Bill Paik
Chief Operating Officer,
Grace Pacific LLC

With 46 years of hard-earned experience in the construction industry, Bill Paik has done it all — from working as a laborer in his first job with Hawaiian Dredging, and up through the ranks to eventually leading two local companies as president. Now, Paik is chief operating officer for Grace Pacific LLC. Born and raised in Kona, Hawaii, Paik holds bachelors and masters degrees in business administration. But for all his titles and achievements, perhaps the one he values most is the black belt he earned in judo at age 16, a martial art he started at age five.

“Construction is a tough and unique business, and it takes many years of experience and hard work to be successful,” said Paik. “Judo ingrained in me the lifelong skills of discipline, patience, determination, humility and hard work. You learn who you are physically, mentally and morally. Judo also teaches you to be willing to sacrifice so that your fellow judoka can also perfect the art, even as you both develop expertise in ‘the gentle way.’”

It is this abiding philosophy that has guided Paik’s approach to life and work. It also makes him ideal for the mission he was tasked with at Grace Pacific Under the leadership of Pike Riegert, the company’s president, Paik is bringing fresh eyes to help lead and support an important cultural and business transition for Grace Pacific. “We want to make the company more competitive and successful by incorporating the latest technology, methods and industry practices,” said Paik. “We are also making changes in customer service, starting internally.”

Paik’s believes that good customer service starts from the inside. “How we treat employees and how they treat one another sets the tone for how we treat our customers.” This begins by making sure employees have access to the technology and training they need to be successful. It also means letting them know they are valued members of the company. Critical to this is creating a safe work environment, especially in the field, so they can return to their families whole and unharmed at
the end of the day. “Taken all together, this will make Grace Pacific a better, stronger, more competitive company,” he said. There is another side to Paik that speaks to the man himself.

For him, family is paramount, sharing a life with his wife of 50 years and raising four children — all now grown. Teaching, mentoring young people, and community service are his private passions. He co-founded the Mililani Judo Academy. He taught mathematics and management for 25 years at Hawaii Pacific University, where half his students were service members. Paik is himself a Vietnam veteran. He also serves on the board of directors of the Kapolei Chamber of Commerce, of which Grace Pacific is a founding member, and was a past president of the Building Industry Association, and chairman of the board for a local credit union.“Teaching, mentoring and community service are a way for me to give of myself. Knowledge is useless if not shared and learned by others.”

Originally posted in Kapolei Magazine