Scott Oki, an inspiring role model

scottokiMeet Scott Oki, an inspiring community activist and philanthropist.    Recently, I had the privilege of working with Scott during the Korean-American Coalition (KAC) national convention, where he volunteered to be one of the keynote speakers.

Inspirational and articulate, Scott spoke of the need for “personal integrity”, particularly among our youth.

Growing up in Seattle, Scott came from modest means and remembered many “spam and rice” meals.  As a Japanese-American family, his family was relocated to an internment camp during World War II.  Yet, Scott never saw his father act out of bitterness from the experience.  His father taught him about personal integrity and personal accountability.

Eventually, his father got him involved in Boy Scouts that re-enforced the principles of personal integrity.  Now, he has a passion for making Boy Scouts and other such organizations available to the youth of today, including those in the inner city areas.  I agree that spending money and effort to engage the youth with Boy Scouts is a better alternative to building more jails.

Scott is indeed a man of personal integrity.  He is also a man of compassion, and a man of extraordinary abilities.  While his philanthropy is well documented, perhaps Scott’s greater contributions have been his active personal involvement in community causes.  He has founded or co-founded over a dozen non-profit organizations.  In addition, he currently serves on dozens of advisory boards and boards of directors for both for-profit and not-for-profit companies.

Scott’s most current business venture is with Oki Development, Inc., an investment company with diverse interests in real estate, golf course development and management, restaurants, a professional soccer team, and early to development stage information technology.

All golfers in the region know about his collection of golf courses.  I’m a repeat owner of the Oki card like many other golf enthusiasts, which offers discounts at Oki courses during the year.  When pressed about which one of his courses is his favorite to play, he was very reluctant to choose just one.  Upon further pressure, he said he really enjoys the Hawks Prairie courses in Lacey.

Whether providing amazing golf experiences or leading the charge for the youth of today, Scott Oki has been a tremendous asset to the local community.  Since his very successful career at Microsoft where he spearheaded the company’s international launch before retiring in 1992, Scott has been a proud example of personal integrity and generosity.  I, for one, am proud to have him as a role model in the community.