Marissa Matsuda rides meteor to corporate heights at City Bank

LIHU’E – How did a Kaua’i-born girl go from Waimea High School graduate to master’s degree holder from Hawaii Pacific University to director of corporate communications at City Bank?

Very rapidly, for one thing.

Marissa Matsuda, 23, daughter of Nancy and Bobby Matsuda of Waimea, graduated from Waimea just five years ago, and by 2000 attained her bachelor’s degree in business, corporate communications and marketing, from HPU.

One year later, she got her master’s degree in business administration. Before she even graduated, she had settled into her management position at the bank, after being an intern at the Alexander & Baldwin Foundation for two years, also while attending college full time.

She made the move from Waimea to Waikiki in near-record time, and remains nonchalant about and unaffected by her rapid ascent in the corporate financial world.

“Working for a bank is fun,” she says.

Getting to meet lots of people and working with lots of community groups are the things she likes best about her job. Having to say “no” occasionally to community requests for donations is about the only down side, she added.

Matsuda started near the top, literally and figuratively, a month before her MBA graduation ceremonies. She works on the 12th floor, in the executive offices, of the City Financial Tower in downtown Honolulu’s financial district, 15 minutes from her Waikiki home.

The building’s lower levels include City Bank’s main branch.

At the A&B Foundation, the charitable arm of A&B, Inc., a large company with many Kaua’i employees and operations including Kauai Coffee Company, Matson Navigation Company, A&B Properties and Kauai Commercial Company, Matsuda helped process grant requests from community organizations all over Hawai’i and the West Coast where A&B does business.

That was in the communications department, working alongside Foundation President and A&B Vice President Meredith Ching, and company and foundation spokeswoman Linda Howe.

It was a homecoming of sorts last week when Matsuda came to Kaua’i to meet the press and talk about the opening of City Bank’s first Kaua’i branch, open for business now inside the Lihu’e Ace Hardware/Ben Franklin Crafts store on Rice Street (please see the related story on this page).

She’ll return again, as she did this summer when she got married at the Hyatt Regency Kauai Resort & Spa, for the Lihu’e branch’s grand-opening festivities this Saturday, Nov. 16.

Business Editor Paul C. Curtis can be reached at mailto:pcurtis@pulitzer.net or 245-3681 (ext. 224).

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