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Ernest K. Nishizaki, Executive Vice President, Kyo-ya Company, LLC

Image of Ernest K. Nishizaki

Ernest K. Nishizaki, Executive Vice President of Kyo-ya Company, LLC, is being recognized with the Legacy in Tourism Award in tribute to his influential career in Hawaii’s hospitality industry.

Mr. Nishizaki offers over 40 years of hotel experience including positions with Starwood Hotels and Resorts, Sheraton Hotels and Resorts, and Kyo-ya Company, LLC. He joined ITT Sheraton Corporation’s Management Trainee program in Waikiki in 1970, after proudly graduating from the University of Hawai‘i’s Travel Industry Management program. At the completion of his management training in 1972, he was appointed Resident Manager of the Sheraton West in Los Angeles, and two years later assumed the same position at the Sheraton Houston Hotel.

Subsequently, Mr. Nishizaki served in the capacity of Resident Manager of the 600-room Sheraton Palace Hotel in San Francisco. In 1977, he was appointed General Manager of Sheraton Waia¯kea Village Hotel in Hilo, Hawai‘i; and in 1980 he was promoted to Vice President and General Manager of the Sheraton Maui Hotel on Ka¯‘anapali Beach. His career continued in the same capacity at the Sheraton Ma¯kaha Resort and Country Club in Leeward O‘ahu, Sheraton Coconut Beach on Kaua‘i, Sheraton Kaua‘i Beach Resort, and Sheraton Kaua‘i Garden Hotel. In 1993, Mr. Nishizaki became the first local-born General Manager of The Royal Hawaiian, a Luxury Collection Resort until his 2001 move to the position of General Manager, Support Services Group for Sheraton Hotels in Waikiki.Born in Honolulu, Mr. Nishizaki graduated from the University of Hawai‘i with a bachelor of business administration degree in Travel Industry Management (TIM). He was selected as the first recipient for the TIM School Hall of Honor Award by the TIM Alumni Association (1992-93). In 1998, he was honored with the University of Hawai‘i Distinguished Alumni Award.

Very active in community and tourism industry activities, Mr. Nishizaki served as the Chair of the Hawai‘i Hotel & Lodging Association (State Chapter) for two terms, 1992-1993 and 2004-2005, and served on the Association board for many years. In 2011, he was the recipient of the American Hotel and Lodging Association State Leadership Award for Hawai‘i. He currently is a governing member of the Tax Foundation of Hawai‘i and also actively serves as a board member for the University of Hawai‘i TIM School Advisory Board, ‘Ahahui Koa a¯nuenue, Hawai‘i Bowl Foundation, Sheraton Hawai‘i Bowl, and Hawaiian Airlines Diamond Head Classic.

Passionately committed to the sustainability of our island environment and our economy and resources, Mr. Nishizaki currently serves as a member of the University of Hawai‘i Sea Grant Center for Sustainable Coastal Tourism as well as an advisor to the Sea Grant Program, the HL&TA representative on the City and County of Honolulu Sustainable Building Task Force, a steering committee member of the Hawaii Clean Energy Initiative, and an advisory committee member of the DHHL Kaupuni Project.

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