he was Chairman of the Health & Welfare Committee. In February 2013, he became the President of the Senate.
As half of the winning ticket in the 2014 gubernatorial election, Torres became Lieutenant Governor on January 12, 2015. In February 2018, Bloomberg Businessweek reported that Torres and his family have received millions of dollars in payments from Hong Kong-based Imperial Pacific casino.
3. Joey San Nicolas
Joey Patrick San Nicolas is politician in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI), who currently serves as Mayor of Tinian. He previously served as attorney general.
On Tuesday, October 23, 2012 San Nicolas was nominated as the Attorney General, and appointed in an acting capacity, by Governor Benigno Fitial. On Friday, November 16, 2012, he was unanimously confirmed by the CNMI Senate on his native Tinian and sworn in later that day.
He succeeded acting Attorney General Ellsbeth Viola Alepuyo, who was appointed on Monday, August 13, 2012 after Edward Buckingham fled the island in scandal. San Nicolas resigned effective Saturday, July 5, 2014, to run for Mayor of Tinian. He was succeeded by Deputy Attorney General Gilbert Joseph Birnbrich.
4. Arnold I. Palacios
Arnold Indalecio Palacios is a Northern Mariana Islands politician and a member of the Republican Party. He currently represents Saipan in the Northern Mariana Islands Senate.
Palacios is a former Speaker of the Northern Mariana Islands House of Representatives. He was sworn in on January 14, 2008, as the Speaker of the House’s 16th Legislature. He represented Election District 3 in the House, which encompasses portions of Saipan and the Northern Islands.
Palacios was the running mate of gubernatorial candidate Heinz Hofschneider in the 2009 election. If elected, Palacios would have become the next Lieutenant Governor of the Northern Mariana Islands. Palacios is married to Wella Sablan Palacios and they have four children – Arnold Gerard, Nicole, Tiana and Eric.
5. Froilan Tenorio
Froilan Cruz Tenorio is a Northern Mariana Islander politician as the member of CNMI Democratic Party, and also was the fourth elected Governor of the United States Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands.
Elected in 1993, he served one term, leaving office in 1998. During his governorship and most of his political career, Tenorio was a member of the Democratic Party of the Northern Mariana Islands, which was not then affiliated with the American Democratic Party. However, he later switched his affiliation to the Covenant Party.
In May 2009, Tenorio announced that he had joined the Covenant Party and was allied with Governor Fitial. Rather than seeking the gubernatorial post again, Tenorio ran for a seat in the Northern Mariana Islands House of Representatives, hoping to represent Precinct 1.
Tenorio ran on a platform of increased government investment in tourism, reform of the Commonwealth Utilities Corporation, and economic growth through job creation and increased purchasing power for residents, favoring job creation through new construction projects.
He later said in an interview that if elected he would seek to restore the earned income credit, an anti-poverty program implemented by his administration in the 1990s, to increase employment and purchasing power. Tenorio won the election and was subsequently selected for the post of Speaker of the House.
6. Juan Babauta
Juan Nekai Babauta is a Northern Mariana Islander politician. Babauta served as the sixth elected Governor of the United States Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands for one term from January 14, 2002 to January 9, 2006.
In 2014, Babuata decided to run for governor against incumbent Republican Eloy Inos as an independent. He cited the refusal of the Republican party to hold a primary as his reasoning, along with the introduction of casino gambling. His running mate was former Senator Juan Torres.
In 2018, Babuata again decided to run for governor as an independent, against Republican incumbent Ralph Torres. This time his running mate is former Education Commissioner Rita Aldan Sablan.
7. Heinz Hofschneider
Heinz Sablan Hofschneider is a Northern Mariana Islands politician. Hofschneider served as the Speaker of the Northern Mariana Islands House of Representatives until 2003.
Hofschneider was a gubernatorial candidate in the 2001, 2005, and 2009 elections. His best gubernatorial election result came in 2009, when he was the Republican nominee for Governor of the Northern Mariana Islands in the 2009 gubernatorial election. Representative Arnold I. Palacios of Saipan, the Speaker of the House then, was Hofschneider’s running mate for Lieutenant Governor. Hofschneider won the initial popular vote but failed to gain a majority, triggering a runoff against the incumbent, Benigno Fitial. Fitial won the runoff by 370 votes and therefore was re-elected.
Hofschneider ran for governor again in 2014 as an independent. His running mate was independent Senator Ray Yumul of Saipan. Hofschnedier lost to the incumbent, Eloy Inos.
8. Benigno R. Fitial
Benigno Repeki Fitial was the seventh governor of the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI).
The second longest-serving governor in CNMI history, Fitial was elected on November 6, 2005, assumed office on January 9, 2006, and was re-elected to a second (five-year) term in 2009.
He was impeached by the CNMI House of Representatives on February 11, 2013 and was scheduled to face trial before the CNMI Senate to determine if he should be removed from office He resigned on February 20, 2013 after 7 years, 1 month, and 11 days in office.
9. Gilbert Joseph Birnbrich
Gilbert Joseph Birnbrich was the Attorney General of the Northern Mariana Islands from 2014 to 2015.
He served as a clerk for Judge Alex Munson in the District Court for the Northern Mariana Islands from 2003 to 2006, before working in private practice for attorney Colin Thompson.
In February 2010 he joined the CNMI Office of the Attorney General, becoming Chief of the Civil Division in May 2011. On December 30, 2013, he was appointed Deputy Attorney General.
10. Gregorio “Kilili” Sablan
Gregorio Kilili Camacho Sablan is a Northern Mariana Islander politician and former election commissioner. Elected in 2008, Sablan became the first delegate to the United States House of Representatives from the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands.
Elected as an independent, Sablan caucuses with the Democratic Party in the House of Representatives. In February 2009, Sablan became a Democrat. Sablan is the only Chamorro member of Congress. He was re-elected as a Democrat in the 2010 and 2012 elections, and was re-elected as an independent in the 2014 and 2016 elections.
He is the tenth on the list of 2023 richest people in Northern Mariana Islands.
Cultivating Change Through Philanthropy
The top 10 richest people in the Northern Mariana Islands are not solely focused on amassing wealth. Many of them are actively engaged in philanthropic efforts, channeling their resources and influence to uplift local communities, promote education, and support social causes that matter to the islands’ residents.
Shaping the Future of the Northern Mariana Islands
In 2023, the influence of the wealthiest individuals in the Northern Mariana Islands is undeniable. Their investments, innovations, and philanthropic initiatives are instrumental in shaping the territory’s economic trajectory and overall well-being. They are not just sources of wealth; they are drivers of change, progress, and collective advancement.
Conclusion: Anchoring Prosperity and Progress
As the Northern Mariana Islands continue to evolve, the top 10 richest individuals stand as beacons of prosperity, inspiration, and change. Their dedication to business excellence, community development, and philanthropy demonstrates a commitment to ensuring a brighter future for the islands and their people. In an era of transformation and growth, these figures serve as trailblazers and role models, guiding the Northern Mariana Islands toward a future of economic prosperity, social upliftment, and sustainable progress.