About the Entrepreneur
Guy Akasaki is the president and CEO of GreenPath Technologies, Inc., a locally operated solar power integrator that provides a turnkey solution for photovoltaic systems including concept, design, analysis, engineering, installation, maintenance, monitoring, and financing. Guy is also president and CEO of Commercial Roofing & Waterproofing Hawaii, Inc., a full-service roofing and waterproofing contractor with 75 employees and operations in Hawaii, Guam and the Philippines.
More with Guy
What core values have remained with you throughout the years?
It’s about exceeding the client’s expectations. Our statement is working together as a unified team of professionals, taking our experiences and talents to be on the cutting edge in our industry.
What advice would you give for anyone running a family business?
Many parents who are business owners dream of passing on their legacy, but we have to realize that our kids have a purpose, a destiny in their lives, and they have to find out who and what they are. Sometimes as parents and as business owners we want to fit them into a box, and they say, “No, no, no.” In the end it’s about releasing your kids to be the best that they can possibly be.
Our kids worked on the mainland. There was always a fear that we would lose the kids on the mainland, but they came back with a passion to really place themselves here.
What advice would you give to someone starting a new business?
Whether you succeed or fail, one day you won’t be able to tell your left hand from your right, you won’t be able to tell what is up and what is down. Just like surfing, you won’t be able to tell what is right and what is wrong –the only thing that will allow you to navigate the treacherous waters of business at times are your core values – the intangible tapestry that makes up an entrepreneur.
What are the most important qualities to look for as a business owner when choosing a bank?
First and foremost, look at the questions they ask. Many banks look at ratios and balance sheets, and many banks may not even see you, especially when things are tough. You take a look at their past history, like when like the economy has its dips – how have they responded to the community? It’s very easy when businesses are doing great that everybody wants you as a customer, but when things are tough, they walk down a different aisle.
No. 2, the bank needs to understand the heart of the entrepreneur and businesspeople. It’s one thing to look at facts and figures, but it’s another thing to understand the heart. Entrepreneurs have a very instinctive thing, which is not defined. When they look at these different facets, and that sets the backdrop to look at the numbers, that is very unique. I’ve had first-hand experience with Hawaii National Bank.
What do you love about banking with Hawaii National Bank?
I can tell my jokes and they actually laugh, pretty amazing. They have become more of a friend than just an institution. They understand the heart, they understand the direction, and they sense the tapestry, which is not easily identifiable via financial statements.
What is your advice for someone entering/taking over a family business?
Learn everything that’s around you. There’s no need to feel the pressure of the expectations of others, but to realize that what you bring is of value. It’s about finding your place.