William H. (Mo) Marumoto suddenly passed away on Tuesday, November 25, 2008, of a massive heart attack. He was an icon and a selfless man known to thousands for his big and generous heart. Upon his retirement as Founder, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of The Interface Group, Ltd., Marumoto accepted the position as President and CEO of the Asian Pacific Institute for Congressional Studies (APAICS) in Washington, D.C., in September 2006. Marumoto's career expanded more than five decades of giving back to his country, his community, and his friends. He joined the White House staff as Special Assistant to the President Richard M. Nixon and served more than three years recruiting individuals for Cabinet and sub-Cabinet positions. Prior to his stint at the White House, he was Assistant to the Secretary at the U.S. Department of Health, Education and Welfare, responsible for all senior-level recruiting for the U.S. Office of Education. Mo's contributions to the Asian American communities across the country span several decades and his compassion to help people find a job, smoke a good cigar and go fishing are but a few of the many kindnesses that came naturally to him. He has enriched the lives of so many people he touched.
Marumoto received more than 25 national professional awards for his work in higher education, fundraising, direct mail, events management, and publications. In June 2008, he was honored by President George W. Bush with the Lifetime President's Volunteer Service Award. His staff had estimated that he had contributed more than 40,000 volunteer hours to 35 local, regional and national non-profit organizations over a 50-year period.
Among the numerous boards and commissions he sat on, like the Board of Trustees of the Japanese American National Museum and Whittier College, of which he is a graduate, he eagerly looked forward to promoting them. He was also a member of the Wolf Trap Foundation of the Performing Arts, the Asian and American Pacific Islander American Scholarship Fund (APIASF), and the National Asian Pacific Center on Aging.
Marumoto is listed in Who's Who in America and Who's Who in Finance. He was named in the spring of 1996 as one of the 500 most influential Asian Americans in the country by Avenue Asian Magazine and he was also named by Asian Weekly as one of the most influential Asian Americans in Washington. He was the first Asian American to become a member of the Congressional Country Club of Bethesda, Maryland.
A native of Southern California, Marumoto is the son of Japanese immigrants. He and his family spent three years in a relocation camp in Gila Rivers, Arizona, during World War II.
Former Secretary of Transportation and APAICS Vice Chair Norman Y. Mineta said, “I've known Mo for over 35 years and he and Jean have been great friends over those years. Whether it was at HEW, Presidential Personnel Office in the White House or in the private sector, Mo always remembered from whence he came and set high standards for himself and everybody around him. Since he flunked 'retirement,' Mo dedicated himself to doing what he knew best – developing young Asian American Pacific Islander talent into being leaders for tomorrow. His unselfish, visionary, and creative approach to fundraising and management enhanced APAICS' capability for program content and expansion of the program to develop leaders. We are all going to sorely miss his humor, his style, and love of life.”
Marumoto and his wife Jean made their home in Fairfax County, Virginia. They have three daughters: Wendy, Lani, and Tamiko and son Todd. Marumoto leaves behind eight grandchildren and a host of devoted family and friends, who will miss him.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to The Mo Marumoto Memorial Fund and be sent to APAICS, 1001 Connecticut Avenue, NW., Suite 530, Washington, D.C., 20036.