The Government of Saint Lucia has expressed condolences to the family and friends of Mr. Mark Ozawa, Managing Director of Windjammer Landing Villa Beach Resort, who passed away on Saturday, October 29. In a press statement from the Office of the Prime Minister, the Government also expressed “deepest condolences to Senior Executives at EllisDon, owners and operators of Windjammer Landing, including Mr. Geoff Smith and the management and staff of Windjammer Landing on this immense loss.”
Mr. Ozawa was appointed as the Managing Director for the luxury award-winning resort in 2010 and has made an immeasurable contribution to the tourism industry in Saint Lucia.
Speaking about the death, Prime Minister Honourable Allen Chastanet said: “Our heart goes out to the family and staff of the resort at this time. Windjammer is one of St Lucia’s best performing resorts which continues to stand the test of time. Under Mr. Ozawa’s leadership the resort has seen significant improvements, not just to its infrastructure but also to its level of service. Mark fully integrated into life in Saint Lucia and had a warm and engaging personality. During Mark’s tenure Windjammer became so much more than just a family resort and is now able to successfully compete with other hotels in terms of weddings and retreats. This is undoubtedly a great loss for the industry and my heart goes out to all who knew him.”
Mr. Ozawa had well over 25 years of hospitality management and consulting expertise and prior to being appointed to Windjammer he was president and vice president for Accuvia Consulting, the foremost operations-technology consulting firm in the hospitality, food service and retail industries in the United States. Mr. Ozawa started his career with Westin Hotels and Resorts.
A statement from the Windjammer Landing Villa Beach Resort revealed that in the early hours of October 29, Ozawa lost his battle with cancer “despite a hard-pressed fight accompanied by the support of family and friends.”
“Despite the challenges he faced in recent months, Ozawa remained resilient and was encouraged by the outpouring of kindness from his extended Saint Lucia family,” the statement read. “In his final hours, Mark was surrounded by family and loved ones in his home state of Colorado.”
The statement went on to say that Mark, and his wife Linda, touched the lives of the entire Windjammer family as well as countless Saint Lucians and guests to the island over the last six years. Ozawa joined the Windjammer Landing family in 2010 and led a team of more than 460 employees, many of whom have been with the resort for 20 years. Passionate about helping the community, Ozawa orchestrated multiple opportunities for the Windjammer Landing team to donate time, resources and financial assistance in various outreach endeavors.
In addition to serving several years in the consulting industry and as the head at Sceptre, a reservations and e-distribution business providing services to many small chains and independent hotels, Ozawa spent 18 years working for Westin Hotels and Resorts in a variety of positions in operations and technology at both the corporate and property levels.
Under Ozawa’s leadership, more than US$40 million has been invested over the last two years in upgrading Windjammer Landing and its offerings, including the addition of four new luxury estate North Pointe Villas. Ozawa also oversaw the renovations to guest rooms, a massive beach expansion project, the creation of The Spa at Windjammer Landing, a 6,500 sq. ft. holistic healing facility, and enhancements to dining areas.