What is GUMA?
Guam Unique Merchandise & Art (GUMA) recognizes there is no end to the creativity, passion, and pride of Guam’s local artists, cultural producers, and entrepreneurs. However, many lack the resources or business and marketing acumen necessary to advance their product or service concepts into sustainable businesses that can compete in a retail environment.
Recognizing these barriers, in late 2013, the Galaide Group and DFS Guam formed the Guam Unique Merchandise and Arts (GUMA) program to provide business training and incubator support to these talented individuals. In 2014, GUMA became a 501(c)3 federally recognized non-profit entity. That same year GUMA applied for and was awarded a three-year grant from the Administration for Native Americans (ANA). This grant, along with generous start up funding from the DFS Group and support from our public and private partners, has allowed the GUMA program to expand its mission goals and objectives. Since then, GUMA has received additional funding from the Office of the Governor of Guam, the Guam Economic Development Authority (GEDA), and the 36th Guam Legislature.
Partners & Sponsors
Guam Unique Merchandise & Art's mission is to assist Guam Residents with training and support as needed to develop and succeed as a sustainable business.
Guam Unique Merchandise & Art's vision is to be the premier catalyst for promoting and facilitating Guam entrepreneurship.
Guam Unique Merchanise & Art (GUMA) provides new and innovative ways to deliver the essence of Guam in a competitive business environment. Our programs are developed to assist passionate & motivated artists, cultural producers, and local entrepreneurs become self-sustaining small businesses. GUMA provides access to mentoring, training, tools, and support from a variety of expertise and resources through our programs. Other assistance includes mentoring in branding, retailing, and merchandising, packaging & price point development, copyright & intellectual property rights, assistance with legal & business development, and COOP & Retail Sales Assistance.”
GUMA’s Board of Directors oversees the programs, and our project team provides direct guidance and support to participants. As the program grows, GUMA will continue to reach out to public, private, and non-governmental entities to expand and forward our vision, mission and goals.
We are currently funded through a grant from the Administration for Native Americans (Grant #90NN0007). GUMA also receives support from the Office of the Governor of Guam, the Guam Economic Development Authority (GEDA), Guam Visitors Bureau, the 36th Guam Legislature, DFS Guam Ltd., and other generous public and private partners. As our program grows, we invite like-minded private sector companies, organizations, and individuals to join our efforts in creating sustainable businesses and jobs for Guam’s residents! For more information on how to become a partner of GUMA, participate as a sponsor, or benefactor in building our local economy, contact us using the information on the “Contact GUMA” page!
The GUMA Team
Get to know the GUMA Team Members that make the little things possible on a daily basis.
Board of Directors
Get to know GUMA's Board of Directors!
Marvin is the current Deputy Director of Strategy & Plans for the U.S. Navy Civilian, Joint Region Marianas, Guam. He served as the Special Projects Coordinator for the Guam Economic Development Authority (GEDA) from 1998-2000. He has provided CROWNS Guam, Pa'a Taotao Tano, Sanctuary, and GEDA with their Strategic Business Plans.
A business professional with 23 years of experience in real estate and merchandise assortment planning, product sourcing, and development. He is the former Sr. Manager/Local Buyer (Mid-Pacific Division) for DFS Group, LTD., and was a Merchandise Planning Manager/Planner for GAP International Europe.
Matthew C. Cruz
Director of Finance
A Traditional Chief with Choll Chief Council, Matt is a current Board Member of the Tourism Education Council, FSM Association of Guam, Chuukese Association of Guam, Humanities Guåhan, FSM Church Leaders Association/Community Cares, and Palau International Coral Reef Center.
Vince is an Attorney at Law and Certified Public Accountant and is the Managing Principal of the Camacho Calvo Law Group, LLC. His background includes serving as Vice President of Legislative Affairs with the Society for Humane Resource Management - Guam Chapter and Treasurer of Sanctuary, Inc.
Joann garnered 23 years as the divisional merchandise manager of Duty Free Shoppers. As First Lady of Guam, she founded the Guam Hope Foundation aimed at improving the welfare of Guam's children and families. She has also served as General Manager of the Guam Visitors Bureau, and Deputy Administrator of the Guam Economic Development Authority.
Member at Large
Liza is an Interior Designer and Founding Partner with Beighley Vanica Designs in Guam. She attended the Insight School of Interior Design in Hong Kong, Arizona State University, and St. Louis University to earn her Residential Interior Design Certification and Bachelor of Science, Marketing.
Dr. Judy Flores
Member at Large
A professional artist since 1981 with a PhD in Micronesian Studies from the University of Guam. Former secondary school art teacher, and one of the founding members and former directors of Gef Pa'go CHamoru Cultural Village in Inalåhan.
Dr. Bert Johnston
Member at Large
Bert is the Education Director at the GCA Trades Academy. He earned his Doctorate of Business Administration with a focus in Entrepreneurship from the University of Phoenix and his Master of Public Administration and Bachelor of Arts from the University of Guam.