The Senate honored local businessman Jose “Joe” Cruz Ayuyu Sr. for his career as an entrepreneur and his strong support of various community organizations. Ayuyu’s family owns the two McDonald’s restaurants on Saipan. Sen. Paul A. Manglona (Ind-Rota) introduced Senate Resolution 19-46.
Recently, the Ayuyus acquired the six outlets of McDonald’s in Guam where he personally oversees the daily operations. He usually spends his weekends on Saipan with his wife Marcia, and two of their five kids Mable and Jose Jr. Nadia, Ashley, and Maria are their other kids.
After graduating at the Lisbon Public High School in Lisbon in North Dakota in 1971, the elder Ayuyu, attended the University of Hawaii at Manoa where he obtained a Bachelors Degree in Economics in 1975.
Ayuyu, who earned a college scholarship, knows the value of hard work as he took various jobs to support his daily expenses while studying at UH-Manoa. He returned to Saipan to work in the CNMI government as the Commerce and Labor department’s acting director.
He then worked for Bank of Guam from 1982 to 1989 where he became a manager of the Agana branch before being promoted to one of its vice presidents. He returned to Saipan to handle Hakubotan Saipan Enterprises Inc. as vice president and general manager from 1989 to 1993.
Ayuyu was recognized by various business organizations and was nominated as Executive of the Year in 2012 by Guam Business Magazine. He co-founded and was the first president of the Majuro Chamber of Commerce in the Republic of the Marshall Islands from 1984 to 1986.
He was also an active member of the community where he held various positions in different organizations with his company supporting numerous non-profit groups.
Ayuyu said it was his vision to give back to the community ever since opening the first McDonald’s store on Saipan in 1993. “I want the community to remember me as a simple businessman that created something that the community needed.”
“We just take the success that we have and share it with the community. That’s why we always support different organizations and we’re very much involved in the CNMI community,” added Ayuyu.
He added that he enjoyed being part of the McDonald’s company and having a family-run business on Saipan and now in Guam. “It is all about family. For the past 23 years, my wife was my business partner.”
Ayuyu’s wife, Marcia, and their two kids Mable and Joe Jr. are helping him run their company with the operations of their two outlets on Saipan. They have about 400 employees in Guam alone.
He thanked the 19th CNMI Senate, particularly Manglona, for honoring him and his contributions. “I’m very proud and very happy. Thank you Sen. Manglona for introducing the Senate Resolution. I’m glad and also thankful that all [senators] supported the resolution.”