The new year always presents an opportunity for reflection on the previous year. What was accomplished? What goals were met? What was improved? This occurs not only with individuals, but with businesses, organizations and governments. One such entity that undeniably had a productive 2016 — and a productive past couple of years, in fact — is the island of Saipan.
A November U.S. Census Bureau report on the Northern Mariana Islands’ GDP shows that the NMI is in its fourth consecutive year of growth, increasing .6%, 2.3%, 2.8% and 3.5%, respectively, from 2012 to 2015. This is in contrast to Guam, which has gradually decreasing growth rates — from 2% in 2012 to .4% growth in 2015.
Another testament to Saipan’s productivity is the two Executive of the Year winners from Saipan that Guam Business has had in the past three years. Saipan celebrated the accomplishments of Norman T. Tenorio is 2014, and this year gets to celebrate once again with the win of Joe C. Ayuyu. These wins are a testament that Saipan and the NMI provide a strong foundation for business and opportunities to those with ambition.
It’s always interesting to analyze the stories of our EOY winners — to see what factors and decisions guided them down the road to success. Ayuyu’s story is one that everyone likes to hear: A man from humble beginnings who had a vision for his future and put in the time and effort necessary to get there.
What stands out to me about Ayuyu’s path is that work was never work for him. “There was never a job title that I’ve regretted,” he said. “I’ve enjoyed all the jobs I’ve had in the past.”
Even his children, who were born around the time Ayuyu first acquired the McDonald’s franchise for Saipan, have observed that his job has never been a burden and that both of their parents seemed to have fun running the business. They were, to seize an opportunity to use this phrase, “Lovin’ It” — so much, in fact, they decided to quadruple their number of locations with the acquisition of the six McDonald’s of Guam restaurants in May.
Eight months into the new challenge, and his job satisfaction remains unchanged. What’s more is that his employees are just as eager to rise to new challenges and to give their best to the company every day. Guam Business had the pleasure of working with McDonald’s of Guam on its 45th anniversary booklet this year. I have witnessed first-hand the energy the McDonald’s employees bring, whether serving customers, replacing lightbulbs or doing paperwork behind the scenes. It’s an environment that mirrors Ayuyu’s best qualities to roll up his sleeves, get personally involved and find enjoyment in the process.
Congrats and thanks to Joe that we don’t need to look far for inspiration to make the new year productive and to have fun doing it.
Best wishes to you and your families and in all your business endeavors in 2017.