July 29, 2013
Ryan Nakagawa '10 was among the youngest business leaders recognized this year by Pacific Business News' 40 Under 40 award. Nakagawa, a business major at Pacific, is a mortgage loan officer for Hawaii HomeLoans.Wanda Laukkanen | Writer
Ryan Nakagawa ’10 credits his experiences at Pacific University for his success as a loan officer in Hawai‘i. He was recently honored by Hawai‘i’s weekly business newspaper, Pacific Business News, by being named to the paper’s annual Forty Under 40 list recognizing accomplished business leaders in Hawai‘i under the age of 40. He is a loan officer for Honolulu HomeLoans.
“College taught me to be organized and to be a problem solver,” he said, adding the college experience allowed him to come into contact with a lot of different people from all walks of life.
Nakagawa graduated with a bachelor’s degree in business administration finance and a minor in sociology. He said he particularly enjoyed and learned a lot from business professor Michelle Cowing’s classes.
“The reason for a minor in sociology was because I really liked the classes and enjoyed learning a lot about social behavior,” he said. “I believe that my sociology minor helps me relate to my clients and understand their home ownership goals.”
Nakagawa said he picked Pacific for college in large part because it has a significant population of students from Hawai‘i. He was very active in Nā Haumāna O Hawai‘i and co-chaired the club’s 50th annual Lu’au as a student.
“After I graduated from Pacific, I decided to come home to Hawai‘i,” he said. “I originally wanted to be a financial advisor. When I got home, no one was hiring. The economy was still recovering and jobs were limited.”
A friend referred him to Honolulu HomeLoans, but he originally applied for an operations position with the firm.
“… after my interview, the company thought I’d be best as a mortgage loan officer," he said. "After a lot of convincing, I decided to take the job.”
Nakagawa works primarily with first-time home-buyers.
“I like my job because it’s flexible. I set up my own schedule, and I’m always on the go. My goal with any transaction is to make sure that my clients receive the best experience and excellent customer service,” he said.
As for his honor as one of top business leaders under age 40, Nakagawa said he was both very surprised and very honored, in particular because he is one of the very youngest people selected for the honor.
“The award ceremony was a very humbling experience,” he said. “I got to meet many different business people. Not only were all these people successful in their business, but they also give back to the community.”
Nakagawa has a cousin who is currently a Pacific student. In addition to his job, he said he enjoys a host of other activities, including traveling, golfing, working out, hiking and spending time with family and friends.