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The Business of Love

If you want to be successful at both, be careful whom you marry

(page 3 of 5)

Photo Courtesy of Doug Behrens
City Managing Director Kirk Caldwell and Bank of Hawaii Vice
Chairman Donna Tanoue make family time with their teenage
daughter, Maya, a top priority, despite hectic schedules.

The Power Couple

City managing director Kirk Caldwell and his wife, Donna Tanoue, vice chairman of Bank of Hawaii and president of the Bank of Hawaii Charitable Foundation, met in Washington, D.C., while Caldwell worked for Sen. Daniel Inouye and Tanoue attended law school at Georgetown University. When Tanoue returned to Hawaii to take the bar exam, the couple maintained a long-distance relationship. “When I asked Donna to marry me, I knew we shared the same values and some common interests, yet we valued the fact that we were each independent as well,” Caldwell says.

To some extent, the couple agrees, finding the right mate is similar to finding the right business partner. Character, trust, confidence and commitment are important for both relationships, Caldwell explains.

Caldwell and Tanoue say the secret to their nearly 30-year marriage is that they share the same values about life and love and have complementary personalities. Tanoue says they have a 50-50 partnership – and having a wonderful, supportive mother-in-law also helps.

Between board meetings, public service and a teenage daughter, Maya, Caldwell and Tanoue have extremely hectic lives, but the couple supports each other and each allows the other to develop and grow.

“When times are hard, Donna is always there for me,” Caldwell says.

“When I chaired the FDIC, Kirk made a lot of sacrifices,” Tanoue says. “He maintained his law practice long-distance, working out of the house in D.C. and flying to and from Honolulu every month.” She says Caldwell spent a lot of time caring for Maya and volunteered at her school.

Although Tanoue admits life isn’t always orderly, “We are a small, good team.” Even with Caldwell’s demanding job and his upcoming mayoral campaign, the couple insists on both family time and romantic dates whenever possible.

For singles looking for love, Caldwell suggests: “Work on yourself and you’ll find love.”

This Team Takes Turns

Gwen and Gary Pacarro met as students at Punahou School; she was a sophomore and he a senior. They went to different colleges but married when Gwen was 21.

Today, Gwen is the complex manager for Morgan Stanley Smith Barney and Gary works for Positive Coaching Alliance, an organization that promotes positive attitudes and life lessons for student athletes.  Throughout their marriage, Gwen says the couple took turns focusing on their careers and filling in as the primary caretaker for their two children. When Gary went back to school to get his teaching degree, Gwen spent more time raising the kids. Once he began teaching, their roles reversed and Gwen focused on her career. “The most important thing is that we never kept score,” she says.

Gwen says they knew their strengths and worked well together: “He was the nurturer and I was the disciplinarian.” For eight years, the Pacarros even worked together as financial advisers at Morgan Stanley. “When you work together, you don’t have the ability to secure down time – sacred couple time – and that’s absolutely necessary,” Gwen says. “I think couples that work together can have a successful marriage, but it does pose a new set of challenges.”

After 35 years of marriage, Gwen still calls Gary “sweetheart.” “I would not be where I am today if I hadn’t married such a wonderful man. I could not be carrying the responsibilities I have now.”

A good marriage is all about respect, she says. “We respect that we’ve come from very different cultures, different upbringings and we have different ways of dealing with conflict. We’ve learned to create our own way to make our lives work. We’ve sort of taken the best of both worlds and found what works for us.”

As a mother, Gwen offers this advice to her children: “If your mate brings out the best parts of you and nourishes and develops the best parts of you, then they’re good. But if they bring about bad behavior in you or a negative attitude, then you’ll be unhappy and that’s not good.”

Despite busy schedules, the Pacarros try to find their way to the corner of the couch at 9 every night. They also enjoy golfing together and try to schedule monthly “board meetings” when they go standup paddling.

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