Saving the Symphony

Randy Moore, former CEO of Kaneohe Ranch, and Paul Kosasa, CEO of ABC Stores, step up to save the Honolulu Symphony Orchestra

Photography by Courtesty of Hawaii symphony orchestra

Paul Kosasa listens to the symphony from the wing.

Many are aware that the Honolulu Symphony Orchestra filed for bankruptcy in 2010. Less well known is how the 110-year-old orchestra emerged from life support— reincarnating as the Hawaii Symphony Orchestra –and who is volunteering to ensure its continued success.

Saving the symphony was a collaborative undertaking, but Randy Moore, former CEO of Kaneohe Ranch, and Paul Kosasa, CEO of ABC Stores, stand out for going the extra mile.

Moore, who came out of retirement for second time, put his business acumen to work, volunteering nearly every day for well over a year. He humbly says he was “just a bookkeeper.”

“Randy’s value was to put together a good business plan and get the finances clear and where they needed to be,” says Kosasa, who is chairman of the board of directors at the symphony.

Kosasa also played a critical role in the rescue efforts. His family’s foundation purchased the symphony’s assets when they came up for auction in March 2011. The foundation was the sole bidder on the priceless catalog of music, instruments and other items. “If you lose the music, it’s over,” he says.

Kosasa makes it a point to do something for the symphony every week, whether it is fundraising, working on financials or attending performances.

“I try to go to every performance to make sure morale is good,” he says.


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Hawaii Business,August