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SPDG Advisory Board

Jesse H. James JESSE H. JAMES - CEO/Principal
Chairman of the Advisory Board
Managing Member

For more than three decades Jesse James has been recognized as a much sought after business speaker, and corporate consultant in the fields of management, leadership, communications, sales & marketing and strategic planning.

Some of the corporations that Mr. James has worked with over his career include: Wittner Development Company, Volkswagen of Canada, Prudential Insurance, IBM, Delta Airlines, Hewlett Packard, Federal Express, Eastman Kodak Co. and many more. His years of experience in corporate management and consulting have given him a wide variety of skills in a broad cross section of business and industry as well as specialized expertise in the field of commercial real estate development.

Prior to launching his career as an international business consultant, Mr. James established a highly successful career in corporate management. His executive management experience includes serving as president of an Internet consulting company, a Florida based commercial insurance agency and a Florida based publishing company.

Mr. James was raised in Boston, Massachusetts where he pursued his education by majoring in Business Administration at Northeastern University. He has also served as an adjunct faculty member at Boston University's Center for Management Development.

In his many years of diversified experience as a top executive and respected consultant, he has taken a countless number of companies from poor performers to top performers, time and time again. It is this wealth of experience that has enabled him to develop strong and lasting relationships with both the government and the people of Samoa where he has been recognized by the bestowing of the title of "High Chief – Tupaisina,” a unique honor in that country.

It is Mr. James' tireless dedication, focus on the tasks at hand and strong relationship building skills that have brought South Pacific Development Group to where it is today.

 Paul SkellonPAUL SKELLON - Senior Vice President
Member of the Advisory Board

Mr. Skellon has global experience as both a Senior Airline Executive and Company Founder / Managing Director. He is an established business leader with proven integrity, energy, and a uniquely driven creativity in the fields of corporate communications, public relations and culture change in both the service and product sectors.

As a leading industry expert Paul Skellon has developed an in-depth understanding of the airline industry (operations, marketing, branding and communications) with specialized experience in the Asia-Pacific Market. He is also an exceptional negotiator who has successfully handled turnarounds, mergers, strategic alliances/partnerships, code shares and start-ups.

In the past, Mr. Skellon has served as Director of Corporate Affairs for Virgin Express in Europe and President & Managing Director of Virgin Express in France. He then moved on to serve as Vice President of Corporate Communications & International Operations for Mesa Air Group.

Paul also served as Vice President for go! Mokulele airlines in Honolulu, Hawaii where he was responsible for the overall strategy, budgets and operations of a team of approximately 250 people (flight and cabin crews, ground handling and guest services agents, maintenance crews, administrative personnel, reservations call centre and guest care teams).

Mr. Skellon was born in New Zealand and currently holds dual citizenship in that country and in France. He is fluent in both English and French and has a USA Universities Bachelors Degree in Corporate Communications and International Relations. He is also active in the Honolulu Rotary, Sales and Marketing Executives International, International Association of Business Communicators, Life Foundation (Fighting AIDS in the Pacific) and serves on the Board of Advisors of @aquila (NY-based technology company).

Paul Skellon's wealth of knowledge and experience in corporate management, communications, and the airline industry in particular, serve to make him a very valuable member of the South Pacific Development Group Advisory Board.

Jason K.K. RabagoJASON RABAGO - Founder/Principal
Member of the Advisory Board
Managing Member

In addition to being a successful promoter, inventor and author, Jason Rabago was also the original founder of South Pacific Development Group (SPDG) and was responsible along with his father Samuel Rabago, who is now deceased, for spearheading the beginning of SPDG's resort development projects in Samoa. It was their combined vision, effort and determination that have made the dream of resort developments in Samoa a reality.

It was Jason and Samuel who had the initial contacts with village chiefs on the island of Savaii that prompted them to come up with the idea of developing land there. They then reached out to build a management infrastructure that could help them to achieve their development goals and objectives.

Their initial concept to develop projects consisting of hotels, timeshare resorts, a golf course, cultural center, medical clinics, schools, computer learning centers and residential housing neighborhoods remains intact today.

Jason was born in Hawaii, raised in Hilo and currently resides on the island of Oahu. Jason Rabago is an integral and important part of the future success of South Pacific Development Group.

Charles Black CHARLES M. BLACK
Member of the Advisory Board

Charles Black is the president of Furniture Plus Design, a very successful, high-end commercial and residential furniture retailer specializing in full-service interior design capabilities.

He is a member in good standing of the American Society of Interior Designers and the International Interior Design Association and has taken an active role in the governing bodies and operating committees of both organizations. Charles has received numerous design awards for residential projects as well as commercial awards for hotels, clubs, offices and restaurants.

In addition to his heavy involvement in community activities (Unity Church of Hawaii, Rotary Club of Metropolitan Honolulu, The Exchange Club, The Plaza Club, The Honolulu Club and the Sounds of Aloha Barbershop Chorus). Charles has also been extremely active in organizations that promote the preservation of culture and tradition in Hawaii. He has served as the Director of The Hawaiian Mission Children's Society from 1965 through 1986 and was its President from 1970 through 1972.

Charles was the founding president of the Historic Hawaii Foundation and served on its board from 1971 to 1976 and helped to establish Hawaii's State Preservation Office where a program for American Studies and Preservation was implemented at the University of Hawaii.

He also was a member of The National Trust for Historic Preservation from 1972 through 1980 where he served as both an advisor and was appointed to the board of trustees. During his time at NTHP, Charles wrote, organized and hosted a historic tour of the Hawaiian Islands for the Trustees of the NTHP and coordinated organizational meetings on all of the islands.

Mr. Black was born in Honolulu, Hawaii as a fifth generation descendent of Missionaries Hiram Bingham and Amos Starr Cooke. He attended Punahou School in Honolulu before furthering his education at both the University of Colorado and the University of Hawaii. He is also a graduate of the Dale Carnegie Institute program for Human Relations and Sales Management.

Charles' diverse management and entrepreneurial experience coupled with his steadfast commitment to the preservation of culture and tradition make him an outstanding member of the South Pacific Development Group, LLC Advisory Board.

Member of the Advisory Board
Managing Member

Scott Barley joined fellow Advisory Board Member Charles Black at Charles Black Associates as a marketing manager in 1990. He immediately became instrumental in the creation and subsequent growth of Furniture Plus Design, a contract commercial office furniture dealer, where he is now a co-owner and Vice President of Operations. Scott is known as "the glue that holds the company's operations together."

Beyond Scott's significant abilities in the sales and marketing arenas, he brings a solid grasp of business accounting, finance and administrative issues to the Advisory Board of South Pacific Development Group. He is also well known for his ability to embrace new concepts and disciplines quickly as well as a being both a multi-talented and a multi-faceted businessman.

Scott Barley was raised in Hawaii, on Oahu's North Shore, where he graduated from Kahuku High School. He then went on to earn a Bachelor of Business Administration Degree in Marketing at the University of Hawaii at Manoa.

Scott is happily married with two beautiful daughters, and enjoys spending time with his family. He also holds the unique honor of having been one of the very few Americans selected to present a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at the Arlington National Cemetery in Washington, D.C.

Member of the Advisory Board

Anthony Savaglio is a seasoned management professional with more than fifteen years of senior-level experience in sales and corporate leadership.

Tony’s professional background includes experience as an executive in sales and marketing, marketing consultant, hotel and restaurant management and business owner.  He is currently the owner & CEO of Anthony Savaglio’s MarketQuest Realty Team®, a Phoenix, Arizona based real estate company serving the Greater Phoenix area, including the upscale suburb of Scottsdale.

Throughout many years, Tony has had the responsibility of supervising numerous management teams and hundreds of sales personnel and support staffs in sales and marketing offices across the nation.  On behalf of clients, he has negotiated and acquired contracts with a multitude of recognized national organizations, delivered scores of sales and motivational seminars and has designed, written and implemented countless training materials used to enhance various sales programs.

As a strategic and tactical leader of both sales and operations with a track record of consistent growth, continuous improvement, and turnaround leadership, his varied, professional business background adds to his ability to quickly adapt to new environments while his talent for organizing and multi-tasking greatly contribute to his ability to assist his clients, in whatever arena he finds himself a part, with meeting their goals.

Tony’s core strengths and capabilities, gained from years of bringing people and components of complex projects together offers a distinct advantage, even in an advisor capacity, both to the people and the entities to which he serves.

His vision for the Savaii Village Resort development project is simple: it should be a natural blend with the community and culture of the Samoan landscape and its people so innate as if to be inherent within the environment - not taking away but adding to its richness and beauty.

Member of the Advisory Board
Managing Member

Patrick “Eddie” Edwards was a consultant for over 30 years in Sales and Marketing for pharmaceutical companies starting in 1975 with Burroughs Wellcome & Co., RTP, N.C..  He then joined G.D. Searle & Co., Chicago in 1979, and retired from Pfizer, Inc. in 2003.  He then came out of retirement in 2005, and joined a start-up company, Cubist Pharmaceuticals, Lexington, M.A, as a clinical Business Manager.

Eddie, who was born and raised in California, joined the U.S. Coast Guard in 1968 and was trained as an Aviation Electronics Technician, flying search and rescue missions along the Pacific Coast in HC-130’s and HU-16’s.  After completion of military service, he then studied Biological Sciences at California State University, San Luis Obispo, and received a B.S. degree in 1975.  He is listed in “Whose Who in America”, and is a past member of the Cal Poly alumni board.

Since moving to Hawaii’s Big Island, Eddie has become an accomplished writer with one magazine article published, including photos, many editorials and columns that have appeared in various newspapers, and is working on two books.  In April 2009, Eddie joined a local Rotary International club because Rotary’s motto of “service above self”, is a perfect fit for his desire of making a difference in our world.

Eddie’s father taught him at a young age about the benefits of investing in real estate and he has been very successful at buying and selling real estate in California.  He currently maintains two residences, San Ramon, Ca. and Kehena Beach, Hawaii.

Eddie’s passion to “connect with people”, and is unyielding commitment to the preservation of the culture, traditions and environment of island in the South Pacific, serves to make him an excellent addition to the South Pacific Development Group, LLC Advisory Board. In 2008, he became a Managing Member of SPDG.

Member of the Advisory Board
Managing Member

Ted Wong retired as Senior Vice president of Hughes Aircraft Company and President of the Missile Systems Group (MSG) in November, 1992.  He also was a member of the company’s Management Executive Committee and Policy Board.  MSG was responsible for design, development and production of a variety of tactical missile systems.  Maverick Air-to-Ground, Phoenix and AMRAAM Air-to-Air, and TOW wire guided anti armor missiles were among the Group’s  products.  Several advanced missile systems were in development at MSG at that time, including the first Exo-Atmospheric Kill Vehicle (EKV) for Ballistic Missile Defense as well as the IR guidance unit to convert the Navy’s Standard Missile to a Ballistic Missile Interceptor.

Since retiring, Mr. Wong has continued his involvement in the defense business.  He has served as a consultant to Raytheon, Boeing, Teledyne Technologies, and Aerojet General.  He recently retired as Chairman of the Board of Directors of Adroit Systems Inc (ASI), a Systems Engineering and Technical Assist (SETA) company specializing in Reconnaissance, Surveillance and Intelligence (RSI).  During his two year tenure as chairman, ASI grew at a 40% annual rate. He recently completed a four-year term as a member of the Air Force Scientific Advisory Board (AFSAB), where he chaired a Deep Strike study that was commissioned in 2002 by the Secretary of the Air Force.  He is currently a member of the STRATCOM Commander’s Advisory Group (CAG).

In the late 60’s and early 70’s, Mr. Wong managed organizations responsible for the advanced design of integrated avionics and missile systems for the YF-12 and F-14 fighters.  The resulting ASG-18/GAR-9 and AWG-9/AIM-54 systems were revolutionary long range Hi PRF Pulsed-Doppler radar and missile systems.

Between 1970 and 1973, Mr. Wong was manager of the Air Warfare Laboratories, which were responsible for program acquisition and preliminary design of several avionics and missile systems.  Following his appointment as assistant manager in 1974, he was named manager of the Advance Missile Systems Division in 1977.  He served in a variety of management roles in the Missile Group before his appointment to Group President.

Mr. Wong was named MSG President in October, 1987.  While in this position, he took personal leadership in strategy formulation and design that led to Hughes capturing the highly competitive AMRAAM program.  He subsequently assumed a similar leadership role in establishing Hughes’ prominent role as Kill Vehicle designer for the Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI) organization.  Prior to this, he was appointed Corporate Vice-President and MSG Assistant Group Executive responsible for business development, research and technology management, proposal preparation and preliminary design.

Mr. Wong graduated from Cornell University in 1953 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Engineering Physics.  He was born in Honolulu, Hawaii in Dec 19, 1929 and recently returned to reside there.

© 2014 South Pacific Development Group, LLC
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