Mary Ann Tsuchiyama, Assistant Director
With a background in accounting and the floral industry, I really never anticipated having a career in event management or imagined being associated with the University of Hawai‘i at Hilo’s Conference Center. However, with the diversity of academic research and scientific conferences, I have had the opportunity to meet thousands of people each year, and have found that dedicating my professional life to broadening the horizons of science and hosting people on this beautiful Big Island, has been a very worthwhile career choice.
As the Assistant Director for almost 20 years, I have had the pleasure of showcasing this extraordinary island and sharing its many treasures with elementary, high school and college students and professors.
I have learned so much, myself, about geology, earth science, astronomy, marine science, Hawaiian culture, music and dance and it’s an incredible feeling to be able to share the depths of this rich culture with our visitors. The experiences that we create for our conferees and meeting participants are so authentic and they allow our visitors to really immerse themselves, in a very creative and hands-on way, in the beauty and culture of Hawaiʻi and our natural learning laboratories.
So, how does my accounting background fit? Well, you need logic, math, an ability to organize and manage data and be efficient and calculating when you have 500 people visiting at one time and they all want to go to see the beautiful lava streaming into the water in the middle of their symposium! You need to be a mathematical wizard to organize all of those logistics and I love the challenge.
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