(Today in Pacific Spotlight, Stripes talks with Allison Foo, a native of Hawaii who dances the hula when not at hard at work as MWR marketing director for Sasebo Naval Base, Japan.

What do you like most about your job?

Being able to be creative every day.

What do you like least?

Dealing with the normal and of course abnormal responsibilities that come with being a manager. Being the bad guy at times is not fun.

What’s been the high point of your job?

There are so many. … At Pearl Harbor … developing the centennial commemoration of the U.S. Navy and American Samoa.

I had the opportunity to travel to Samoa … and sail on my first huge ship, USS Decatur.

… The scariest high point has been riding in an ESPN helicopter without doors while shooting photos of the USS Missouri and Hydrofest races. Definitely a “Fear Factor” experience.

If they were making a movie of your life, which actress would play you?

Julia Roberts from the movie “Erin Brokovich.” I have been through so many challenges in my own personal life …

Of the Hawaiian dances you perform, what’s your favorite?

Auana, which is the slow, mellow, story-telling style of dancing the hula.

My favorite song is “From A Dancer,” which tells how a hula dancer feels when she leaves Hawaii and takes with her the memories, the songs and the hula.

I still tear up each time I perform this song being so far away from home.

Hula is like sign language, translating each word through dance and expressing true meaning from our heart.

Which of your artworks, either personal or for MWR, pleases you most?

When I design a logo … and it is still being used years later.

For artwork in general, the many music CD covers I designed over the years, like the “Pride of the Islands” series for KCCN Radio in Hawaii.

One each, please: What’s the greatest reward, and the greatest challenge, of raising a teenager?

Greatest reward: The day they graduate from high school and know where they are going.

We have a standing rule with all of our kids: when they turn 18, to have a full-time college schedule, enlistment papers to military service or all of your things in a box and somewhere to go.

Greatest challenge: Trying to convince them that they cannot always be right.

… We raised five children together, four already in their 20s and one just creeping out of 12 years old.

There is not one challenge we have not faced as parents. … Our youngest daughter has it bad: There is not much left to try and get away with. Her siblings tried it all.

What trait do you value most in your friends?

Honesty. Being there for one another through good or bad. … A true friendship has a “no boundaries” rule and the respect is priceless. True friends know how to treat each other right.

If your friends were asked to describe you, what do you hope they’d say?

I would hope they would say everything but the truth: My real friends who really know me think I am “retarded.”

Got a motto?

Work hard, play hard and live life.

Allison Foo

Age: 42

Title: MWR marketing director, Sasebo Naval Base, Japan.

Avocations: Artist, dancing the hula of her native Hawaii.

Pacific readers: Know someone whose accomplishments, talents, job, hobby, volunteer work, awards or good deeds qualify them for 15 minutes of fame? How about someone whose claim to glory is a bit out of the ordinary — even, dare we say, oddball? Call Sharen Johnson at Stars and Stripes with the person’s name and contact information at DSN 229-3305 or e-mail her at

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