From the September 5, 2003 print edition
Forty Under 40 offer hope for Hawaii's future
With recent U.S. Census data suggesting that 75,000
more people left Hawaii for the mainland than came
here in a five-year
period, there is valid concern about the viability of
the next Hawaii, especially the leadership potential
A widely shared concern in the business community is
that the so-called "brain drain" -- younger
bright people leaving the state
-- far exceeds the counter "brain gain" --
those returning or coming here.
So, today, we provide some words of encouragement: There
are a lot of bright, innovative, determined and persevering
businesspeople in Hawaii who offer a lot of hope for
the next generation of leaders.
That's been demonstrated again with the men and women
honored last night at the fourth annual Forty Under 40
celebrating business leaders under 40. More than 300
people gathered at the Honolulu Academy of Arts to celebrate
achievements of this year's group and to hear words of
praise from Gov. Linda Lingle.
The 40 people recognized are part of a special focus
section in today's PBN and, as a group, they are take-charge
who understand the dynamics of what's needed to succeed
in business here.
They also are a diverse bunch.
The Business Leader of the Year, Peter Ho, is group executive
vice president at Bank of Hawaii. He's the third generation
entrepreneurial family that began with the legendary
Chinn Ho, a man who saw opportunities where no one else
continued with Peter's father, Stuart.
On the Big Island, Toby Taniguchi is vice president for
store operations of KTA Super Stores, a family-owned
has used service and innovation as tools to grow market
share against mainland-based big-box competition.
But there also are stories of people born elsewhere or
who moved away after growing up in Hawaii, who moved
here as recently as 10 years ago and assumed leadership
roles built on personal visions and the ability to connect
unique business culture.
That was the case with Ann Chung, who returned in 1999
from the mainland and carved a leadership niche in helping
Hawaii Technology Trade Association. Dr. Alan Stein,
who came to Hawaii in 1998, has been committed to dealing
epilepsy on a professional and volunteer basis.
There is another reason we are especially enthusiastic
about this group.
Among the responsibilities of running or growing a business
and handling family and other personal responsibilities,
theme among the biographies of the 40 is a strong sense
of community commitment.
The recipient of the Bank of Hawaii Community Leader
award, Christine Camp Friedman, is an outstanding example.
South Korea, she came to Hawaii, became involved in real
estate after college and started her own business, Avalon
Friedman has given her talents to numerous community
groups and will be chairwoman of the Chamber of Commerce
Hawaii next year.
That sense of giving is ingrained -- especially to youth-oriented
organizations like scouting, YMCA, YWCA, child abuse
prevention and education.
This year, there were a record 82 nominees for Forty
Under 40 and the judging was done by representatives
of Hawaii business
schools. Bank of Hawaii again is the lead sponsor.
There is an overarching issue for the future for the
business community. We need to continue working to ensure
viable job opportunities for younger people to stay in
Hawaii, to return home -- and to come here.
But, today, let's celebrate the moment. We have a great
group of outstanding younger business leaders who understand
do well in business here, who are excited about the potential
and who are committed to making Hawaii a better place.
Pacific Business News (Honolulu) - September 8, 2003
© 2003 American City Business Journals Inc.