5. Jeffrey Watanabe
Title: Managing Partner, Watanabe Ing Kawashima & Komeiji
Nickname: The Tour Guide
Power Play: Watanabe is arguably the highest powered attorney in town. With a list of clients that includes many of the tourist industry’s heaviest hitters, Watanabe’s career has mirrored the state’s meteoric rise during the ’70s and ’80s. But his reach and influence stretches far beyond a particular industry or time period. He is also a director of Hawaiian Electric Co. Inc., American Savings Bank, Hawaiian Electric Industries Charitable Foundation, Alexander and Baldwin Inc., First Insurance Co. of Hawaii, Grace Pacific Corp., Loea Communications Corp., Matson Navigation Co. Inc., and Oahu Publications Inc. Watanabe is also a member of Oceanic Cablevision’s advisory board, a trustee of the Children and Youth Foundation of the Philippines and Hawaii Community Foundation and board member for the Sesame Workshop, the Consuelo Zobel Alger Foundation and The Nature Conservancy of Hawaii.
Power Play: The world may be a global village, but the Islands are still 2,500 miles from another large land mass. Watanabe is recognized as the state’s leading tour guide to this unique outpost of the United States, explaining the intricacies of the physical, political and cultural landscape to Mainland investors.
Personal Voltage: The kind of access that Watanabe possesses takes years to cultivate, and lasts for decades. In a small town in a small state in an ever-shrinking world, his power and influence grow stronger and stronger with every year.