By Pacific Island Times News Staff
P.H.R. Ken Micronesia, Inc. announced the promotion of two of its longstanding Guam executives to lead the Guam operations beginning Jan. 1, 2024.
Ken Yanagisawa has been named the new president of the company, while Ben Ferguson will assume the role of vice president.
The new promotions came on the heels of the scheduled departure of Mitsuo “Mike” Sato, who will take on a new role with Ken Corp. in Japan. Sato led P.H.R. Ken Micronesia as its president for seven years.
Yanagisawa, previously the senior managing director of PHR Ken Micronesia, will retain his multiple titles within Ken Corp. -- general manager of The Tsubaki Tower, president of PHR Management Inc., and executive managing director of Ken Hotels & Resorts Holdings Ltd. He has also held various executive positions in other group hotels within the company for the past 20 years.
P.H.R. Ken Micronesia, Inc. was founded in 2007 as P.H.R. Ken Asset Management Inc., a subsidiary of and the managing company for the property holdings of Ken Corp. in Guam and Saipan which includes the RIHGA Royal Laguna Guam Resort, Hilton Guam Resort and Spa, Pacific Islands Club Guam, Hyatt Regency Guam, Hotel Nikko Guam, The Tsubaki Tower, Aqua Resort Club Saipan, Country Club of the Pacific, and others. Collectively, Ken Micronesia, Inc. is the largest private employer on Guam.
“We are proud and fortunate to have Mr. Yanagisawa and Mr. Ferguson step into these roles in our Guam operation as Mr. Sato takes on a new role with Ken Corp.," said Tetsuya Yamashita, vice president of Ken Hotels and Resorts Holdings Ltd.
"They are a formidable team and have been the strength behind the development and management of our operations in Guam for decades. Over the years, they helped us navigate through the highs and lows of the industry resulting from changes in the economy, natural disasters, and the pandemic. We have the utmost confidence that their leadership will seamlessly take P.H.R. Ken Micronesia into its new era," Yamashita added.
Yanagisawa said, “We thank Mr. Sato for his leadership and guidance. Mr. Sato supported us through our expansion in the region, the construction of The Tsubaki Tower, and various recovery efforts. We look forward to continuing his good work and are committed to investing in Guam’s future.”
“I am honored to accept this position that will closely support our new company president and our P.H.R. group of companies," said Ferguson, who has been with the Pacific Islands Club Guam (PIC Guam) for 32 years and served as the resort’s general manager for the past eight years.
"We are committed to the success of Guam’s tourism industry, and our work centers on rebuilding the industry and attracting more visitors to Guam," he added.
Ferguson is a 37-year veteran of the hospitality industry and has called Guam home since 1989. In addition to his current role with PIC Guam, he also served as a senior managing director for P.H.R. Ken Micronesia, Inc.