I had little contact with Ross. By the time he arrived my dealings with the DOT-A at the directors level had diminished. My observations were that Ross came to his leadership role with many years of experience working at DOT-A. That was something that many before him didn't have.
I do remember one meeting in 2019, when I was representing Pulama Lanai. It was the first time I had met Ross. As he came down the hall, I stood up and extended my hand and told him, "We haven't met. My name is Tom Anusewicz" and he took my hand, (barely) and without eye contact said "I know who you are" in a dismissing tone and walked to the others with a more acceptable greeting.
As stated earlier, working with the DOT-A was not easy. I always performed with integrity and consistent with my position and would only push back against arbitrary decisions that effected my business. If I left it up to the DOT-A, I would have been gone a long time ago.
At Oke`e Aviation Services, LLC, most of the people that contacted me for help, were requesting assistance with DOT-A issues. I had to recognize that I may not be their best solution, if I was being dismissed by the very agency I was trying to work with on their behalf.
So even though I didn't know Ross Higashi, he is the last Airport Administrator that was present during my time at Hawaii's airports.