An entrepreneur at heart, Vicky partnered with Mr. Masaichi Tasaka, then President of Kuakini Hospital, to form United Laundry Services (ULS) in 1987. The concept was innovative. Since ULS’ business was intended to service hospitals and hotels as clients, Vicky decided to persuade hospitals and hotels to join the venture as partners. Three hospitals agreed, and she convinced two of Hawaii’s largest hotel chains, Outrigger and Kyo-ya, which included Sheraton and the Royal Hawaiian, to complete the partnership. Vicky has worked as United Laundry Services’ president since that time.
Typical of startups, the first year was tough, as there was limited operational cash flow. Often working 10 to 12 hours, seven days a week, Vicky toiled for nearly a year without compensation. The business grew steadily due to her determination, perseverance, and resilience. After 34 years, United Laundry Services is the largest laundry company in the state—with branches in Hilo, Kona, Kahului, Lahaina, and Honolulu—employing nearly 1,000 people.