7. Warren Haruki
President, Verizon Hawaii
This is a big year for Warren Haruki. He’s turning 50 in December and it’s his 10th year as president of Verizon Hawaii, formerly GTE Hawaiian Tel. Verizon Hawaii, a subsidiary of New York-based Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ), ranked No. 12 on the Hawaii Business list of Top 250 companies this year, with almost $547 million in 2001 gross sales.
Last year, the low-profile executive set a record when he was honored as the Boy Scouts of America’s Aloha Council’s Distinguished Citizen. The event raised almost $900,000 and stands as a testament to Haruki’s reach within the local community.
Big Island Candies President Allan Ikawa served as chairman of the University of Hawaii’s Board of Regents until July of 2002, the same time that Haruki served as chairman of the University of Hawaii Foundation. Ikawa says of the Boy Scouts fund raiser, “[Haruki] just blew everybody away, because he has so many friends that everybody’s going to kokua, right? Because you know he kokuas everybody.”
Haruki is a force at the Legislature, according to long-time lobbyist Bob Toyofuku, who says, “You don’t see him on the rail, you don’t see him at the Capitol, as such, but you know he has certain ties that can move things either way.” Haruki counts among his personal advisers: First Hawaiian Bank’s Walter Dods; former Hawaii Dental Services chief executive officer Wesley Park; and HPM Building Supply Chairman Robert Fujimoto.
“He’s very capable of organizing things,” says Park, who says Haruki’s been a friend for the past 25 years. “He’s always very focused and he’s very results oriented. And I think one important thing is he’s able to always martial whatever resources are needed so people will join him in doing things he wants to do for the community.”
Ikawa calls Haruki “brilliant,” yet level-headed. Says Ikawa: “It’s probably the Kauai boy in him. Plus his genetic makeup. Because you look at who he’s related to: [professional golfer ] David Ishii. [Army General Eric] Shinseki is his uncle. God, the blood line is powerful, boy.”
— Kelli Abe Trifonovitch