20 for the Next 20: Tony Mizuno, American Savings Bank

The SVP and Manager of Commercial Real Estate Loans at American Savings Bank oversees more than 20 low-income housing projects statewide.
Tony Mizuno at the American Savings Bank headquarters in Chinatown. | Photo: Aaron Yoshino

Tony Mizuno

Senior Vice President and Director of Commercial Real Estate Lending, American Savings Bank

Tony Mizuno wasn’t sure if his long-term career would be in banking or real estate, but now he finds the combination suits him perfectly.

“What I love about commercial real estate is that transactions are unique, often large and complicated,” says Mizuno. “And so it’s not like a checkbox; you have to figure out how to do it. And combining transactions and financing “helps people’s dreams come true.”

Now, with 26 years of real estate experience, he leads the home loan portfolio and team at American Savings Bank.

Mizuno joined ASB in 2020 after a 25-year career at Bank of Hawaii. Since then, he has grown ASB’s commercial real estate portfolio by 42%, from $685 million to $975 million.

One development he is working on is Halewai’olu Senior Residences in Honolulu’s Chinatown, a new 156-unit affordable housing project. In fact, he oversees more than 20 low-income housing projects across the state.

Mizuno thinks the state’s affordable housing problem can be solved, and he’s doing everything he can to help fund projects. He says housing is the state’s biggest problem and thinks other problems would be solved if people had safe housing.

He describes himself as a hard worker and a “happy, positive person”. That’s an apt description, says Karen Tan, president and CEO of Child & Family Service. “He brings joy to leadership.”

At CFS’s annual fundraiser, Mizuno volunteered to dance in front of the audience. Tan says leaders have to be fun to energize others, and Mizuno embodies that because he does things “with such a rush.”

“Some leaders are like, ‘Oh no, I have to look a certain way or be a certain way to be a leader,'” Tan says. “Tony walks alongside people. He associates with people; he doesn’t consider himself better than others, he just happens to have a leadership role.

Mizuno attributes a role model to a former boss who was calm, as he admits he wasn’t calm back then. He believes a boss doesn’t have to be mean or condescending to get great results from people.

“He embraces the idea that leadership is a lifelong journey and that he’s always learning and always ready to put himself in the middle of things,” Tan says.


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