Ngiratkel Etpison founded his first corporation in 1978, The Ngiratkel Etpison Company, or NECO for short. Etpison began his first enterprise by salvaging scrap generator parts in order to operate abandoned generators from the second world war. His endeavors were a success as he was one of the only businesses on island with reliable electricity to run freezer appliances. Etpison began his first enterprise to selling frozen goods and Ice Candy. Since his humble beginnings, Etpison started some of the first tour and hospitality businesses in Palau, forging strong relationships and partnerships with early foreign investors. NECO went on to expand into construction, hospitality, recycling, delivery services, and tour operations. Etpison eventually pursued a career in politics, winning Palau’s 1988 presidential election. He served as Palau’s 5th President from January 1989 to 1993. During his Presidency, Etpison spearheaded Palau’s initial negotiations that would later lead to Palau’s independence through the Compact of Free Association with the United States of America.