Very few can say that they’ve never worked a day in their life. Carl Mento, alumnus, class of 1972 is the owner and founder of Oahu Catamarans, in Honolulu, Hawaii. Oahu Catamarans is an exclusive sailing catamaran tours company devoted to sailing enthusiasts providing snorkeling tours, sailing charts, sunset sailing and more!
Carl’s family was native to Hawaii, moving to the Syracuse area for work when he was just two years old. He attended Blessed Sacrament prior to coming to Bishop Grimes. Throughout his upbringing, Carl remembered hearing stories of his family’s time in Hawaii and still had several family members there. At Bishop Grimes, Carl enjoyed being a member of the wrestling team and remembers fondly the friendships he made.
After graduating from Grimes Carl went to the first day of registration at Onondaga Community College where he shared, “I never wanted to go to College, so I just turned around and left.” When he returned home he told his mother who supported and encouraged him to find happiness in work. Carl said, “My mother was always supportive of whatever path any of her children pursued. She taught us from a young age to be independent thinkers and she gave us the freedom to make many of our own life decisions.” Carl worked for the Oot Brothers doing carpentry work before attending his sister’s wedding in Hawaii and deciding to make the move.
In 1974 Carl started working with his cousin on a catamaran on Waikiki Beach. He laughs, “I went for one sail and I was hooked.” In 1976 Carl became a licensed United States Coast Guard Captain, gaining experience for the next decade before starting his own charter boat business in 1985. Sailing for more than forty years Carl shares his secret to success, “Find a passion that you truly enjoy. Working in Hawaii? I do not know what that is because I have never “worked” here. Sailing and providing customer experiences is my passion.”
Carl said, “Bishop Grimes has helped me to success by providing a solid education, good Catholic morals and integrity have not only helped me in business but in life as well.” When asked what advice Carl would leave to current students, he shares, “Put in effort in whatever you pursue in life because no one achieves success without hard work. Also, always be honest and ethical in all of your dealings.”
For more information on Oahu Catamarans, please visit www.kahalakai.com!