Remembering Former EWC Vice President Wesley Park

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Wesley Park
Photo: Jimmy Forrest / Honolulu Magazine

HONOLULU (July 23, 2019) -- The East-West Center community was saddened by the passing on July 14 of former EWC Vice President Wesley T. Park, who was in his eighties. A well-known Honolulu business leader and supporter of the arts, he served as the Center’s VP of Administration between 1982 and 1989.

Longtime EWC Director of Administration Ricky Kubota, who was first hired at the Center by Park as a budget analyst, remembers him as “a ‘no-nonsense’ type of guy who expected the work he assigned to be completed — no excuses. While that meant a ton of evening and weekend hours, Wesley led by example because he was in the office too.”

A childhood polio survivor and graduate of Roosevelt High School and the University of Hawai‘i whom Honolulu business legend Walter Dods called “the local boy’s local boy,” Park was known as an organizational turnaround specialist who led administrative transformations at a variety of major Hawai‘i institutions, including St. Francis Healthcare System, Lili‘uokalani Trust, and Hawaii Dental Service. He also served as dean of UH’s College of Continuing Education and on the board of the Honolulu Museum of Art.

Known for his colorful motivational aphorisms, Park wrote a pair of advice books, Lessons Learned on the Corner in Kalihi and Lessons Learned on Bishop Street. Ricky Kubota says that one of Park’s sayings still resonates particularly strongly for him: “Do the right thing, no matter how inconvenient or unpopular it may seem.”