3-Minute Interview: Maryles Casto 

A native of the Philippines, the founder and owner of Silicon Valley-based Casto Travel is among the honorees at the Commonwealth Club of California’s 20th annual Distinguished Citizens Award Dinner, being held Wednesday in San Francisco. Individuals recognized this year are "immigrants who embody the American dream."

You’ve been called a "travel guru." Why? I’m not sure. Maybe it’s because I’ve been in the business so long. I’ve seen so many changes in this industry in 34 years.

To what do you attribute your success? There were many different airlines when I started; it was when Intel and Apple were coming up. I happened to be part of the whole boom of the Silicon Valley.

But your skill must have something to do with your company’s growth, no? Well, I’m very service-oriented, and I really love what I do. I think it shows. Also, I’m really good — I know my job. I'm innovative, too. I try to anticipate what will happen. I started to outsource 15 years ago, and soon was able to operate 24 hours [a day], seven days a week.

What’s your connection with the Commonwealth Club? As well as being honored this year, I’m on the Board of Governors of the organization, which really has a global reach. We focused on immigrants this year — all of the honorees come from different places — because they’re really what America is all about.

You’re a philanthropist, too. How do you do it? You just decide how you want to contribute, how to divide your time between community, family and work. I look for things that best suit my capabilities.

lkatz@examiner.com

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Leslie Katz

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