By Stacy Nguyen
Northwest Asian Weekly
Paul Ishii is president-elect of the Rotary Club of Seattle. With about 675 members, it’s the largest rotary club internationally, and it is the fourth oldest.<!–more–>
Ishii is a Federal Way resident and currently general manager of the Mayflower Park Hotel in Seattle, a position he has held since 1998. He has more than 25 years of experience in hotel-industry management throughout the country and internationally.
Ishii is a member of the board of directors of InvestED, a nonprofit organization that provides money to thousands of needy secondary-school students for specific necessities,and to help them get more involved in school activities.
Ishii is also serving a term on the Washington Higher Education Coordinating Board, which is a 10-member citizen board that provides strategic planning, coordination, monitoring, and policy analysis for higher education in Washington. It also administers state and federal student financial aid and other education services.
Ishii earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Business Administration from Washington State University in 1981.
1. Why is it important to you to contribute to your community?
Because what goes around comes around.
2. What does the word diversity mean to you and how do you foster it in your work?
It can be costly to be narrow-minded. Ignorance is bliss, [but] diversity opens up [new] perspectives on your community and yourself. In an ideal world, it should happen naturally — one should not have to ‘plan’ diversity — it should be natural.
3. What was one of the biggest challenges you’ve faced in your work?
Reporting an activity that was unethical … knowing it was my boss … and knowing I would be fired if I did.
4. What was one of your proudest moments in your work?
Not was — is — it is my staff.
5. Can you finish this sentence? “My work excites me because …”
I like the people I work with. It sounds simple, but is hard to realize.
6. If you could pick only one trait, what trait do you think is the most important for a leader?
That trait would be the ability to lead by example.
7. If you could compare your leadership style to that of a historical figure, who would that be?
Why [make a comparison]?
8. If you weren’t doing what you’re doing today, what other job do you think you’d be good at?
Working for the National Geographic Society on assignment.
9. Do you have a secret talent? What is it?
I do not have secrets. They only get you in trouble.
10. If you could describe yourself in only three words, what would they be?
H20, carbon, and energy. (end)
(After answering the 10 questions, Ishii wryly admitted, “I am not long winded.”)
Stacy Nguyen can be reached at email@example.com.