Pursuing Your Dreams
Wednesday - June 15, 2005
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Jerome Bundalian, Chindavone Philavong, Lynne
Kaneshiro, Stacie Fujii and Yvonne Ahsing of
Island Title Corporation
I have always dreamed of owning my own business. Because of my energy, drive and passion to serve others at an early age, I believe these traits helped me to succeed in the business world.
My dream finally came true in 1982 when I opened Island Title Corporation, a title and escrow company. Though interest rates were quite high at the time, it turned out to be a good time to start the company. Starting small with just nine employees, I felt we would make it by offering excellent customer service. In four months we began making a profit, and within three years became the second-largest title escrow company in Hawaii. Because we had the desire and drive to succeed, I wasn’t too surprised by the company’s overall success. I was, however, surprised by how quickly it happened.
But I always had the drive to succeed. I can remember when I was in third grade I wanted to help my father sell Thanksgiving turkeys. So I went from door to door in our neighborhood selling and ended up getting so many orders my dad had to hire a truck to deliver them. The lessons learned at that young age remained with me throughout my life. I learned it’s important to have a dream, work hard to pursue it, and “stay focused.” When I got older and entered the work force, I learned how important it is to have employees who share your dream, and that good customer service never goes out of style. At Island Title, the word “no” is not part of our vocabulary.
I am very proud of the accomplishments of my employees and prouder still that we never gave up or took the easy path when times got hard. We’ve built a solid team of outstanding title and escrow professionals who represent residential and commercial clients in a broad range of property transactions. When we started, I used to “tell” our people what to do. Today, our people are empowered to make decisions and we value their opinions. They are our most valuable asset as we continue to grow. We now have 100 employees spread among six offices on Oahu, Maui and the Big Island.
I see a bright future ahead and the plan is to continue growing the business while providing our customers the service they’ve come to expect. In order to better compete in the real estate industry, I partnered with First American Title Insurance Company in 2004. We now have access to the excellent technology, benefits and training capabilities of one of the nation’s top title insurers.
I feel very blessed with the rapid growth and success the company has achieved over the past two decades. And I am forever grateful to our employees, who have always shared and supported my business philosophy of making the client our No. 1 priority. At Island Title, we remain committed to providing Hawaii with superior title and escrow services with a local, personalized touch.
Looking back over the years, I wouldn’t change a thing. The ride to get where I am was worth it and I am looking forward to even more challenges that lie ahead for the company. I encourage you to pursue your own dreams with passion
Next week: Valerie Ishihara, COO of Laser Eye Center of Hawaii
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