TRITON SPOTLIGHT: “Where are they now?”
Suzanne Zahnen Perez
If Suzanne Zahnen Perez looks familiar to you, it’s probably because you’ve seen her on TV. While a senior at the University of Guam, she concurrently worked as a news intern in the now defunct news organization, Cable News. Perez earned her BA in Communication in 1996 and eventually joined the KUAM News Team as a news reporter and weekend anchor and producer. Perez ventured into a different role as Public Information Officer for the Guam Memorial Hospital Authority. “Although I studied to be a broadcast journalist, I went outside of my field and handled Public Relations for the hospital. It was quite a transition going from the hustle and bustle of the news room to a regular office setting but it didn't take me long to get the hang of it,” she says. While working for the hospital she was detailed to the Governor's Communication Office from 2000-2002.
“I helped write speeches, organize events and press conferences, and accompanied the Governor at functions. Although challenging at times, I cherish my years working at Adelup. I felt honored to have been selected to work in the Governor's Communication Office. After Adelup I was detailed back to GMH.”
In 2003 she joined the Guam Premier Outlets as the Marketing and Operations Manager. “That's the beauty of holding a Communication degree. It's broad enough to cover broadcast journalism, public relations, and now retail marketing,” she explains. She is responsible for overseeing the advertising and promotional efforts for the shopping center that are geared towards both the local and tourism markets. She also helps to oversee the center’s housekeeping, security, Information Booth and the GPO Kiosk program which includes meeting with prospective tenants and approving their business plans and kiosk designs.
Through her position, Perez is able to help give back to the island community. GPO has up to two major fundraising events per year wherein part of the proceeds are donated back to non-profit organizations. “This year we are holding a Golf Tournament Fundraiser on October 25th as part of our 16th year anniversary celebration. As our way of giving back to the community we are giving part of the proceeds to the Guam Girl Scouts and the Pa'a Taotao Tano non-profit organization,” she says.
“I loved all my years at UOG. The professors were great and I made a lot of new friends but the most memorable moment for me would be Graduation Day because I worked so hard to get to that point. I had my daughter when I was a Junior so I worked extra hard to graduate on time and with good grades. I made the Dean’s List quite a few times,” she says. She encourages her fellow Tritons to be proud of their alma mater. “Just because our degrees didn’t come from an off island institution doesn’t mean we didn’t work hard to earn them or that they are not as valuable,” she adds.
Perez enjoys spending her spare time with her husband and kids, and playing Angry Birds!
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