The School of Travel Industry Management (TIM) is honored to present its Legacy in Tourism Award to the founder, president and chief executive officer of United Laundry Services, Inc., Vicky Cayetano, for her contribution to Hawai‘i’s travel and tourism industry. “She is one of the pillars of our Hawai‘i tourism community and is regarded as a staunch supporter and friend of the visitor industry,” said Thomas Bingham, dean of the TIM School. “Over the past years, her support of the UH TIM School has benefited many of our students in their pursuit of a career in hospitality,” added Bingham.
Mrs. Cayetano started from small beginnings, on her own with the laundry from three hospitals, but she had an ambitious dream for a business designated to service all of the Hawai‘i healthcare industry’s laundry. Fast forward to today, Cayetano is the founder, president and CEO of United Laundry Services Inc., employing 600 people while servicing not one, but two key industries in Hawaiʻi–healthcare and hospitality.
Celebrating its 30th anniversary in 2018, United Laundry Services has grown into one of Hawaiʻi’s most successful service companies because of Cayetano’s passion to serve both industries. Through partnering with Hawaiʻi’s hotels and hospitals, Cayetano believes that offering services like laundry allows both industries to focus on their core products.
Married to former Governor Benjamin Cayetano, she served as first lady of Hawaiʻi from 1997 to 2002. She is the founder of Washington Place Foundation, a non-profit organization committed to preserving Washington Place, the former home of Queen Liliʻuokalani and Hawaiʻi’s governors. Cayetano had the idea to turn Washington Place, a national landmark, into a museum to serve the public.
Last year, Cayetano won the Pacific Business News’ 2018 Women Who Mean Business Career Achievement Award. As an active community member, she has made volunteering a priority, serving as the vice chair of the board of directors for the Hawaiʻi Symphony Orchestra and as a supporter of the Hawaiian Humane Society.
“This is our community, so part of the satisfaction of being able to do your business well is that you can help others,” she said. “You can give back to the community that’s given so much to you.”
Cayetano credits the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa School of Travel Industry Management for being instrumental to the success and future of the state’s tourism industry.