Ishikawa hangs up hard hat
Sometimes when a high-profile official leaves a job citing a desire to spend more time with family, it really is
State Department of Transportation spokesman Scott Ishikawa, whose official title was community development specialist when he started in the job April 1 of 2003, gave notice about three and a half weeks ago that he will be leaving, to join public relations firm Bright Light Marketing Group Inc. as a vice president.
Tomorrow is his last day at DOT and he'll be taking a week off before starting the new gig, which was "much recommended by my new boss," he laughed.
The move will mean hanging up the hard hat he was so often seen wearing in news coverage of stories involving the state DOT.
The DOT public affairs role was high-profile, yes. A glamor job? Not so much.
Imagine being on-call 24-hours-a-day, 7-days-a-week, having to jump out of bed in the middle of the night because of one of many emergencies that necessarily involve the state DOT. Highways and harbors and airports, oh my.
The big wind storm in December, the Waimea Bay rock slide on Easter weekend, the fatal Kaloko Dam burst, the landslide at Castle Junction and more.
"I've been on-call 24/7 for five years straight and it can wear you down a little bit. I think my family has sacrificed enough."
"When I say I want to spend more time with my family, I sincerely mean that," he said.
Bright Light Chief Executive Officer and President Lynette Lo Tom has promised Ishikawa that all-important more time.
"This has been the most challenging job I've ever taken on, but it's also the most fulfilling," he said.
Part of his mission was to improve communication between the department and the media and the public.
His own previous job as a reporter for the other paper and other media proved useful. "I was pretty much aware of what the reporters' deadlines are" and valued their mission of getting word out to the public, he said.
He viewed his departure from news reporting for the DOT job as a risk, but, "sometimes in life it's about taking chances. Was it worth it? Yeah. I got to serve the public and that's the reason why I worked so hard," he said.
is a reporter with the Star-Bulletin. Call 529-4747, fax 529-4750 or write to Erika Engle, Honolulu Star-Bulletin, 500 Ala Moana Blvd., No. 7-210, Honolulu, HI 96813. She can also be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org