SAIPAN - Business executive and philanthropist Jerry Tan is this year’s Liberation Day grand marshal.

“He’s been doing lots, not only for Saipan but for the whole Commonwealth,” Saipan Mayor David M. Apatang said, referring to the chief executive officer of Tan Holdings Corp.

Mayor Apatang said as part of the commemoration of the 75th anniversary of the Battles of Saipan and Tinian, the Liberation Day Committee named Burke Waldron, a 95-year-old World War II veteran, as the honorary grand marshal.

Waldron served in the Naval Ground Force of the Pacific and was part of the invasions of Makin islands in Kiribati and Saipan. He retired in 1946 as a petty officer second class.

Apatang said Waldron will be accompanied by David M. Sablan in the Liberation Day parade.

Grand marshal

Each year, the mayor of Saipan names a Liberation Day grand marshal to honor a citizen who exemplifies pride and spirit within the community.

The mayor said Tan, through Tan Holdings Corp. and the Dr. Tan Siu Lin Foundation, has been instrumental in helping the community progress and develop.

Tan also played a very important role in the post-Typhoon Yutu recovery program, Apatang added.

Jerry Tan, the third son of Dr. Tan Siu Lin and Lam Pek Kim, was named the 2009 Executive of the Year by Guam Business Magazine. In 2003, he was the Business Person of the Year of the Saipan Chamber of Commerce. In 2004, he was the Employer of the Year of CNMI Society of Human Resource Management.

Jerry Tan is a board member of the Marianas Visitors Authority and special advisor to Gov. Ralph DLG Torres for trade and tourism.

A strong advocate of sports and a healthy lifestyle, Tan is president of the Northern Mariana Islands Football Association, the Northern Marianas Badminton Association, and the Saipan Bowling Association.

The Northern Marianas Sports Association recognized him as the Sports Administrator of the Year in 2016.

Tan graduated magna cum laude from the University of Guam with a double major in accounting and management. He calls the CNMI his home with his wife, Lydia, and his daughter, Nathania.

“I am deeply humbled and grateful to be chosen as this year’s grand marshal. This is one of my first-time experiences, and I am excited to watch the parade from the viewpoint of somebody who is in the parade,” Tan said in a statement. “I always watch the parade every year, as long as I’m on island, and I make it a point to watch from beginning to end. It’s very entertaining to see the beautiful floats and watch all members of the community very well represented. I wish everyone will have a meaningful celebration, especially since we’re also commemorating this year the 75th Year Anniversary of the Battle of Saipan. Happy Liberation Day CNMI!”