A Conversation with Lori Teranishi

June 15, 2022
By iQ Staff
Mochi Magazine with Lori Headshot.

iQ 360’s founder and CEO, Lori Teranishi, spoke with Kelsey Tanouye at Mochi Magazine, the longest-running digital publication for Asian American women. The interview below was featured in its summer 2022 “Everyday Asian American” issue.

The “trial by fire” is a common saying used to describe how one performs under difficulty and pressure. In 2019, I met iQ 360 founder and CEO Lori Teranishi when I was going through my own trial by fire, working with a Hawaii nonprofit organization that was unfortunately going through a PR nightmare. As a result, Teranishi and her team from iQ 360 were called upon to advise, strategize, and help execute a crisis communications strategy that was focused on rebuilding community trust, reestablishing expertise, and ensuring our future.

We recently got the opportunity to reconnect and discuss Lori’s career journey. A force to be reckoned with in the communications and public relations landscape, and a champion for a continuously brighter future for Hawaii, Lori has a professional demeanor full of grit and determination — but she still holds small island family values in her heart.


Career Start & iQ 360’s Beginning

KT: For those who are just getting to know you, what’s your story?

LT: I am a fourth-generation Japanese American (yonsei) and have two daughters who are gosei (fifth generation). Overall, I feel that I live in and have had a bicultural existence. I started my life in Hawaii, and then I went to the continental U.S. for college where I stayed and really experienced the early to mid-part of my career. Then, I moved back to Hawaii 10 years ago.

Like many people who are of Asian or Pacific Islander descent, I grew up in this multiethnic community, but then went to a larger market to work for multinational corporations and I had to make adjustments, both in the way I work and the way I presented myself. Then, when I came back to Hawai’i, again, I had to make adjustments. Because of these lived experiences, I now feel that I have an opportunity to really explain the benefits of being from Hawaii and being a part of Hawaii to the world.


Click here to read the full interview.