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August 2000

This is our largest issue of the year with good reason: our annual listing of Hawaii’s 250 largest companies, as ranked by gross annual sales, is a "must read" for decision-makers in the Islands. The Hawaii Business Top 250 is now in its 17th year, and it remains the most definitive measure of how our largest companies are doing.

Is it a perfect list? Of course it isn’t. In the ideal world, we’d be ranking our firms on the bases of net revenue, the real measure of success. If we did that, as a friend who works at BancWest Corp. reminded me earlier this year, the Top 250 rankings would be dramatically different in some areas.

But the reality is that most Hawaii companies are privately held, and closely held at that. Until most of our companies decide to go public—not likely given their relative size—this is the best benchmark we have to gauge the size and economic impact of our biggest companies.

This is a partnership project, and we’ve been blessed with extremely loyal partners for the Top 250. They are First Hawaiian Bank, Matson Navigation Co., and KPMG. Their generous support of the Hawaii Business Top 250 has allowed us to keep this project alive, and also results in the much-anticipated Top 250 luncheon, which will be held later this month in Honolulu. I thank First Hawaiian, Matson and KPMG for their continued support.

I’m particularly pleased with this year’s Top 250 issue. It captures the changes that are moving this market: the companies that are on a rip, and those that are having a harder time dealing with a changing economy. We learn from both success and setbacks.

This issue also marks another transition for Hawaii Business. Managing Editor Kelli Abe Trifonovitch, who has so ably led our editorial effort for the past year, will be moving on to an exciting new project. She’s our main reporter for the new Hawaii Business Reports, which air on KHON Fox 2 each week.

Taking her place as Managing Editor is David K. Choo, who has written a number of our cover stories this year. David is one of the most experienced magazine writers and editors in the Islands, and we’re proud to have him head our editorial team.

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