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John Yokoyama  

Former Owner of World-Famous Pike Place Fish Market in Seattle

John Yokoyama is the former owner of Pike Place Fish who, with the help of his employees and consultant, led the market from bankruptcy to world fame. The Pike Place Fish Market was purchased in 1965 by Yokoyama, a former employee of the fish market, who bought the store to make enough money on an owner's salary to afford the car payments on his new Buick Riviera. After nearing bankruptcy in 1986, the fish market owner and employees decided to become "world famous," changing their way of doing business by introducing their flying fish routine, games and customer performances. Four years later, they were featured repeatedly in the national media and television shows. The store is now a popular tourist destination in Seattle, attracting up to 10,000 daily visitors, and is often billed as world-famous.

The antics of the fish-flinging staff have become the highlight of the Pike Place Market, and have been featured in Spike Lee’s Levi commercial, on NBC’s "Frasier," MTV’s "Real World," and ABC’s "Good Morning America." The "low-flying fish" have been captured on film and immortalized in print by filmmakers and journalists from all over the world. In 1996, Charthouse Educational Corporation produced two award winning corporate training films, Fish and Fish Sticks. These two videos document the amazing culture of Pike Place Fish and have become the best selling corporate training videos in the world. In a CNN Special Report on January 26, 2001, CNN identified the three most fun places to work in the United States.

In 2018, Yokoyama sold Pike Place Fish to his employees, and began a new venture. Yokoyama, along with his coach and consultant, Jim Bergquist from BizFutures Consulting Company, has formed a new company, Flying Fish Productions. The Team now travels to company conventions and special events where Yokoyama and "The Fishmongers" are accompanied by a BizFutures Consultant to deliver their Fish Wisdom in a way that is fun, educational and inspiring.

Speech Topics


You allow us to interview three or four appropriate people from your group to determine what topic would make the most difference for your organization, and we'll do that!

These are all high energy/high impact presentations that are fun, educational and designed to leave people inspired and engaged.

MAKE THEIR DAY: Service With An Attitude

Most organizations know that their relevance and indeed their very existence can depend on the quality of service they provide for their customers (both external and internal). In this topic the Fish Folks show what it takes to deliver service that actually impacts the quality of someone's life.


In this topic we address the kind of creativity and productivity that's possible when managers transform themselves into coaches . . . coaches who are out to enhance their player's performance and build great teams. We show people how to get started being coaches.

BEING THERE: Creating the Condition for REAL Communication

We've discovered that most people don't listen…and think they do. In this segment we explore the kind of awareness that's required to listen to people powerfully.

CHOOSE YOUR ATTITUDE: Loving What You Do - Doing What You Love

Taking a look at the importance of having a powerful vision and what it takes to create a work environment that empowers people to be great at what they do - and love doing it.

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