Mark Ozawa was an incredible man whose most notable features were his smile and his compassion. He devoted himself to the service of others, always focusing on positively impacting the world around him. His joy, humor, and kindness permeated every aspect of his life and infected those lucky enough to surround him. After a long hospitality career in the US, Mark found his calling as Managing Director of the Windjammer Landing Villa Beach Resort in St. Lucia.
A developing nation with abundant natural beauty, St. Lucia has consistently endeavored to spread the wealth from the lucrative tourism industry to the local population. As Managing Director of Windjammer, Mark was heavily involved in community service through charitable outreach and direct work with the members of the Windjammer team. Loved by his employees and community leaders alike, he will be sorely missed. He passed away after a brief battle with a rare form of cancer called mesothelioma on October 29, 2016. His family began this fund in order to honor his legacy of charity on the island that he (and they) loved so much.
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.
Prime Minister Honourable Allen Chastanet
Castries, St Lucia
Your presence and wisdom will always be treasured and I will always celebrate your philosophy of life. In my mind, you will always hold the office of Champion of the weak and your efforts to ensure that the economic benefits of tourism flow down to everyone, will always be one of the main pillars that the new SLHTA is built upon...
We will NEVER forget you at the SLHTA Mark! And your vision and dreams for more sustainable tourism development practices will live on in our actions. Thank you for sharing so much with us. Thank you for making such a difference in the lives of the crafters from Choiseul and the many other rural communities you and Linda spent so many hours visiting. Thank you for the stories you shared with me and for inspiring me to keep going when disappointment crept in.
Thank you for the wonderful management of your property and for sharing so much with your staff. Thank you for the many opportunities you provided to so many Saint Lucians through promotions and employment. You leave a legacy that many will find hard pressed to surpass. But it is an enviable legacy we will celebrate for many moons.
CEO, Saint Lucia Hotel and Tourism Association (SLHTA)
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.
Castries, St Lucia
...I appreciated the support that [Mark] provided to me, the Grande Riviere school and the Gros Islet Constituency. Both of you[, Mark and Linda,] embrace our people and country with open arms and that to me was an indication of the depth of your love and humanity. In addition the friendship and good relationship that we nurtured will remain an indelible mark in my mind.
Former Senator, St Lucia