Hawaii Convention Center As if his duties as assistant general manager of the Hawaii Convention Center in Honolulu weren't enough, Randy Tanaka also is serving as chief operating officer of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation 2011 Hawaii Host Committee for APEC's Leader's Week. The event will take place Nov. 7-13 in Honolulu and is expected to draw some 20,000 international government officials, corporate executives and media representatives to discuss business interactions between member nations.
What career path led you to the Hawaii Convention Center? Early on I was part of the team that opened the Westin Kauai, the first of the mega resorts in the islands, and I eventually became executive director of the Kauai Visitors Bureau. I joined the center as director of sales and marketing in 1996.
What are some of the challenges you face at the center? It's a new day, the market changes quickly and the competition responds just as quickly. Technology has speeded up the game. Because of this, opportunities are very fluid. If you mull over the challenges too long, you will be to market too late. That said, we're well positioned to be the place where people come from all over the world to share information face-to-face.
Why is the APEC Leaders' Meeting so important? APEC is unique; it's about cooperation among the world's fastest growing economies. Hawaii, by example, represents how things can be balanced -- socially, economically and environmentally. APEC not only will help highlight what we have to offer, it will better position the U.S. in regard to Asia Pacific economic relations and initiatives.
What do you like to do in your spare time? I enjoy physical work -- building stuff, planting fruit trees. But there's not much spare time.