Telena Cruz Nelson
|Vice Speaker of the Guam Legislature|
|Assumed office |
January 7, 2019
|Preceded by||Therese Terlaje|
|Majority Leader of the Guam Legislature|
|Assumed office |
January 7, 2019
|Preceded by||Tom Ada|
|Majority Whip of the Guam Legislature|
January 2, 2017 – January 7, 2019
|Preceded by||Dennis Rodriguez|
|Succeeded by||Amanda Shelton|
|Senator of the Guam Legislature|
|Assumed office |
January 2, 2017
Telena Monique Cruz Nelson
September 25, 1980
Portland, Oregon, U.S.
|Education||University of Guam (BA)|
Telena Monique Cruz Nelson (born September 25, 1980) also known as Telena Nelson, is currently a Democratic senator in the 34th Guam Legislature. A member of the majority party, Nelson was selected by her colleague to serve as Majority Whip and chairs the Committee on Housing, Utilities, Public Safety, and Homeland Security.
Nelson is the daughter of Theodore Dwight Borja Nelson and Stephanie Cruz Nelson. Her paternal grandparents are Theodore Sgambelluri Nelson, who served as Vice Speaker of the Guam Legislature, and Gloria Camacho Borja Nelson (1935–2012) and maternal grandparents are Jose Quitugua Cruz and Asuncion "Connie" Lazaro Cruz.
Early life and education
Telena Cruz Nelson was born on September 25, 1980, in Portland, Oregon, the first of five children. She is the daughter of Theodore Dwight Borja Nelson and Stephanie Cruz Nelson both natives of Guam. Her paternal grandparents are Theodore Sgambelluri Nelson, who served as Vice Speaker of the Guam Legislature, and Gloria Camacho Borja Nelson (d.) and maternal grandparents are Jose Quitugua Cruz and Asuncion "Connie" Lazaro Cruz.
She was raised in a Roman Catholic family. Her maternal grandmother Connie was instrumental in the pilgrimage that brought the Santa Maria Kamalen-Our Lady of Camarin to the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C. She and her maternal grandmother are lectors at their Catholic Church.
Nelson was heavily involved in sports growing up and made the island's IIAG All-Island basketball and soccer teams while attending Bishop Baumgartner Memorial School, Notre Dame High School, and Simon Sanchez High School. At the young age of 15, she traveled with her singing group under the instructor AnnaMae Borja to perform at Carnegie Hall in New York City representing Guam.
She attended Simon Sanchez High School on Guam. She graduated from the University of Guam with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Anthropology. She is a Captain in the Guam Army National Guard. In 2001, she enlisted as a Combat Medic. In 2007, she entered and completed Officer Candidate School to be commissioned as an Officer in the Guam Army National Guard. Later she attended Basic Officer Leader Course for advancement and in 2008 successfully completed Signal Corps Basic Officer Leader Course.
Entry into public life
In 2016, Senator Nelson was elected to the Guam Legislature with the 5th highest vote count, receiving 16,922 votes in the General Election which took place on November 8, 2016. She was the second highest vote count amongst non-incumbents in the 2016 election.
She served in a combat zone in Afghanistan and deployed as a lone soldier from the Guam company from 2010-2011. She is also a Captain in the Guam Army National Guard.
34th Guam Legislature:
Chairperson: Committee on Housing, Utilities, Public Safety, and Homeland Security
Vice Chairperson: Committee on Rules
Vice Chairperson: Committee on Culture and Justice
Member: Committee on General Government Operations and Federal, Foreign, & Regional Affairs
Member: Committee on Innovation and Economic, Work Force, and Youth Development.
34th Guam Legislature
Bill No. 139-34 (COR) As amended in the Committee of the Whole now P.L. No. 34-69 
Bill No. 165-34 (LS) now P.L. No. 34-49 
Bill No 26-34 (COR) As corrected by the Prime Sponsor now P.L. No. 34-20 
Bill No. 50-34 (COR) now P.L. No. 34‐15 
Bill No. 26-34 (COR) now P.L. No. AMEND SECTION 3 OF PUBLIC LAW 33-104 AND SECTION 2 OF PUBLIC LAW 33-176 
Bill No. 50-34 (COR) lapses into public law.
Nelson's civilian experience was an educator in the Guam Department of Education. Coming from a background of educators- her parents, both grandmothers, aunts, siblings, and cousins- her calling was clear to help educate younger generations.
Her family comes from a lineage of farmers and ranchers that have produced their own food and agricultural products for means of living and reselling. Her great-great grandfather Peter Nelson was a botanist and discovered a large tree from the Serianthes family which they named after him. The Seraithes Nelsonii is known as the S. Nelsonii or hayun lagu. It was named critically endangered in 1998.
She has shown her passion for helping the community by holding multiple teaching positions over the span of several years. Senator Nelson has had the opportunity to work as a Science and Physical Education Teacher as well as hold the position of Opportunity Room and Secondary Teacher positions. Through these positions, she has been able to enrich her students' curriculum to the national and state standards as well as promote physical fitness in the lives of Guam's youth.
Telena is the Vice-President of Soroptimist International of Guam and an active member in the Guam Lions Harmony Organization.
Military Service (2001-present)
In the years to follow, she would further serve her country and island by joining the Guam Army National Guard by holding the position of Combat Medic where she would administer emergency medical treatment to battlefield casualties, assist with outpatient and inpatient care and treatment, as well as drawing and preparing blood samples for laboratory analysis up until August 2007. From there she has held the positions of Officer in Charge of Headquarters for the 105th Troop Command Headquarters, Company Commander for the 1671st Signal Network Support Detachment, S6 Signal Officer for the1225TH Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, Afghanistan, Training Officer for HQ 105th Troop Command, Chief Plans and Operations Officer (CND-Team Chief), Company Commander for the 721st Signal Company, 105th Troop Command, Guam Army National Guard, and the Computer Network Defense Team Chief 721st Signal Company, 105th Troop Command, Guam Army National Guard.
Awards and Honors
Bronze Star Medal
Army Commendation Medal
Army Achievement Medal
Afghanistan Campaign Medal
Armed Forces Reserve Medal w/ M-Device
Guam Commendation Medal
German Proficiency Badge (Foreign Award)
Awarded The Adjutant General Star Note for Exceptional Performance during Annual Training 2015
Awarded The Adjutant General Star Note for Marksmanship
Awarded The Adjutant General Star Note for Exceptional Physical Fitness
- "Guam Election Commission. 2016 General Election Official Results. Hagatna, Guam".
- Guam Election Commission. 2016 General Election Official Results. Hagatna, Guam.
- 34th Guam Legislature, Hagatna, Guam. "Public Law No. 34-69" (PDF).
- 34th Guam Legislature, Hagatna, Guam. "Public Law No. 34-49" (PDF).
- 34th Guam Legislature, Hagatna, Guam. "Public Law No. 34-20" (PDF).
- 34th Guam Legislature, Hagatna, Guam. "Public Law No. 34-15" (PDF).
- 34th Guam Legislature, Hagatna, Guam. "AMEND SECTION 3 OF PUBLIC LAW 33-104 AND SECTION 2 OF PUBLIC LAW 33-176" (PDF).
- 34th Guam Legislature, Hagatna, Guam. "Bill No. 50-34 Lapses into Public Law" (PDF).
- Pacific Daily News. Candidate profile: Telena Nelson (D), Hagatna, Guam.
|Legislature of Guam|
| Majority Leader of the Guam Legislature