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The Hawaii Business 20 for the Next 20

(page 19 of 21)

    Photo: Courtesy of Michael Tresler

Michael Tresler, age 42

Senior VP, Grove Farm Inc.

Michael Tresler, born and educated on Kauai, has a dream: Any Garden Island kid like him, who wants to come home and build a life, will be able to do so.

Tresler is in the right position to make that happen.

At Grove Farm, he oversees various operations, ranging from industrial and commercial properties, to agriculture, to a growing involvement in renewable energy.

“I don’t have a job description,” he laughs. “I guess it is: ‘All other duties.’ ”

Growing up on Kauai and playing football at Kauai High School (he’s a volunteer coach there today), Tresler developed friendships with members of the Wilcox family, pioneer sugar growers and founders of what is now Grove Farm. At the University of Hawaii, he was a walk-on football player who earned all-conference honors under head coach Bob Wagner.

Tresler is a trained CPA who has worked as finance director for Kauai County, at Arthur Andersen, and in the head office of Robert’s Hawaii, which was founded by his grandfather Robert Iwamoto Sr.

In a way, his entire life has been building up to where he is today. But getting back to Kauai “wasn’t a specific goal,” he admits. “My goal was to wake up every morning and be excited about what I was doing. And I do. I am one of the fortunate ones.”

Grove Farm has shifted from mainly sugar into diversified agriculture, including biofuels, and real estate development (a new town center is planned for Lihue).

“We have to provide more opportunities so there will be jobs here. I am probably a percentage of a percent (who were able to come home). It would be great to be able to do that for more of our young people.”

 

1. Randy Baldemor
2. James Bennett
3. Kalei Cadinha-Puaa
4. Kainoa Daines
5. Matthew Delaney
6. Mark Duda
7. Charles Hew-Len
8. Michael Kaleikini
9. Daniel Leuck
10. Jennifer Li Dotson
11. Bryan Luke
12. Wesley Machida
13. Makani Maeva
14. Cameron Nekota
15. Robert Piper
16. Carol Reimann
17. Claire Sullivan
18. Michael Tresler
19. Raymond Vara, Jr.
20. Aulani Wilhelm

 

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