Aloha and Mahalo, Horii-san

15 Mar 2016

A conversation with Mr. Takeshi Horii, JAIMS EVP, as he embarks on a new journey...




A great organization does not evolve without a great team; A great team would not evolve without a great leader.



For 43 years, the Japan-America Institute of Management Science (JAIMS) has had its share of ebbs and flows. With great leaders, it has consistently withstood the test of time. Throughout its history, there is one man who has seen the evolution of the institute, Mr. Takeshi Horii. For Horii-san, JAIMS is more than just a place where he began his professional career with promise and vibrancy; it was a moment in life that helped defined his growth as a person and as a professional, and moreover, an organization that he has led and nurtured till this very day (still with the same promise and vibrancy) in succession for more fruitful years to come. As we celebrate Horii-san’s retirement, we would like to share with the JAIMS Ohana his learning, reflection, and message.


• Describe your time at JAIMS and in Hawai'i

Although I did not do intentionally, I worked for JAIMS over 10 years. For three years after college, I worked to support JAIMS from Japan for 3 years, and then was assigned to JAIMS for 3 years as an educational staff. After 3 decades of absence, I was unexpectedly reassigned in 2009. I spent nearly 10 years in Hawai'i. I somehow ended up a Fujitsu employee who worked for JAIMS for the longest time. I view this as my flow of life or destiny. If I had not worked for JAIMS, I most likely would not go to a business school and life thereafter must have been quite different. I was also strongly influenced by Mr. Howard Y. Miyake, then President of JAIMS during the first assignment. He was a Nisei, ex-100th infantry battalion veteran, WWII hero and majority leader of the State of Hawai'i. His philosophy and view on life influenced my way of thinking. He strongly emphasized the importance of the 6th sense or intuition based on his own experience of surviving the Italian Campaign during WWII with his unique intuition. JAIMS and Hawaii have made me as a person in my early days.


• What is your most memorable and unforgettable experience at JAIMS?


Toughest time was 2014 when key staff including President and Director of Educational Programs left JAIMS. As a person responsible for operations of JAIMS, I had to cover all educational activities on top of administration. Although it was pretty tough, I could learn all the details of what is going on at JAIMS. In the process, many people helped me. I particularly appreciated support and advice from Dr. Glenn Miyataki, former President of JAIMS.


• What will you miss most about JAIMS and Hawai'i?


During the 1st assignment, I felt that Hawaii is very small and not very exciting for a person in 20s. But during this second assignment after I got older, I really appreciate the uniqueness of Hawaii including ethnic diversity, Aloha spirit and abundant nature, above all clear air and beautiful blue sky. Since I was in England for 7 years before coming in 2009, I particularly appreciate Hawaii’s climate and the natural environment. I am sure that I will miss them.


• Where do you hope to see JAIMS 5 years from now?


In 5 years, I would like to see JAIMS as an institution well established for the local community and the Asia Pacific with excellent reputation for global leadership education. Although JAIMS does not have full time faculty, it has unique strengths in an established network of instructors and guest speakers, host organizations, host families as well as financial stability thanks to Fujitsu’s continuing support and commitment for its corporate social responsibility. JAIMS should fully utilize its strengths and complement its marketing efforts through partnering with other organizations locally as well as more generally in the Asia Pacific regions. Given increasing influence of China, I would like to see some partnership programs with Chinese organizationsso that future leaders including participants from China can learn from one another to create a better and more peaceful world.


• Any advice to the JAIMS team?


My simple advice is to act without hesitation whatever you think right and beneficial to participants or future leaders. I strongly recommend to act without spending much time for analysis. In the end, you cannot eliminate uncertainty 100% and only way is to act and learn from experience.


• Farewell message to the JAIMS and Fujitsu ohana. Aloha and Good Luck. I firmly believe “Future is always bright” and “Fortune Favors the Brave.”

The JAIMS Ohana is truly blessed to have had the stewardship of Horii-san throughout the years. While we are sad to see him leave, we are equally excited for him as he embarks on a new chapter in his life. We would like to wish him good luck and we hope to see him back in Hawai’i.

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