Kaiser High School – Class of 1989
President of Elite Parking
The Payphone Strategy
In 1992 while starting his valet business on Pier 7 of Aloha Tower, Ryan put a nearby payphone as the contact number on his business cards. He didn’t have an office and personal cell phones were merely a futuristic thought. When the payphone would ring, Ryan would sprint to it and answer, “Elite Car Care/Valet.” Fast forward 26 years later, his business has evolved into ELITE Parking – Hawai’i’s largest independent parking services provider. Approximately 1,000 employees work all around the state at hotels, restaurants, hospitals, and special events to provide the highest quality in valet services and parking management. However, the Kaiser High School grad still remains grounded and driven when he recalls the place where he honed his leadership skills: at the age of 16 as the weekend manager of his uncle’s 76 gas station in Hawaii Kai. As for the infamous payphone, he thinks it still stands on Pier 7, and Ryan states, “If you want to succeed, you can succeed. How bad do you want it?”
14 Facts About Me:
1. My Name Is:
2. I Grew Up In:
3. The Name Of My Business Is:
4. I Graduated From:
Kaiser High School
5. When I Was A Kid, I Wanted To Be:
6. My Childhood Prepared Me For My Job Today By:
Teaching me great values.
7. The Value My Business Provides Is:
Opportunity for about 1,000 team members and great guest service.
8. I Realized My Business Was Successful When:
We were able to continue to grow and provide more jobs and opportunity.
9. My Favorite Thing About Running My Business Is:
The care and love among our team and our partners.
10. The Most Challenging Thing About Running My Business Is:
11. One Mistake I’ve Made That Taught Me A Lesson Was:
Never burn bridges. You never know what will happen in the future.
12. One Accomplishment I’m Most Proud Of Is:
The way that I treat people.
13. My Favorite Book That Has Inspired Me:
14. My Advice For Future Business Owners Is:
Always lead with your heart.
In RISEHI’s focus article on Ryan, we visit four crucial experiences in his past where he CREATED OPPORTUNITIES that would lead to his advancement in business. Find out what he did along the way that improved his chances of making it as a Hawai’i business owner.