NAIOP Hawaii Kukulu Hale Awards 2013
Recognizing Excellence in Hawaii's Commercial Real Estate Industry
(page 4 of 9)
Outstanding Service Award
Anthony R. "Tony" Guerrero, Jr.
Tony Guerrero is a waterman at heart and with heart, whose service to his community has spanned his professional and personal life.
The now-retired bank executive – “Uncle Ants” as he is affectionately known in the surfing community – learned how to surf and paddle canoes at the age of eight, and as a teenager earning $100 a day as a Waikiki beach boy, he almost didn’t go to college. But after graduating from Saint Louis School in 1963, he went on to earn a bachelor’s degree in industrial management from the University of Portland and soon after, in 1967, he was tapped by First Hawaiian Bank for its management trainee program.
Tony remained with the bank for 42 years, until retiring in 2010. Rising to the position of vice chairman and group manager of the Retail Banking Group, he was responsible for 1,100 employees and the management of all 63 bank branches at the time (58 in Hawaii, 3 on Guam and 2 on Saipan) as well as the Sales & Service Division, Japan Business Development, Call Center, Business Banking & Wealth Management Group and the other retail areas of the bank. He also is credited with establishing First Hawaiian’s distinctive service culture at its branches.
“I have known Tony for the better part of 40 years and have always seen him as not only a business partner but as a loyal and trusted friend,” recalls Walter Dods, the bank’s retired chairman and CEO. “For many years he was the heart and soul of First Hawaiian Bank. His appreciation for local culture and for taking care of people is unprecedented.”Tony explained that, as a beach boy, he learned people skills and the importance of sharing his Hawaiian culture with people from other places.
At First Hawaiian, he introduced the Hawaiian concepts of malama (caring), kina‘ole (doing the right thing) and lokahi (working together) into the bank’s customer service program. These concepts also run deep in Tony’s own community service activities. He was part of the team, along with his mentor, the late First Hawaiian Bank Chairman & CEO John Bellinger, who formed Friends of Hawaii Charities as host of the Sony Open in Hawaii. Serving as its president for 11 years, and now its chairman emeritus, Tony helped raise $11 million to benefit a variety of charitable organizations.
He also served as chairman of the Board of the Stadium Authority, Child & Family Service, Catholic Charities, Hawaii Visitors & Convention Bureau, UH Ahahui Koa Anuenue and the Saint Louis Education Foundation, among others. Tony currently serves as chairman of Oahu Transit Services Inc. (The Bus) and president of the board of Waianae Coast Comprehensive Health Center, two organizations that are especially close to his heart.
“I have a passion for helping those in need,” he says. “The Bus is a tremendous benefit to the community, especially the west side of Oahu. It serves 250,000 people a day, from all walks of life, for a nominal fee.
The Waianae Coast Comprehensive Health Center, he notes, not only is the largest employer in West Oahu, it also provides the community with a full range of accessible and affordable medical and dental services and is the only native Hawaiian healing center in the world, bridging Western and Hawaiian medicine. It also has an educational component, introducing high school students and other community members to careers in the medical field and partnering with various universities to provide internship and residency opportunities for medical and dental students.
Rich Bettini, president and CEO of the center, acknowledged that Tony is a friend to many in Waianae and beyond. “He served as the capital campaign chair and helped raise $11 million for the Health Center’s Phase I construction project, the Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Family Medical Building. He also led the capital campaign efforts by spearheading “A Tribute to the Spirit of Community” gala events which raised over $600,000 for the medical building. As a passionate believer in the Health Center’s mission, he continues to lead capital fundraising, this time for the Phase III project to build an Emergency Medical Services Building. Tony is a volunteer extraordinaire for our Health Center and truly captures the essence of giving from the heart.”
From Waikiki beach boy to retired Bishop Street banker, this local boy is still doing good.
NAIOP Hawaii is proud to honor Tony Guerrero for his outstanding service to our community.
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