Government accountants group presents posthumous award

GCC: Carmen Kwek Santos, formerly the Guam Community College vice president for finance, is posthumously awarded the 2020 Professor John M. Phillips Excellence in Government Accountability Award. Contributed photo

Carmen Kwek Santos, former vice president of Guam Community College, was posthumously awarded the 2020 Professor John M. Phillips Excellence in Government Accountability Award.

The Association of Government Accountants, Guam Chapter, made the announcement on Tuesday, according to a GCC press release.

“Earlier this year, our GCC family lost our dearly beloved Carmen, who led our financial and administrative team for the last 12 years. Carmen was an integral part of our management team that continued GCC’s commitment to fiscal responsibility and a reputation for good management,” stated Mary Okada, GCC president and past recipient of the Phillips award. “We thank the AGA Guam Chapter for recognizing Carmen for her dedication and hard work throughout the years.”

The award will be presented to Santos’ husband, Michael, and their two daughters, Meagan and Samantha, at the chapter's September general membership meeting at noon Wednesday via Zoom.

“We are honored to recognize Carmen and all her contributions to the accounting and accountability profession, not just here on Guam, but throughout Micronesia,” stated Pilar Pangelinan, president of the AGA Guam Chapter. “This award, named after one of our Chapter’s charter members, is a great way to recognize our island’s greatest contributors to advancing government accountability. We congratulate Carmen, her family, and her colleagues at the Guam Community College for their tremendous accomplishments throughout the years.”

The annual award recognizes the cumulative achievements of a government professional who, throughout his or her public career, served as a role model for others and has consistently exhibited the highest personal and professional standards.

The award is named after Professor John M. Phillips, MBA, CGFM, CPA, for his contributions to advancing government accountability in the Pacific region. Professor Phillips was a charter and lifetime member of the AGA Guam Chapter and retired as an accounting professor at the University of Guam after a 22-year career.

Past recipients of the Professor John M. Phillips Excellence in Government Accountability Award include:

• Former Public Auditor Doris Flores Brooks (2012)

• Guam Community College President Mary Okada (2013)

• The late former Speaker and Senator Vicente “Ben” Cabrera Pangelinan (2014)

• Former Department of Education Deputy Superintendent and current Guam Waterworks Authority Chief Financial Officer Taling Taitano (2015)

• Supreme Court Justice Robert J. Torres (2016)

• Former Speaker and current Public Auditor Benjamin J.F. Cruz (2017)

• Former Port Authority of Guam General Manager Joanne Brown (2018)

• Guam Department of Education Superintendent Jon Fernandez (2019)


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